OT: Raise the Jolly Roger: Offseason at the Crossroads

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Penguins' started by Winger for Hire, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Looks like the Brewers continue to spend within their window. In the aggregate they are not significantly different than the Pirates, but they do seem to have more of a penchant for being very aggressive in going for it.

    Quick reaction is that this renders Cervelli almost untradable at 11.5 million. That might be for the best. Other quick reaction is that the league is profoundly broken. Grandal isn't too much of a stretch to get 4 years and 15 million or so per. Him taking 1, 18.5 is a pretty big red flag. The players should strike in 2021.

    (As an aside, it would be nice if some money at some point ever in these billions and billions could be kicked towards the minor leagues. A fraction of a percent would radically increase their living standards to... basically a living wage).

    Edit: That actually might be wrong re: Cervelli. Now none of the suitors got a catcher and the option is to pay through the roof for Realmuto or pay a more reasonable price for Cervelli. But the contrast between what the two are being paid is pretty extreme, given the risk that would come with Cervelli.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  2. JimmyTwoTimes

    JimmyTwoTimes Registered User

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    This is exactly what the Pirates should be doing. Signing higher end FAs to one year deals. Weve been seeing that lately and its worked out for alot of them. No idea why they refuse to do so.
     
  3. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    Brewers sign Grandel for 1yr/$18m and change.

    Pirates fall further behind and work stoppage odds rise pretty high.
     
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  4. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Yep, we've now seen three divisional teams make substantial improvements this offseason, and the Cubs are probably financially handicapped and won't. I'd assume the Brewers aren't done, and will pluck somebody like Dozier next.
     
  5. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    I know I read about a week ago that the Brewers were talking about trading for MadBum, so there's that too.
     
  6. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    It seems like it could make sense, although if I were the Giants, I'd just wait until the deadline. The only way he'll hurt his value is if he actually gets hurt. Even if he's middling again, you can still offer him up as a postseason legend, which is pretty much what's on offer right now.

    I don't think the Reds are done, either, although I'll still maintain the relative hot take that given our strategy, it's pretty much ideal for the division to be a bloodbath, because then good divisional play + not getting swept a bunch of times by NL East teams in 4-game series will be enough to be right in the thick of the divisional race.

    Still, it's kind of hard to see any kind of viable path forward. The best market gamble given the roster is probably to sign a 2B and have Frazier go back to super utility. The SSs would be nice safety moves, but won't change matters. Machado isn't happening. There's no real point in turning to the OF. Maybe the only lineup move that is speculatively interesting is prying Taylor from the Dodgers, even if it means giving up Cervelli. I'm sympathetic to the idea that he doesn't excel in any way, but he solves the SS problem and gives a security blanket for CF as well. Maybe a lineup with him and Marte on top of it, and some good hitters behind them in Frazier and Chisenhall, could start to make up for the lack of power up and down.
     
  7. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    Dozier to Nats... 1 yr/$9m.

    I can see why the Pirates are scared out of the market. These prices and terms are just crazy :sarcasm:
     
  8. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Passan says the infield market might be about to move quickly. Here's my guess at what's coming: Giants trade MadBum and Panik to the Brewers in exchange for Hiura and another solid player. Brewers pay fairly big for some household names, and Giants get a top-50 prospect for their system.

    Though now apparently the Giants are talking to LeMehieu, so who knows. At least we didn't sign like Tim Beckham or something, but the Brewers getting Grandal is enough to cement some despair for next year.
     
  9. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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  10. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    Now we go to a live look in at the Pirate's offices:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    We need some false hope of Heyman or somebody saying that a mystery team has entered the bidding for Machado.

     
  12. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    The mystery team is totally the Brew Crew, lurking with that one year contract in hand for like $40m
     
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  13. Jaded-Fan

    Jaded-Fan Registered User

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    I hate like hell to defend the Pirates on anything, but it is one thing to say sign this guy or that, but another to do it.

    At this point the brand is so toxic that no one would want to sign with them absent a HUGE over-payment. That is on the Pirates of course, but that is the reality at this point. A convenient for the Nuttings reality, but reality none the less.
     
  14. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Registered User

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    Is this guy throwing shade? "Did their best work in January" sounds like another way of saying "offseason champions." But they're also the defending division champions.
     
  15. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    No, I think he's actually praising their moves. The Cain signing looks fantastic for now, and obviously Yelich worked out well.

    Lowrie to the Brewers would be a true gut shot, and a capstone on this year's tour de force of free agent inaction that NH has run.

