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Thread: Building For The Future - Neil Walker & Others

      
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    emjayinTN's Avatar
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    Default Building For The Future - Neil Walker & Others

    The World Series is over, thereby starting all of the off-season activity in MLB. I think the Pirates are in excellent shape going forward - much better each year, and light years ahead of where we were at 4 or 5 years ago. Three trades made by the Pirates in 2011 have set us up and have not cost the Pirates very much to get legit No.'s 1 and 2 SP's for the Rotation, and a 1B we hope will pick up previous All Star years. My biggest concerns are what we are going to do to lock up our Fondation/Core Players for the foreseeable future. Last year we locked up Andrew McCutchen for 6 years and $51.5 mil, and included a 7th year Club Option. This year I want to see the Pirates wrap up another "up-the-middle-guy" and that is Neil Walker -
    • 3 years averaging 133 games per year - one year called up in June, this year injured.
    • A switchhitter averaging .280 BA, 30 doubles/3 triples/12 HR's/73 RBI/.339 OBP/.763 OPS
    • A steady 2B averaging .988 over the total and his high was .992 in 2011.
    • A great background being the hometown hero from a family that has many professional athletes
    • In 3 years he has made about 35% of what the Pirates paid IWAMURA for 1 year ($4.25 mil)

    Neil is a Super Two meaning he will get 4 years of Arbitration because he is in the top 17% of players with less than 3 years of service, so he qualified. ESPN has predicted he will get between $2.7 and $2.9 mil in his first year of Arbitration. My suggestion would be a long term contract of 5 years for $30 mil with 2 Club Option years added. Start with a $2 mil signing bonus, and then $2.5 mil for 2013, $4.0 mil for 2014, $5.5 mil for 2015, $7.0 mil for 2016, $9 mil for 2017 (first year of FA), $10.5 mil Club Option for 2018 (second year of FA), $11 mil Club Option for 2019. Who else?

    • Pay Hanrahan the $7 mil, JMAC the $3.0 or $3.5 mil, Gaby Sanchez the $2 or $2.5 mil, and Garrett Jones the $4.25 or $4.75, Karstens a minimal increase, and Charlie Morton a minimal increase. I think that is all of the Arbs
    • Pedro Alvarez. Is he moving forward? He is not a Super Two and is scheduled to make 700K in 2013. He will be in Arb 1 after the 2013 season. I thought I knew all of the particulars but then the Pirates brought in Jay Bell as the hitting coach. A hard-nose who preaches, putting the ball in play, strike zone knowledge and discipline, and hitting the ball where it is pitched. That should help Pedro immensely so try this on - $1.5 mil signing bonus, $2.5 mil for 2013, $4.0 mil for 2014, $6 mil for 2015, $8 mil for 2016, $11 mil for 2017 (first year of FA), a $14.0 mil Club Option year in 2018.
    • That's a lot of money to gamble on Pedro, but last year he was .244 BA, 25 doubles/30 HR's/85 RBI/.317 OBP/.784 OPS. Mark Reynolds made $7.5 mil in 2012 to do less than that. It is hard to get 20-25 HR guys, and extremely difficult to find 30+ HR guys. I think he did well last year, but could have done a lot better with a little more discipline at the plate. He has struggled and I think he has matured to the point where he will get better - get more walks, hit for better average, and hit more out of the park. With he, Walker, and 'Cutch signed long term, this team is set for a long time.

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    Default Re: Building For The Future - Neil Walker & Others

    Great thoughts there, I am so ready to hear pitchers and catchers report. They gotta wrap up Walker and Pedro both since they are the key to long term success, which is 3 solid bats out of 8 (not counting the pitcher) who should be here for the next 6 years. Going into next season, if they improve the pitching, I really like their chances.
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    Default Re: Building For The Future - Neil Walker & Others

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Great thoughts there, I am so ready to hear pitchers and catchers report. They gotta wrap up Walker and Pedro both since they are the key to long term success, which is 3 solid bats out of 8 (not counting the pitcher) who should be here for the next 6 years. Going into next season, if they improve the pitching, I really like their chances.
    Thank you. You and the other season ticket holders deserve to see the Pirates ante up by locking up our 3 young studs, and then with Starling Marte and Garrett Jones in the lineup, I think wee will have 5 solid bats. I like Gaby Sanchez a lot and wanted the Pirates to go after him even when it would have cost us some serious prospects in exchange. Getting him for Gorkys was a laugher simply because we had no future use for Gorkys after 2012. I hope the Pirates stand pat and do not waste our energy trying to invent a Catcher for 2013. I am very comfortable putting Michael McKenry out on the field every night, and is it possible for Barmes to not have a year better than what he had in 2012?

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    Default Re: Building For The Future - Neil Walker & Others

    Barmes showed a solid glove and at times a good bat last season. If he can hit between .250-.265 next season, i gotta say i will be happy. The only move in free agency I would want to see them make would be a solid starting pitcher if anything at all. Signing Walker and Maybe Alvarez to long term deals would be the way to go instead of going after outside help.

    I see Jay Bell helping to teach our hitters some plate discipline and how to advance runners by the simple act of bunting, which hurt the Pirates quite a bit last year. I think maybe guys like Tabata, Marte and Snider. He can get Tabata back on track and teach the young guys good habits early. A fresh set of eyes could make a big difference.
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