Thursday, November 18, 2010

Throw Another Log In the Stove...

-- Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports writes "The Pirates are comfortable with their internal options at closer, Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan. But one source suggested that Pittsburgh could deal one of the two and sign a replacement."

Hanrahan is up for arbitration this year and Meek after next season. We'd expect for their age, performance, and years of remaining team control that their value is about as high as it's going to get.

Neal Huntington already has said that the pair are being evaluated; he doesn't want a "spring competition" for the closer's job. So the team will go into 2011 with one or the other as the anointed ninth inning man.

We'd prefer to see Meek and Hanrahan battle it out until there was a clear-cut winner to finish games, but the brass think a bullpen is easy to pull together and trading players when their perceived value is high, so if someone would like to overpay...

-- Clint Hurdle will be the fifth skipper for the Pirates in seven (2005-11) seasons. The others were Lloyd McClendon (2005), Pete Mackanin (2005), Jim Tracy (2006-07) and JR (2008-10).

Ryan Doumit, Zach Duke and Paul Maholm, if they make it to Opening Day, will have played for all five. None of the players on the Pirates' 40-man roster has been coached at any level by Hurdle.

-- Former prospect news: The Twins signed LHP Phil Dumatrait to a minor-league deal and the Royals resigned OF Jamie Romak, 25, once the Pirates' top farm slugger, to a minor league contract.

-- Roy Halladay won the NL Cy Young after going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts, and "King" Felix Hernandez earned the AL Cy Young Award by putting up a modest 13-12 record, but with a 2.27 ERA and 232 K's.

-- Baseball officials will meet during the December 6-9th winter meetings to consider expanding the playoffs. A move from eight playoff teams to 10 could happen next year but is more likely to occur in 2012. The biggest issue seems to be whether to have the wild cards play a single game or best-of-three series to advance.


WilliamJPellas said...

I wouldn't deal either one of them if it were up to me. They are both quality relievers, but both have had injury issues from time to time, particularly Hanrahan. Granted, a bullpen probably is the easiest part of a team to construct on a year in, year out basis, but I'm one of those old school guys who thinks you can never have enough pitching---particularly on a team that has starting pitchers as utterly horrible as this team does. Even if the rotation is significantly upgraded this offseason, and I'll believe that when I see it, I personally wouldn't be too quick to deal either Meek or Hanrahan.

Ron Ieraci said...

Wil - I've heard and seen rumors of both being sought after by other teams. If I were the Bucco FO, I'd listen to the offers and see what the league thinks their value may be.

WilliamJPellas said...

You'd do that even after you saw our team go from bad to horrendous in 2010, in no small measure because Huntington gutted our 'pen? The bullpen was the only part of the team last season that was any good at all---until he traded Dotel and Lopez. Mind you, we got good prospects back in those deals, and Dotel and Lopez were probably brought here as much as trade bait as they were anything else. I get that. But we had no chance to win whatsoever after half of our relievers were dealt. I dunno. I'm still not keen to do this.

WilliamJPellas said...

Well, I should say, I'm not keen to do it UNLESS we see Opie do the same kind of diligent job he did last offseason in building the 'pen. Even I will admit he did well in that regard. Assuming it's possible to achieve similar results this offseason, then sure, I'd consider trading either Hanrahan or Meek, preferably Hanrahan. I would think a package of Hanrahan, Doumit, and a good minor leaguer would be enough to land a good young veteran who's fallen out of favor with another team---for example, Colby Rasmus. For that sort of deal, I'd consider it.

Sorry, guess I'm just still shell-shocked about 2010.

Ron Ieraci said...

I think it's a season too soon to move one of them, Wil. Neither has really earned the closer spot yet.

But once one of them takes the bull by the horns, as Jerry Lee Lewis likes to say, the other is a luxury.