Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hot Stove League: Pirate Contract Status Going Into the Off Season

The Pirate roster and their contract status; they'll be some decisions to make:

  • AJ
  • A-Ram.
The Bucs are losing 35 years of pretty good baseball between the pair and in AJ's case, a pretty fiery leader.

Under contract: (2016 salary, FA date):
  • Frankie Liriano ($13M - FA 2018)
  • Cutch ($10M - FA 2018/club option)
  • Charlie Morton ($8M - FA 2017/club option
  • Michael Morse ($4.167M - FA 2017, $8M minus $3.833M from LA))
  • Josh Harrison ($5M - FA 2019-20/club options)
  • Starling Marte ($3M - FA 2020-21/club options)
  • Jung-Ho Kang ($2.5M - FA 2019/club option).
They'll all be back. The questions are how soon JHK will be baseball ready again and if Charlie rebounds or is replaced by All-Star time when the young guns are ready to join the show. Just these seven guys will collect $$45.667M in 2016.

Free Agents: (2015 salary):
  • Joakim Soria ($7M) 
  • JA Happ ($6.7M) 
  • Antonio Bastardo ($3.1M) 
  • Corey Hart ($2.5M) 
  • Sean Rodriguez ($1.9M)
  • Joe Blanton ($1M).
Hart may be ready to hang 'em up; his bum knee has never recovered. Soria has stated a desire to close, and is expensive for his role. The Bucs will try to re-up the rest; we'll see if Happ & Bastardo have priced themselves out of the Bucco comfort zone. We'd assume all will declare for FA five days after the World Series, the starting date.
Under Team Control - Arb (Current Salary; 2016 Salary Estimate by Matt Schwartz of MLB Trade Rumors):
  • Neil Walker ($8M) – $10.7M
  • Mark Melancon ($5.4M) – $10.0M
  • Pedro Alvarez ($5.75M) – $8.1M
  • Tony Watson ($1.75M) – $4.6M
  • Jeff Locke ($531K) – $3.5M
  • Vance Worley ($2.45M) – $2.7M
  • Francisco Cervelli ($987.5K) – $2.5M
  • Travis Snider ($2.1M) – $2.4M
  • Jared Hughes ($1.075M) – $2.2M
  • Jordy Mercer ($538K) – $1.8M
  • Chris Stewart ($1.225M) – $1.6M
  • Travis Ishikawa ($1.1M) – $1.2M.
This is an interesting gang. With Kang on ice, the Pirates have a need for The Kid or risk being caught short of infielders. Pedro - and maybe Mark the Shark - may be tendered offers and then shopped. Pedro is a tricky option. He and Michael Morse would be a nice pair of bats at first, but neither guy flashes any leather. We'll see if the FO values D or milks another year from El Toro, even with his value on the rebound, especially to an AL club. He'd leave a hole; Josh Bell isn't ready to take over yet. The Shark may be at his highest value (and closers are often overvalued , and the Bucs have discussed Watson as his heir apparent. Cervelli, Mercer, Watson & Hughes are locks and Stew is likely, too. Locke will get an offer, tho Vanimal is a bit more iffy. The two Travis are maybes. December 2nd is the tender deadline.

Under Team Control (Pre-Arb):
  • Gerrit Cole
  • Gregory Polanco 
  • Arquimedes Caminero
  • Pedro Florimon
  • Jaff Decker
  • Bobby LaFromboise 
  • Andrew Lambo 
  • Rob Scahill
  • Brandon Cumpton
  • Casey Sadler.
Cole, Polanco, and Caminero are of course roster shoo-ins. LaFromboise may earn a look if the Bucs lose Bastardo and the Bucs may elect to keep Decker, who is out of options, as a cheaper alternative to Travis Snider. Maybe they'll still have some love for Florimon, too, as a depth piece. Cumpton will travel a tough road to overcome his injuries, and the other guys, if they hang on, are just depth right now. 

Potential Minor League Jumpers:
  • Jameson Taillon 
  • Nick Kingham 
  • Elias Diaz 
  • Alen Hansen
  • Tyler Glasnow
  • Josh Bell
  • Keon Broxton 
  • Harold Ramirez,
  • Tony Sanchez, 
  • Gift Ngoebe 
  • John Koldzkum 
  • Willie Garcia.
Bell was the only Indy player to make the Baseball America Top Twenty Prospect List, but we'd expect the first half dozen players on the bullet list to arrive on a mid-2016-to-mid-2017 timetable.


Anonymous said...

Lambo and Scahill both still have options remaining. Neither was actually ever technically optioned this year as they spent the majority of the season on the DL.

Ron Ieraci said...

Thx - you're right; Lambo was a brain cramp on my part. In fact, I think he has a couple left. Scahill was sent down during camp, but he did get recalled before Opening Day, so that preserved his option, I guess. Appreciate it; I can figure out an ERA in my head but can't count to three for options, lol!

WilliamJPellas said...

I saw Lambo in person in the opening series of the 2015 season, in Cincinnati, and I still believe in his talent as a hitter. Unfortunately, between his previous (and hopefully behind him) personal problems on one hand, and a steady parade of injuries on the other, he's probably off the team's radar by now. That said, he still OPS'd over .900 at Indy in 2014, and that is getting it done no matter what level of baseball we're discussing. It would be risky, but why not go with him and Morse at first and save the money that would otherwise go to K-dro? Or even Ishikawa and Morse and have Lambo and Snider fight it out for the fourth OF spot? Lambo would figure to be more versatile in that case because he can play first and I don't think Snider has played much there.

Ron Ieraci said...

1B is beaucoup unsettled, Will, so he has a puncher's chance. But he's not even in Pirate City, and in his situation, a lost season could be his last season here. “You can’t make the club in the tub” has been a thing at least 1956, when it was a sign first posted in the Buccos’ clubhouse during the brief Bobby Bragan era.