Saturday, December 15, 2012

Notes and Quotes

From PirateFest and beyond:

  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reiterates that "Hanrahan has been linked to both the Tigers and Dodgers, but both clubs are wary of his salary, sources say." LA has been shopping Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, while the Anibal Sanchez signing leaves the Tigers with a starter (ie, Rick Portobello) too many. 
  • Scratch John Lannan from the Bucco wish list. The Phils have signed him to a one year deal worth $2.5M with an equal amount in performance bonuses.
  • The Pirates told the media that they expect their payroll to "approach" the $70M range this season (it was around $61M last season). He also tossed in that the Root Sports TV deal is better than reported, but wouldn't give specifics. The deal has been reported as worth $16-20M/year, but its terms are confidential.
  • When asked about non-tendering Jeff Karstens, Neal Huntington said, as reported by Bill Brink of the Post Gazette, that the decision was partially financial and partially injury-based: "At $4 million or thereabouts, in some markets, that's (the $4M salary) a no-brainer. Right or wrong, we felt we were best doing something else. When healthy the last two years, he's pitched very well, but the biggest concern there is the 'when healthy' part of it...It may turn out to be a really bad decision, and we know that." Apparently JK caught wind of his statement, and left a twitter response: "...if you wanna see that I'm to Florida and come to the performance compound and see for yourself!"
  • The GM added that the Pirates can afford to begin the season with both Joel Hanrahan, who will earn roughly $7M in 2013, and Jason Grilli, who recently agreed to a two-year, $6.75 M contract that will pay him $2.75M this season, on the 2013 roster. That's a tacit admission that the return on Hanny hasn't approached what the FO considers to be his true value on the market.
  • Huntington said of the return of Garrett Jones, "Our plan is yes. But I can't promise anything." GI has been mentioned in a couple of trade rumors so far during the hot stove season.
  • Neil Walker on a long-term deal: “This is the city I want to be in,” Walker said Friday at the annual Hot Stove Luncheon that kicks off PirateFest. “I‘m excited about my first year of arbitration, (but) I can‘t really speak too much more on that. I hope to be a Pirate for a long, long time. We‘ll see how it goes. I know if I take care of myself and stay healthy, everything will work out,” according to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review
  • The Pirates restated that they're pleased with their internal starting options. We'll see in the next few weeks if that's so or just a ploy in trying to land another arm without appearing too desperate.
  • Brink was told that pitchers Justin Wilson, Vin Mazzaro, Zach Stewart, and Andy Oliver are preparing as starters entering spring camp. It's not that they're all expected to compete for the rotation, but because it's "easier to reduce innings rather than increase (them)." We'd guess that the Bucs would much prefer Wilson and Oliver to start sooner or later (hopefully sooner) rather than head to the pen.
  • The GM also told the gathering after being asked about the Mark Appel selection that they're committed to signing the top player on the board in the draft. Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects quoted him as saying " (We've) signed about 100 picks. (We) would have passed on 40 if (we) listened to agents."
  • Tom Singer of wrote that one of the assignments for new first-base coach Rick Sofield will be to help Andrew McCutchen's defense. "Subjectively, Andrew won a Gold Glove. Objectively, he doesn't score so well," GM Neal Huntington said. "Sofield can be of help to Cutch; he can help drive up his metrics."
  • Jeff Branson, Indy's hitting coach, was promoted to the Pirates' assistant hitting coach. He'll help Jay Bell in perking up the Bucco bats.
  • The Bucs unveiled a third jersey for Sunday home games, inspired by the seventies gear except with a name plate and mustard cap.
  • John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus tweeted some local news: "RHP Cory Mazzoni, a Seneca Valley graduate, ranked as the Mets No. 10 prospect by Baseball America."

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