- Neal Huntington told Tom Singer of MLB.com that "...he wants to sign BOTH (Fancisco) Liriano and (Jonathan) Sanchez, for rotation options. (It's) Not an either-or scenario..." They both have some upside and could contribute, so that's good news. It's been reported that a deal with Liriano is set, pending his physical, which has been held up because of his broken arm.
- Dan Wade of Fangraphs has a post on James McDonald and Tricks of the Mind. It's got a fantasy baseball tilt, but is still a worthwhile take on J-Mac.
- Matthew Leach of MLB.com wrote that the signing of Russell Martin was one of the five top under the radar signings of the off season. He thinks that "Martin likely represents a three-win upgrade over Barajas in 2013, at a very reasonable price."
- James Conley of Yahoo!Sports thinks the Pirates continuity is a sign of good things to come
- Dan Laurila of Fangraphs has a Q&A with Gerrit Cole. We like the Cole quote "Strikeouts are something that just happen. You don’t go for strikeouts, because your pitch count gets too high." Sounds like someone who is learning to be a pitcher rather than a thrower, hey?
- Keith Law of ESPN picked the Pirates farm system as #7 in MLB. (The story is for Insiders only.) Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects reports that Law wrote Gerrit Cole/Jameson Taillon are the best 1-2 punch in the minors and that the Class A West Virginia team was loaded last year. It should get better; the Pirates have the #9 and #14 draft picks in 2013.
- Law added that the Bucs have five of the Top 100 Prospects - P Gerrit Cole, P Jameson Taillon, SS Alen Hanson, CF Gregory Polanco and P Luis Heridia.
- The Astros' highest-paid player this season is Wandy Rodriguez, who will collect $5M from Houston even tho he's a Bucco. GM Jeff Luhnow must have a copy of Neal Huntington's book on how to rebuild a franchise on the cheap.
- The Nationals and C Chris Snyder have agreed to a minor league deal, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported.
- William Tasker of The Flagrant Fan blog posts that Erik Kratz is a Very Good Catcher. Kratz was with the Pirates from 2009-10 and got a cup of coffee in Pittsburgh. He's hit .252 for the Phillies over the past two years with a throw-out rate of 44% as Carlos Ruiz's back up.
- LHP Brian Burres has signed to pitch in Taiwan with the Lamigo Monkeys. He tossed some for Pittsburgh in 2010-11, going 5-5/4.87 for the Bucs.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013