Thursday, November 1, 2018

Notes: Jordy, J-Hay, Kang Free Birds; Hot Stove; Familiar FA's; Fall Stars; Changes; Around MLB & Stuff

The hot stove should begin to fire up shortly...

  • The Rockies released Gerardo Parra; an argument can be made that he'd be a pretty solid guy to land as a fourth OF'er, especially with Gregory's return to action TDB.
  • Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated has a list of the Top 50 FA's and their optimal landing spot. He picks one, IF Asdrubal Cabrera, late of the Phils, as the only one who best matches up with Pittsburgh.
  • SS Jordy Mercer, 2B Josh Harrison & 3B Jung-Ho Kang are officially free agents. JHK is a strong candidate to remain a Buc; it's thought that the Pirates were looking to knock down his $5.5M option to a more affordable base rate with bonuses, as the Yankees just did with Brett Gardner, but with the risk that he could find a another taker. Jordy is more of a long-shot as the market will determine his fate and J-Hay has the longest odds of re-signing with the Pirates.
Will JHK be back? (image Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The first wave of declared free agents with Bucco ties: C Chris Stewart; 1B Steve Pearce, RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Justin Wilson; UT Sean Rodriguez; RHP Jeanmar Gomez; RHP Joakim Soria, IF Chase d'Arnaud, OF Rajai Davis; LHP Ollie Perez; LHP Frankie Liriano; RHP Charlie Morton; RHP Blake Wood; RHP John Axford; LHP JA Happ, OF Andrew McCutchen; 2B Neil Walker; SS Adeiny Hechavarria; OF Matt Joyce; OF Jose Bautista; RHP Drew Hutchison; LHP Zach Duke & RHP Joaquin Benoit. 
  • Scratch Andy Barkett from the batting coach spot, wrote Bill Brink of the Post Gazette. He declined an interview.
  • Altoona's SS Cole Tucker and LHP Blake Weiman were named to the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game (aka the "Fall Stars.") The game will be at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, November 3rd, and aired at 8 PM by MLB Network.
  • Per @pirateprospects, the Bucs have signed OF Patrick Kivlehan to a minor league deal. The much-traveled 28-year-old has nice power, but with a low average, sky-high K rate and isn't much a glove guy (.208 MLB BA in 242 at bats, w/10 HR & 78 K).
  • Darnell Coles has moved from Milwaukee to Arizona, where he will serve as hitting coach as he did with the Brew Crew. Another ex-Bucco, bullpen coach Lee Tunnel, was let go by Brewers.
  • Rod Barajas, who had been managing at AAA El Paso, has been named as the San Diego Padres bench coach.
Hot Rod moving on up... 2012 Topps
  • Some big winter dates: Nov. 3rd is when FA's can begin to wheel and deal; Nov. 6-8th is when the GM's meet in Carlsbad, CA; Nov. 20th is the last day to set the 40-man roster and Nov. 30th is the last day to tender contracts to the arb-eligible guys. All the moves will plow the field for the League Meetings Dec. 9-13th in Las Vegas, capped by the Rule 5 draft on the last day and setting the stage for arb hearings beginning in February.
  • The Mets hired CAA player agent Brodie Van Wagenen (Jacob deGrom was a client) as its new GM. There have been a couple of other agent hires before, but they were guys who had prior front office experience, so this was a bit of an unexpected decision. Many agencies employ their own analytical departments; might be CAA is more up-to-date with current baseball trends & evaluations than the Mets are.
  • Old San Francisco 1B and Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey passed away at age 80. Stretch was the Giant's version of Willie Stargell, a gentle giant beloved by everyone but pitchers. Willie retired with 521 homers, was the 1969 NL-MVP and was named to six All-Star teams.

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