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Thread: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

      
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    Default Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Question: A good place to start would be with your expectations for the coming season, same question as last year.

    Answer: Well, we're in a very different position than this time last year, but I'm enthusiastic about 2010.

    If you look at the moves that were made, with talent coming in at every level, then you look at the impact that talent will have in Pittsburgh in 2010 and beyond, that's encouraging. From there, if you look at the veteran additions Frank and Neal made, it was very strategic and, I think, very effective. They brought in support where the young team was going to need some help.

    Question: You almost have to view 2009 as a bottoming out, don't you?

    You can't keep hovering around 62 or so wins and see that as progress, right?

    Answer: Oh, absolutely. We are going to win more games than last year. We are going to see improvement on the field in Pittsburgh, in terms of wins and loses. We have to.

    I said last year that was my expectation and, midway through the season, we clearly weren't seeing that. And the team took decisive action, made change. That's part of why you have the broader pool from which the pieces will come for 2010 and moving forward.

    Question: Can we expect to see accountability beyond changing the roster?

    Answer: I think, just as you saw accountability at the player level last year, ultimately, my job is very simple: It's to set the level of expectation to win games in Pittsburgh, period. And my tool to do that is to hold people accountable to reach this goal.

    I think I've done that effectively so far, and I believe everyone in the organization understands that the expectation is high.

    Question: You've expressed confidence in Frank and Neal, notably calling them "the single best management team in all of baseball, maybe in all of sports" a couple summers ago ...

    Answer: And I've never backed away from that comment.

    Question: That's what I wanted to ask.

    Answer: I need to believe in and support them. If I ever don't believe in the team, we'll replace the team. We'll make changes. We've made changes along the way.

    Pittsburgh needs to have extraordinarily capable leaders who are focused on the process and driving the team forward. That's what we need to compete, to win.

    Question: When you see some of these prospects about to come up -- Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln -- what's your view of the talent pool that could be in Pittsburgh at some point in 2010?

    Answer: Clearly, we have more depth, more options. And what I'm thrilled about is that Neal has the time and opportunity to make good baseball decisions to be able to pull people up when it's appropriate to the player's development.

    Do we have enough talent?

    Absolutely not.

    We need another great draft. We've had two good ones, and we need to do it again. And again and again. With international signings, we need to keep our focus on that ball, as well. We need to continue to bring in talent at the bottom every way we possibly can, so those options are available in 2010 and, hopefully, those choices become more and more difficult every year.

    Question: You mention international signings. Minnesota ended up signing Sano for a $3.15 million bonus, and the Pirates' final offer was $2.6 million. Did you authorize that the team could spend in the range of the Twins?

    Or was your final offer it?

    Answer: It [Sano's bonus with Minnesota] was comfortably within the range of what we could have paid.

    Question: I understand that the opening-day payroll figure can increase as the season goes along but, at the same time, it's probably going to end up down from the $48 million of last year.

    What went into your thinking?

    Answer: First of all, I think it's never going to be about the total dollars we spend as much as how effectively we put them to use.

    Part of the reason for the payroll level is that we have young players, and it is normal, expected and natural that, as those players mature, those dollars are going to have to come up. That certainly is my expectation.

    But I think we've shown good discipline in building this 2010 team, in that there is lots of flexibility that Neal still has. He's building the team that he thinks will perform best for the coming year but also can still succeed going forward.

    Question: So, Neal can spend more than what we see right now?

    Answer: Absolutely.

    Question: Why not, some might say, just take some heat off yourself and have a $50 million-$55 million payroll?

    Answer: Well, what I really believe is that we've put in place an orderly, systematic plan, and the last thing we can do is divert from that plan or change it, as I've seen done before in Pittsburgh and with other clubs. I believe that the decisions being made are giving the team the best opportunity to compete this year, as well as going forward. I don't want to do anything that handicaps that.

    Look, some of the trades we've made ... would it have been easier not to do those?

    Of course it would have.

    But I really believe we're going in the right direction and that we're being driven by baseball decisions, not financial ones.

