Friday, January 3, 2014

Questions Yet to be Answered...

As we head into the New Year, the Bucs have been quiet as a mouse during the hot stove season, adding a couple of depth pieces without addressing the holes in the rotation and first base. Throw a coupla more logs in the ol' stove; the Pirates have 10 weeks to...

  • Swing a couple of under-the-radar trades like those that brought Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Jeanmar Gomez and Vic Mazzaro to town.
  • Decide if someone will overpay for Justin Wilson or Tony Watson.
  • Kick themselves in the backside for not tendering AJ Burnett. It's thought now that his decision isn't to whether return to Pittsburgh or not, but to decide if he wants to toss in Baltimore this season. Edison Volquez is not exactly a comparable, and the remaining thinned-out starter market will blow up once Masahiro Tanaka picks a team.
  • Wonder if Scott Boras is going to play nice during Pedro's first arbitration year? Matt Schwartz of MLB Trade Rumors estimates it should cost $4M for El Toro in 2014; it'll be interesting to see if Scott and the brass agree.
  • To agree on a value for Neil Walker and Mark Melancon in their arb cases. Schwartz pegs The Kid's worth at $4.8M and The Shak's at $3.3M.
  • Roll the dice that Andrew Lambo can fill the lefty role at first base. Ditto that some combo of Lambo, Jose Tabata, Travis Snider and/or Jaff Decker can keep RF warm.
  • Hope that both Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon become contributors sometime around the All-Star break or sooner. They are the long-term answer to a couple of short-term question marks in the lineup


Anonymous said...


On AJ, I think the Bucco's should pass at this price level. I like AJ but he is likely to decrease in effectiveness and the $$ could be spent elsewhere.

On 1B it still kills me that the Buccos wont do the obvious move of Pedro across the Diamond where he belongs. You could then either find a 3B or move Walker back to 3B and go get a strong up the middle defender.

Reds and Cardinals have arguably gotten weaker. Assuming Wandy comes back, we have a solid rotation.

I'd be looking for 2B and 3B right now.


Ron Ieraci said...

Dave - I agree that it's a good time to take advantage of the Central; except for the Cards, it's in a down cycle. Still, I wish I could share your optimism re: the rotation (though I thought it sucked last year, too, lol). I'm also concerned about some runs to support the staff. The team could use a bat. The Pirates adapted pretty well on the fly last year, and we'll see if they can repeat.