Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weekend Notes: Hot Stove, On & Off Field Action & Accolades, Ex Bucco News

  • Hot stove stuff from Rob Biertempfel of the Trib: "The Pirates are listening to trade offers for Neil Walker and recently had talks with the Baltimore Orioles about the second baseman, per industry sources." He quickly added the talks were "stalled" because the Bucs are asking a high price. It's was tough to see a MLB match between the clubs anyway; the O's are also looking for pitching and already have a lot of high-priced players on their roster, tho relievers Zach Britton or Brian Matusz could interest the FO. TSN notes "Teams like the Mets and Yankees, who can offer young talent and an everyday spot for Walker at second base, make more sense as trade partners."
  • The other two candidates considered on the market are Pedro (doh!) who was thought to be dangled unsuccessfully last year and will be in his walk season after 2016, plus Mark the Shark, who is line to earn $10M and in his last arb season. He may be a tougher sale; there are several high-end closers that are either FAs or available for the right price. Pedro's 27 HR should make him somewhat desirable as at least an AL-DH, though his glove and inability to hit lefties will keep his potential return value down.
  • Cutch finished fifth in the NL MVP voting, behind winner Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo. Gerrit Cole got one eighth-place vote to come in 19th.Andrew did take home one award, tho - he won the Esurance MLB Award for Best Player-Fan Interaction for giving those kids in San Diego his wrist bands.
  • Jung-Ho Kang came in a distant third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting behind runner-up Matt Duffy of the Giants and the unanimous winner, the Cubbies' Kris Bryant. JHK is beginning rehab, although it's still too early to give an accurate date of return; we're guessing sometime in May.
  • Gerrit Cole came in fourth in the Cy Young balloting won by Jake Arietta, with Zack Grienke and Clayton Kershaw second and third. Pretty fast company... Mark the Shark got a couple of votes tossed his way, too, finishing eighth. 
  • The Pirates added RHP Tyler Glasnow, 1B Josh Bell, OF Harold Ramirez and IF Max Moroff to the 40-man roster
  • IF Adam Frazier was named to the All-World Team of the recent Premier 12 (World) tournament. He batted .333 for the US squad.
  • Rumbunter has a all you need to know recap of the Pirates Arizona Fall league prospects. 
  • The Bucs inked indy league RHP Patrick Johnson, 27, who won 15 game with a 2.08 ERA pitching for Sioux City. It's a minor league deal with an invite to camp.
Exec/Off Field:
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN picked his top GM's of the Year (behind the Insider's subscription wall) and Neal Huntington was his choice for best small market exec because of his ability to find "Good talent at good prices."
  • The Pirates hired Mike Mangan as Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting. He was a national cross-checker of amateur players for the Jays and had been with Toronto since 1999 in the same position.
  • Pirates Opening Day has been switched from April 4th to the 3rd, a Sunday. The game will begin at 1:35 and be the first game of the 2016 MLB season. The contest will be on ESPN.
  • This year the Pirates' last exhibition will be at Victory Field at Indy against the Reds on April 2nd. It is already sold out, and is in fact the quickest sell out on VF history.
  • The Pirates do a great job of community support, and a lot of it is because of an active group of alumni. Family Hospice's anniversary soiree included story-telling ex-Buccos Steve Blass, Manny Sanguillen and Kent Tekulve, along with announcers Greg Brown & Paul Alexander.
 Former Bucs in the news:
  • Clint's old bench coach Jeff Banister won the AL Manager of the year after leading the Rangers from worst to first in the division last season. 
  • RHP Yhonathan Barrios, a hard-throwing hurler who was sent to the Brewers in exchange for  A-Ram, is turning some heads in Milwaukee. The reliever (who can touch 100) is on the 40-man and pitched well for them in a September call up.
  • RHP Blake Wood, Indy's closer last year (3.53 ERA, 29 saves), signed a deal with the Reds.
  • With Daniel Murphy turning down the Met's qualifying offer, Michael Salfino of the Wall Street Journal wonders if it's time for ex-Bucco 2B prospect Dilson Herrera, traded to NY  in 2013 as part of the Marlon Byrd deal, to take over.
  • RHP Jesse Chavez, who was dealt to the Rays for Akinori Iwamura in a not-so-hot deal, was dealt to Toronto. After six seasons as a reliever, the Oakland A's turned him into a starter and he's been pretty solid holding up the back end of their rotation.
  • Veteran LHP Sean Burnett, who pitched three years for the Bucs, signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nats with a camp invite.
  • RHP Chris Leroux, who worked parts of 2010-13 for the Pirates, was signed by the Phillies.
  • The Cubs signed converted infielder turned reliever RHP Andury Acevedo and placed him on the 40-man. The Bucs set him free in 2012, and he signed on with the Yankees.
  • The Astros released OF Robby Grossman, who the Bucs sent to Houston as part of the Wandy Rodriguez deal. 
  • LHP Wei-Chung Wang, Buc minor leaguer who the Brewers took in a stealth 2013 Rule 5 claim, was left unprotected by Milwaukee after they had carried him on the active roster for two seasons.

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