    Question: So, your expectation remains that, if this group becomes competitive, you will be able to someday spend at the level of the Brewers and Reds?

    Answer: I think that's expected. I think it's rational. I think it's where Pittsburgh needs to be.

    And we're in that trajectory now. As you see our current core of players -- one I have faith in -- as they mature, the dollars are going to increase. If that needs to be supplemented, we need to have the flexibility to be able to do that.

    Question: You can understand where the general public can look at the payroll with frustration?

    Answer: Again, I understand the focus on that single number. I also strongly believe that is not the right indicator for organization performance or strength. You need to look at our commitments top to bottom, the foundation we've built.

    Question: Do you have any expectation that what just happened with the Marlins could happen to the Pirates?

    Answer: I really can't speak to the Marlins' situation, but what I can say is that, in Pittsburgh, I'm very comfortable that what we're doing is in the best interest of the team. We're using our revenue-sharing dollars appropriately, and we're building a program to improve on-field performance, which is the goal of revenue-sharing.

    Question: So, you have no reason to think the Pirates are next in that regard?

    Answer: Again, I can't speak to what the union might do, or the commissioner's office. But I'm comfortable that we're moving in an appropriate direction. We're using our dollars correctly, efficiently and well. And we're going to continue moving down that path.

    Question: What would you consider a successful 2010?

    Answer: Honestly, I won't be satisfied with any season until we win a championship. Incremental improvement might be encouraging at some level but, in terms of what's satisfactory ... I'll be pleased with a championship season.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10025...#ixzz0dbMMRHn1

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    As tired as Bob Nutting is of answering the inane "spend money" questions I am getting more tired of them.

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    I'm with ya wvkeeper. I was enjoying the article up until the point where DK started on his never ending quest (like a psycho girlfriend that asks you repeatedly if you are cheating on her) to try and pull some sort of information about money and the Pirates that will turn him into a folk hero amongst Pirates fans. It's DK's goal. He's hell bent on asking the same ****ing questions until he gets a different answer or an answer that other Pirates fans believe. It's not going to happen. He;s asked nutting, he';s asked Frank... it's done. you've gotten your answers... move the **** on.

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    The payroll has bottomed out now. It will go up every year for awhile. It will probably get over 60 million maybe even approach 70 million. It will then come crashing down before it goes up again. Players like Cutch and Pedro, Tabata etc will start commanding higher salaries. The payroll will reflect that until the team rebuilds again.

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    I believe!

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lup View Post
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    The payroll has bottomed out now. It will go up every year for awhile. It will probably get over 60 million maybe even approach 70 million. It will then come crashing down before it goes up again. Players like Cutch and Pedro, Tabata etc will start commanding higher salaries. [HIGH-LIGHT]The payroll will reflect that until the team rebuilds again.[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    If the team does things correctly and continue to spend where appropriate in the draft this should be only a 1-2 year thing (meaning the next rebuilding)...not another long, extended, 10-20 year thing.

    Couple things:

    1. I agree with Nutting that the Pirates need to continue to be willing to spend, and spend big if necessary to acquire talent via the draft.

    2. I am very disappointed with the Sano scenario. Maybe he turns out to be nothing, but the fact that we could have matched that...and that the player WANTED to be here more than anything...and now that we DONT have him? Its very, very frustrating. I think that the international market is a place the organization has been grossly deficient at...and that needs to change. The Reds overspent on Chapman, but at least they are going after it. We need to take the chances as well.
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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    I agree about the 1-2 year rebuilding in the future. That should be the case as long as the team does a good job scouting.

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lup View Post
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    I agree about the 1-2 year rebuilding in the future. That should be the case as long as the team does a good job scouting.
    Which is what the whole focus of the management team is...to continue to spend in scouting, drafting, and the international market to keep talent flooding in.
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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    I liked his comments about the draft. That is where this team MUST be successful if it wants to produce a competitive, albeit championship, team.

    That said, the draft is also somewhat of a crapshoot. There are no guarantees. How would we feel if say Pedro Alvarez pulled a stunt like Oakland Athletics outfielder Grant Desme? Top prospect in their organization. 30-30 player in the minors and gives it all up to become a priest.