    I don't really think there's an abstract problem with the Pirates brand being tarnished or something. They have decisively shifted course to be among the teams who are good enough in the middle of the pack to make some noise in most years. This is on the basis of a reasonably good set of young players to make the team remain viable. We aren't talking about the Marlins or some extremely volatile team. The problem is that Nutting will not spend premium and commit himself to maintaining even the most modest of small market payrolls for a medium-length period, and this is buttressed by his GM also being exceptionally conservative, which I think should be interpreted as relatively separate from whatever constraints are imposed on him (otherwise, why not jump ship to the Giants, who seem poised to keep spending through their rebuild, partly due to necessity of contracts they can't trade).

    But in general, if the Pirates would pay market rates, players would have some chance to win here. For guys like Tulo, maybe that and unsettled bad blood with Hurdle aren't enough, but for other guys who have less options, there's no obvious reason to turn down an offer from the Pirates other than the Pirates not being willing to offer anything in the first place.

    We're probably waiting for Galvis' asking price to crater to about 3 million, and that might be the only move between now and the start of spring training.
     
  16. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    These last 2 FA periods have seem to have been tailor made for the Pirates and their not wanting to shell out for long term FA deals and they've been sitting both of them out. I really don't understand (yes, I know- cheapness).
     
  17. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    I'm just glad we're not the only ones seeing it this way:

     
  18. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Yes, and to be clear I think that is better given that we were already expected to be 4th. Divisional bloodbaths favor less wins to take the division, so it lowers the overall bar of the number of wins we need. That's good whether we follow this absurd conservative approach or not. But right now, 3+ win players are hanging on the vine for no commitment other than one year, moderate investments.

    Although we haven't been linked to him, Lowrie is probably the one guy to get hopes up about. He's older than some of the other players, and so might be more stubborn in terms of wanting to get a longer contract. It isn't quite the same thing, but if you spent 3 years, 35 million or something, you could hope to get two good years out of him, including maybe some time covering SS while Gonzalez, Newman, and eventually Tucker get some looks. It wouldn't light the world on fire but in a tough division, it gives you a chance that you might turn your biggest offensive weakness into a strength. If you buy into his power potential, which is an open question in PNC, it would be more than worth the gamble.
     
  19. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    6 clubs in talks to acquire J.T. Realmuto

    The fact that so many teams are still in on Realmuto is probably a good sign, although I'm not sure what kind of useful offers many of these teams could give for Cervelli, so it could very well be a bad sign, if the intent is to move Cervelli's salary wholesale for someone who amounts to Colin Moran at a different position. [As a sidenote, we need to consistently berate Moran for the rest of the offseason, so that maybe he'll develop his power stroke finally, at which point he'll actually be an extremely useful player.]

    The optimal scenario seems to be the Dodgers missing him and then turning to Cervelli. I think the smoke around the Stripling situation is enough that there's something there, and certainly he makes sense as a bridge to Ruiz, which seems to be more of a Friedman-like move than trading Ruiz in a deal for Realmuto (though the Marlins could **** it all up and take Hedges and some other prospects, maybe Verdugo, which does make sense if the Dodgers will sign Harper).

    I think it would take something like sending 5 million with Cervelli to offset some of the gamble, and in that case maybe the pretty good value in Stripling, or the more appealing (IMO) Taylor can come back. So, in other words, the optimal scenario seems highly unlikely.
     
  20. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Slow day, so I'm trudging Pirates twitter and found this take as a galaxy brain blockbuster:



    Obviously never happening, but fun to think about. It's surprising that the Pirates would be linked to Verdugo, but IIRC that guy has come up with fairly wild rumors before. Who knows, maybe his name was floated in a Cervelli deal.

    With the Dodgers previous interest in Vazquez, it would be interesting to see what kind of package might return around Cervelli and Vazquez. It would be a big blow to the bullpen, but if you could start talking names like Verdugo, Stripling, Taylor, then it would be taking a strength and getting value spread back across several positions. It's hard to really even gauge what Vazquez's value would be, since none of the big closer trades are good analogues. At 27 with 5 years of control and insane stuff, it's not inconceivable that he could garner several very good young pieces either in the majors already or in the high minors.

    That would be an outside the box way to make an aggressive move, although I think it's just too simple to look at the Dodgers as a fantasy assemblage of young talent. They could conceivably put together a package with Verdugo, Stripling, Taylor, and Will Smith and not be doing significant damage to their long-term prospects. They'd lose their #1 and #5 prospects and a promising young pitcher and at this point luxury utility player, but the core would be entirely in tact and they'd keep Kelbert Ruiz, maybe be poised to grab Harper. All 4 of those players could basically play right away for us, though maybe Verdugo would get some time in AAA since there's nowhere to play for him until Dickerson is gone.

    tldr; is that the Dodgers system presents a lot of opportunities to sort of reimagine a Cole-type trade except for better pieces all around.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  21. DocEmrickSkitters

    DocEmrickSkitters Registered User

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    Dumb question: is Verdugo actually good? I don't want to overly scout the box score, but I'm seeing a guy that hasn't had great numbers at any level - since the PCL doesn't really count - since 91 ABs in 2015. I know he's been promoted aggressively and consistently young for the levels he's played at, but I wonder if he's one of these prospects that would be ranked like #80 if he wasn't in the Dodgers system. He feels like Lucas Giolito did when the Nationals traded him a couple of years ago...just on the precipice of going to "post hype" and a more realistic assessment of the player. Again, this could be me overly scouting the box score.

