Friday, November 9, 2012

Team Building 2012

The Bucs are in the process of evaluating and moving talent for 2013. People talk about pieces, but it's really a lot more - it's a season long process.

Injuries will eventually bite a club, as will performance. With the GM meetings in progress and the hot stove league about to open up, here's a reminder how the Pirates crafted the 2012 team (we included transactions from the end of the 2011 season to the end of the 2012 season ):
  • 9/10/12 - Designated RHP Evan Meek for assignment. The one-time All-Star and potential closer is now a free agent.
  • 8/24/12 - Claimed LHP Hisanori Takahashi off waivers from Los Angeles Angels. In nine Pirate games, he posted an 8.64 ERA, even with 11K in 8-1/3 IP.
  • 7/31/12 - New York Yankees traded RHP Chad Qualls for 1B Casey McGehee. Qualls was bad in NY and worse in Pittsburgh where he went 0-0/6.59. McGehee batted .151 for the NYY.
  • 7/31/12 - Miami Marlins traded 1B Gaby Sanchez and RHP Kyle Kaminska for CF Gorkys Hernandez and a supplemental draft pick. Gaby hit .241/4/13 for the Pirates and Kaminska is doing well as a AA and fall league starter. Hernandez played a lot for Miami, though he hit just .212. The draft pick is the key piece; it's the 33rd overall selection.
  • 7/31/12 - Toronto Blue Jays traded RF Travis Snider (.250/1/9) for RHP Brad Lincoln (1-0/5.65). Both had disappointing starts with the new teams, but fit into areas of need and are team control for awhile, so the verdict on this deal is yet to be reached.
  • 7/25/12 - Houston Astros traded LHP Wandy Rodriguez for LHP Colton Cain, CF Robbie Grossman and LHP Rudy Owens. Wandy pitched as advertised for the Pirates, going 5-4/3.72. Owens went 2-3/4.34 in AAA, Grossman had a slash line of .267/.371/.442 in AA, and Cain was 2-2/5.55 in High A for Houston.
  • 6/24/12 - Claimed Drew Sutton off waivers from Tampa Bay Rays, and he was activated the next day. He batted .243 for Pittsburgh, keeping the OF warm for Starling Marte and Travis Snider, and had a couple of timely hits for the Bucs in the heady days of summer, including a walk-off homer. Sutton is a free agent.
  • 2/19/12 - Yankees traded RHP AJ Burnett and cash for RHP Diego Moreno and OF Exicardo Cayones. AJ became the Buc ace, going 16-10/3.51, while Moreno had Tommy John surgery in late May and Cayones hit .228 in the NY-Penn short season league.
  • 2/1/12 - Signed free agent RHP Juan Cruz. He was released on August 23rd after going 1-1-3/2.78, and is a free agent.
  • 1/17/12 - Signed free agent LHP Doug Slaten, who became a free agent after serving a 10 game stint with the Bucs.
  • 12/13/11 - Milwaukee Brewers traded 1B Casey McGehee for RHP Jose Veras. McGehee was traded to the Yankees at the deadline. Veras made 72 appearances with Milwaukee and went 5-4/3.63.
  • 12/7/11 - IF Yamiaco Navarro was traded by the Kansas City Royals for RHP Brooks Pounders and UT Diego Goris. Navarro hit .160 for the Pirates and was sent to Indy. Pounder, 22, pitched at High A (6-4/4.32) and Goris, 21, played in the rookie leagues (.333/13/51) for KC.
  • 12/7/11 - Signed free agent LHP Erik Bedard. Bedard, who was released August 28th
  • 12/7/11 - Signed free agent LF Nate McLouth. Nate the Great was DFA'ed May 25th, caught on with Baltimore and hit .268 with an +OPS of 111 for the Birds. In Pittsburgh, he batted just .140 with an +OPS of 10.
  • 12/7/11 - Designated SS Pedro Ciriaco (76 games, .293 BA with Boston) & C Jason Jaramillo (.223 BA between Milwaukee & Oakland in the minors) for assignment.
  • 12/8/11 - Released RHP Ross Ohlendorf. Ohlie ended up with the Padres, got tatooed on the hill (4-4/7.77) and is a free agent.
  • 11/21/11 - Signed free agent SS Clint Barmes. He signed a signed a two-year, $10.5M contract, fielding well and hitting badly in his first season as a Bucco.
  • 11/10/11 - Signed free agent C Rod Barajas for $4M. Hot Rod hit .206 and threw out 6% of the runners in his year with the Bucs. His option wasn't picked up.
  • 11/18/11 - Designated LF Xavier Paul for assignment. Paul signed with the Reds and hit .314 in a bench role.
  • 10/31/11 - Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Doumit, Paul Maholm & Chris Snyder became free agents. Cedeno hit .259 off the Met pine, Dewey had a line of .275/18/75 for the Twins and signed a two year, $7M contract extension, Maholm went 13-11/3.67 for the Cubs and Braves, and Snyder was the sole flameout, hitting .176 for Houston.
  • 10/30/11 - Derrek Lee & Ryan Ludwick became free agents. Both trade deadline pickups, Lee rejected a Pirate offer to return and was out of baseball in 2012. Ludwick hooked up with the Reds and hit .275/26/80 after batting .232 for the Pirates in 2011.
The Pirates also signed 1B Nick Evans (free agent), C Jake Fox (released; signed with Phils), LF Brandon Boggs (free agent), RHP Tim Wood, 2B Anderson Hernandez, RHP Ryoto Igarashi (traded to Toronto), C Jose Morales (free agent), LHP Brian Tallet (traded to San Diego), LHP Jo Jo Reyes, RHP Daniel Cabrera (traded to Arizona) and RHP Henricus "Rick" VandenHurk for upper level depth.

Added: AJ Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Erik Bedard, Clint Barmes, Rod Barajas, Casey McGehee, Juan Cruz, Nate McLouth, Travis Snider, Gaby Sanchez, Chad Qualls, Hisanori Takahashi and Doug Slaten.

Lost: Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, Ryan Doumit, Ronny Cedeno, Derrek Lee, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Snyder, Xavier Paul, Brad Lincoln and Evan Meek.

2012 Mistakes? Well, maybe keeping Paul Maholm for a back-ender might have been a good idea, if they could have negotiated his $9.75M option in half. And having Ryan Doumit around to bang against righties - he could have played RF/1B with Garrett Jones - wouldn't have hurt, either, but he had a $7.25M option that also needed halved. Ronny Cedeno, oddly enough, might have been a good option as a utility middle infielder.

But still, none of that trio are building block guys, just nice compliments. The Buc FO backed themselves in a corner with big option years in the cases of Maholm and Dewey (Maholm signed with Chicago for $4.75M and Doumit with the Twins for $3M in 2012), and Cedeno's erratic play probably just flat frazzled management to the point of no return.

Burnett and Rodriguez were wins in the trade market; Barajas and Bedard losers in the FA market and McGehee was probably a wash. We'll see how this year's class, whomever they may be, works out.

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