Friday, February 3, 2012

This Week's News

  • The Bucs signed RHP Juan Cruz, late of the Tampa Rays, to a minor league deal with an invite to camp. A set-up man, the 33 year old was 5-0/3.88 last season in 48-1/3 innings. Of all the pitchers they've brought in so far, Cruz has the best chance to break camp with the team, striking us as a possible 2012 Jose Veras. He's been with 6 teams in 11 seasons, working a 35-37/4.13 line in 619 innings. Cruz spent 7 of those seasons in the NL with Chicago, Atlanta, and Arizona.
  • The Pirates also added LHP Brian Tallet to the minor league roster. Tallet, 34, has nine season in the show, mostly in the AL with the Indians and Jays. He has a 16-25/4.77 line in 460 innings of work. You might recall his tale from last year: he strained an intercostal muscle, and after the CAT scan, doctors discovered that he also had cysts on his kidneys, suffering from polycystic kidney disease. At any rate, Tallet is a little more veteran left-handed bullpen insurance, joining Doug Slaten.
  • Bill Brink reports that the Pirates and Casey McGehee have an arbitration hearing date set for February 16th, but are still currently negotiating. McGehee asked for $2.725M and the FO countered with $2.35M. The midpoint is $2.5-2.6M, which sounds about right, so we're wondering which party to blame for the holdup. No news on Garrett Jones, either, who put in for $2.5M while the Pirates offered $2.25M. Neither spread was outrageous, so we are kinda surprised the deals haven't been completed.
  • Baseball America has ranked its Top Ten Prospects by organization. There are no surprises on the Bucco list.
  • OK - the Nats signed Edwin Jackson for 1 year/$11M, and it's been written that he turned down a 3 year/$30M deal, making this a year to rebuild his brand. Now you can see why he was off of the Pirate's radar screen. As for Roy Oswalt, his preferred teams, the Red Sox, Rangers and Cards, are all taking turns playing cat-and-mouse with him. Anyhow, doesn't look like the Pirates are adding any big pieces to the 2012 puzzle.


WilliamJPellas said...

I'm not shedding any tears over Edwin Jackson. I don't get the love for him, frankly. Never thought he was all that. Again I would have preferred Oswalt or any of several other pitchers rather than Jackson.

The bottom line is that the Pirates haven't done anything of substance to upgrade their rotation, and both Correia and Morton are coming off injury. Nor does there appear to much in the way of ready-for-prime-time reinforcements at Triple-A. Perhaps Rudy Owens just had a bad year and will rebound, and I still like Justin Wilson---though not as much as I did before.

I suppose Kyle McPherson is probably the best starting pitcher prospect we've got right now, and he's got half a season in Double-A. Not good, and not good enough.

Ron Ieraci said...

Well, Will, it seems that their inability to add to the rotation isn't entirely their fault - nobody wants their money!

WilliamJPellas said...

'Twould appear so, based on the two links you posted showing Jackson and Oswalt telling the Pirates to get lost. Guess that brings us back around to the same ol, same ol, namely: the only way the team is going to land some true impact veterans is through kids-for-veterans trades. That, in turn, means it's all on our minor league system, not only to produce enough talent so there's a surplus that can be traded for veterans, but also to build the core of a legitimate contender in the first place.

So far, the system is improved, to be sure. But it's nowhere near the Tampa or Kansas City-style system it has to be to pull this off.

Ron Ieraci said...

Right you are, Will. They'll have to depend on internal talent to reach the promised land, and then maybe the FAs will consider Nutting's money.