Friday, July 1, 2016

Notes: Trade Rumors Heating Up, Minor Moves & Grooves

Tis the season for trade rumors and minor league action to pick up steam...

  • Trade considerations: Mark Melancon, while he has no obvious replacement (Watson? Off season signing?), will be an FA. He'd be in the market tier just beneath Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, and a qualifying offer last year was $15.8M; it may reach $17M this off season. He's in a trade or let walk situation. Matt Joyce is on a one year deal, and Adam Frazier could serve as his doppelganger if he's dealt, replacing pop for versatility. Neftali Feliz is on a one-year contract. So is Freeser; he'd be more difficult to replace than the other pine guys, but may hold more market upside. S-Rod is too, and this may be a sell high point for him. Frankie wouldn't fetch much, but he could be addition by subtraction, as may be the case with Jon Niese as Tyler Glasnow is treading water while awaiting his call. John Jaso was inked as a placeholder for Josh Bell, who is about ready, and is signed through 2017, so he may fetch a shiny bauble. As for Cutch, we think the offers will be juicier in the off season unless someone loses their mind before the deadline. Moving him at low value would be about the dumbest move the FO could make, so only if the price is right... One key will be where the Pirates stand in the wild card race in the last week of July. The FO has shown in the past that they're willing to hang on to guys to remain competitive, and we'd expect that to hold true this campaign.

  • (image via my email)
  • Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball thinks the Bucs will have a mini-selloff, mentioning guys like Frankie, The Shark, Freeser and perhaps, but less likely, Tony Watson, on the block, adding that a Josh Bell callup could add John Jaso to the list.
  • Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth sorts out 2016's buyers & sellers. His take on the Pirates: "This is not time for the Buccos to totally walk the plank. Verdict: Sell ... but don't go nuts." In the same vein, SoE's Will Leitch has the rundown of NL wildcard hopefuls, including the Bucs.
  • Sarah Spencer of has a piece on the Tyler Glasnow and the mental aspect of pitching. 
  • Matthew Van Tryon of the Indianapolis Star had a report on the rough comeback trail being traveled by Justin Masterson.
  • Steven Brault is feeling it again after missing some time on the DL. The Indy lefty tossed five innings of shutout ball yesterday, giving up four hits, two walks and whiffing six after 72 pitches.Brault is still building up arm strength after a long layoff, but in his four AAA starts since rehab, he's gone 15-1/3 IP giving up two earned runs on 12 hits with 19 K.
  • C Ed Easley was released by Indy and Tomas Morales promoted from High A Bradenton, quite a jump. Easley was hitting .174 with a 17% toss-out rate for steals. Morales batted .257 with a 35% CS rate. He bypassed Reese McGuire at Altoona, who we're sure the Bucs prefer to use in daily action, not as a caddy, and the move confirmed Jake Stallings as the Bucs' third catcher. 
  • RHP Jorge Rondon, recently DFA'ed off the 40-man roster, has cleared waivers and was assigned back to Indy.
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