    Having said that, that trade is a runaway win for the Pirates. Marte and Taylor is basically a fair 1x1 swap so then it becomes Cervelli for Verdugo, Stripling and that other catching prospect. It might take something like Cole Tucker to make it fair. Alternatively, you know that LAD would target Vazquez in any trade they'd do with the Pirates and so maybe we'd throw him in (since we're kinda in fantasyland anyway) and the Dodgers would throw in one of their other top prospects.
     
  22. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    I'm a big Will Smith fan, so much so I'm not going to make a Fresh Prince joke.

    I don't want to make a straight Realmuto comp, but his athleticism is right there with JT's. The defense has looked MLB ready for a while now and his bat has shown he won't be a defense only catcher. I think he could be a high OBP catcher like Cervelli, but with a power ceiling like Russ Martin.

    I know Keibert is rated higher my most, if not all, industry voices, but I really like the overall package of Smith better. If they can snag him in a deal, I'd consider it a very good addition and a big step in a good direction for the post-Archer deal team.
     
  23. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    I think the book on Verdugo is that he hasn't really had the in-game power show up, and isn't a sure thing in terms of playing CF, with only decent speed. But he has an elite arm, and his hit tool is very good, as is his approach at the plate. Pirates twitter seems to be comparing him to Swaggerty, which seems to make sense in a generic way. It's a bit strange to me that the Dodgers won't just play him next year, but I don't think he's overrated simply because he's in their system.

    I agree with you Winger, I like Smith a whole lot. The upside of getting a good catcher to pair with Diaz going forward, along with a SS/CF option, another good arm, and Verdugo is a pretty tantalizing package. Vazquez's surplus likely lands all this, and if you hit on all four of the players, it would really solidify some positions. It or something like it maybe isn't entirely insane if the Dodgers really like Ruiz, because if they would already be entangled with Verdugo and a catcher for Realmuto, then the potential package of Cervelli + Vazquez would give them some upside in the bridge gamble at catcher, and an elite bullpen arm that they've definitely coveted before.

    The only thing is, it leaves them still in need of an OF, but that's where Harper or something else would enter in. Having said all that, I wouldn't read very much into this report linking us to Verdugo. While I'm sure we would be interested in a general way, there's a lot of triangularization here to be really plausible... I wouldn't be shocked to see us continue to be connected with the Dodgers because there's some good potential for a couple types of deals, but the ideas being kicked around seem too blockbuster-ish. If you could actually get the Dodgers interested in such a deal, then it would make a hell of a lot of sense. Kela + Vazquez isn't a luxury by any means, but when you are an 82-win team with some clear areas to upgrade, using Vazquez to do accomplish precisely that practically writes itself. Kela has closer experience and is controlled through 2020, and you can use Crick and RichRod in the backend. Longer-term, Santana is back and you might have Kuhl in a bullpen role as well.

    Bullpens and bullpen arms can be pretty fickle. Right now it seems like a lock that we have a very good to great one lined up, which will be an important factor in any wins north of 82. But if you could turn over some talent for multiple MLB-ready pieces, then I think it's a no brainer to retool the bullpen and take your chances on that working out. It's unlikely that Vazquez could be easily replaced (especially with Hearn gone), but this kind of deal would make us very interesting in 2019, and maybe even moreso in 2020, when you'd have:

    SP: Archer, Taillon, Keller, Musgrove, Williams, Stripling (one of the latter three as a swingman, but maybe one of the SPs hurt)
    RP: Kela, Crick, Rodriguez, Santana, Kuhl, Kingham/whoever
    C: Diaz, Smith
    1B: Bell
    2B: Frazier
    SS: Tucker
    3B: Hayes
    LF: Verdugo
    CF: Marte
    RF: Polanco
    Bench: Taylor, Moran, Reynolds, Newman, Kramer

    Just as a lightning fast sketch- obviously, Taylor could slot in at 2B or SS, and a number of players would enable us to do what a lot of teams do and have multiple utility-ish options (this tends to be how it works out over a long season anyways).
     
  24. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Another one bites the dust. 2 years, probably around 20 million. Eminently affordable, 4 WAR last year, likely to be 2 WAR at worst.
     
  25. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    Mets are making some good moves
     

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