Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pirates - Who Is Coming Back In 2014?

Guaranteed Contracts:
  • RHP Jason Grilli: $4M through 2014; 
  • C Russell Martin: $8.5M through 2014; 
  • OF Andrew McCutchen: $44.25M through 2017;
  • OF Jose Tabata: $11.75M through 2016.
These guys are under team control; JT could be anything from the starting RF'er to trade bait while the other three are key players in 2014.

  • LHP Francisco Liriano: $6M team option through 2014;
  • LHP Wandy Rodriguez: $13M player option (Astros pays $5.5M; 60-day DL)
Liriano will return for sure and Rodriguez is almost a lock to join him.

Free Agents (2013 salary):
  • SS Clint Barmes, $5.5M; The Bucs would like to resign him, but as a bench player and at a bench player's rate.
  • C John Buck, $6.5M; Buck is done being a Buc.
  • RHP A.J. Burnett, $16.5M; The ball is in AJ's court; the FO would probably like to sign him for a year at $12M, but would be wise to tender him at $14.1 M.
  • OF Marlon Byrd, $700K; He'd be a nice short-term fit, but after a strong year will look for some security and a payday.
  • IF Ivan DeJesus, minor league (out of options); Had a nice year (.319), and the Bucs don't have many infield options at Indy, but still a long shot to get added to the roster.
  • RHP Kyle Farnsworth, $1.25M; Bucs might be interested in a minor league deal for him.
  • RHP Jeff Karstens, $2.5M; His career may be done after missing most of two seasons.
  • 1B Justin Morneau, $15M; Too much salary for too little performance, even thought it is the Pirates' position of greatest need.
  • LHP Andy Oliver, minor league (out of options); Wild child will move on.
  • RHP Ryan Reid, minor league (two options left); He could be signed again as a depth option. Reid din't look out of place in his couple of big league outings.
  • OF/1B Jerry Sands, minor league (out of options). Didn't work out.
AJ is the guy they'd really like to re-sign, along with Byrd if he'd take a short term deal (unlikely) and Barmes if he's willing to accept a lesser role.

Arbitration Eligible Players (service time - year) estimated arb value:
  • 3B Pedro Alvarez, 3B (3.085 - 1st year): $4M; He can opt out of his guaranteed $700K to begin arb and certainly will. 
  • 1B/OF Garrett Jones, OF (4.158 - 3rd year Super Two): $5.3M; The Bucs will look for an upgrade here, but may tender/sign him until they land a Plan B as there is no one behind in the system.  
  • RHP Vin Mazzaro, RP (3.021 - 1st year): $800K; Not a lock, but pretty sure to tendered.
  • C Michael McKenry (2.136 - 1st year Super Two): $900K (60-day DL); Also not a sure thing, but makes sense as an insurance policy and possibly Tony Sanchez's backup in 2015.  
  • RHP Mark Melancon, RP (3.098 - first year): $3 M; Mark the Shark will be tendered.
  • RHP Charlie Morton, SP (5.010 - 3rd year): $3.9M; Ground Chuck will be tendered
  • OF Felix Pie, OF (4.028 - 2nd year): $500K; Not a tender candidate.
  • 1B Gaby Sanchez, (4.025 - 2nd year):  $2.3M; Iffy, pending what direction the Pirates go to address first base in 2014.  He adds value as a platoon guy, but is costly as a bench bat.
  • OF Travis Snider, OF (3.091 - 1st year): $1.4M; Iffy as a fifth OF candidate.
  • 2B Neil Walker, 2B (3.166 - 2nd year Super Two): $4.8M; The Kid will be tendered. 
The estimated arb values are taken from Charlie Wilmoth at MLB Trade Rumors

Under Team Control (earliest arbitration year)
  • RHP Gerrit Cole (arb 2017)
  • RHP Brandon Cumpton (arb 2017)
  • SS Chase d'Arnaud (arb 2016)
  • 1B Alex Dickerson (arb 2017)
  • RHP Jeanmar Gomez (arb 2015)
  • IF Josh Harrison (arb 2015)
  • RHP Jared Hughes (arb 2015)
  • RHP Phil Irwin (arb 2017)
  • LHP Kris Johnson (arb 2017)
  • OF Andrew Lambo (arb 2017)
  • LHP Jeff Locke (arb 2016)
  • OF Starling Marte (arb 2016)
  • LHP Kyle McPherson (arb 2017)
  • SS Jordy Mercer (arb 2016)
  • RHP Bryan Morris (arb 2016)
  • RHP Stolmy Pimentel (arb 2017)
  • OF Gregory Polanco(arb 2017)
  • C Tony Sanchez (arb 2017)
  • LHP Tony Watson (arb 2015)
  • LHP Justin Wilson (arb 2016)
A pretty good short term mix. Not many guys are due for arb until 2016, so the FO has some time to both evaluate and budget.

We don't expect a lot of turnover on the team. The amount of movement will depend on whether AJ stays and how the Pirates address the 1B/RF situation, which involves a lot of moving pieces. But maybe as soon as 2015 and almost assuredly by 2016, the farm system will start feeding guys to the big club, and that's when the roster will take on a different look.

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