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    I liked his comments about the draft. That is where this team MUST be successful if it wants to produce a competitive, albeit championship, team.

    That said, the draft is also somewhat of a crapshoot. There are no guarantees. How would we feel if say Pedro Alvarez pulled a stunt like Oakland Athletics outfielder Grant Desme? Top prospect in their organization. 30-30 player in the minors and gives it all up to become a priest.
    You cant fault the organization there though.
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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    If the team does things correctly and continue to spend where appropriate in the draft this should be only a 1-2 year thing (meaning the next rebuilding)...not another long, extended, 10-20 year thing.

    Couple things:

    1. I agree with Nutting that the Pirates need to continue to be willing to spend, and spend big if necessary to acquire talent via the draft.

    2. I am very disappointed with the Sano scenario. Maybe he turns out to be nothing, but the fact that we could have matched that...and that the player WANTED to be here more than anything...and now that we DONT have him? Its very, very frustrating. I think that the international market is a place the organization has been grossly deficient at...and that needs to change. The Reds overspent on Chapman, but at least they are going after it. We need to take the chances as well.
    I commented elsewhere about this being an area that Management (Frank and Neal) are very poor in and need to step it up - Negotiating and signing premier talent. they almost blew the alvarez deal and although Plummer was a ******** and didn't act in favor of his client and pursue the most money for him, it was Frank and Neal's negotiating tactics that turned Plummer away. That has to change ASAP. We can't lose players that we can actually afford and sign because Frank is trying out new "methods" or him and Neal are trying get guys for as low as possible.

    However... the Sano negotiations IMO had nothing to do with Bob nutting. Bob, Frank and Neal have all said that the money was there to exceed what the twins paid. you can't blame bob nutting for that.

    I completely agree about the next 2 year window. The key is definitely drafting. We will never be able to retain all of the talent. Some will be traded and flipped for prospects, but the goal is to make sure that their replacement is drafted etc...

    I was thinking about this today... Our next wave should be in the form of stronger pitching. ZVR and Cain should be the front of that next big wave along with anyone drafted this season. ZVR and Cain are probably what? 3-4 years away if they take the Andrew mcCutchen route and have no injuries. Now you're getting closer to the ends of alvarez and Mccutchen etc... control. I'm sort of thinking out loud trying to figure out what a realistic window should be per turn.

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    You cant fault the organization there though.
    No, but you **** well know that there would be more than enough fans that would fault Bob Nutting. I know... it makes no sense, but the Hater's rarely make any sense anyways

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I commented elsewhere about this being an area that Management (Frank and Neal) are very poor in and need to step it up - Negotiating and signing premier talent. they almost blew the alvarez deal and although Plummer was a ******** and didn't act in favor of his client and pursue the most money for him, it was Frank and Neal's negotiating tactics that turned Plummer away. That has to change ASAP. We can't lose players that we can actually afford and sign because Frank is trying out new "methods" or him and Neal are trying get guys for as low as possible.

    However... the Sano negotiations IMO had nothing to do with Bob nutting. Bob, Frank and Neal have all said that the money was there to exceed what the twins paid. you can't blame bob nutting for that.

    I completely agree about the next 2 year window. The key is definitely drafting. We will never be able to retain all of the talent. Some will be traded and flipped for prospects, but the goal is to make sure that their replacement is drafted etc...

    I was thinking about this today... Our next wave should be in the form of stronger pitching. ZVR and Cain should be the front of that next big wave along with anyone drafted this season. ZVR and Cain are probably what? 3-4 years away if they take the Andrew mcCutchen route and have no injuries. Now you're getting closer to the ends of alvarez and Mccutchen etc... control. I'm sort of thinking out loud trying to figure out what a realistic window should be per turn.
    We clearly agree that we need to get better at signing the premier talent that we have access to. The point is not just to gain access to them, but to actually sign them. No, this is not Bob Nutting's fault...but it is an organizational problem that is worthwhile to address, especially after the owner was asked and brought up that they COULD have signed Sano. Likewise, you bring up the Alvarez situation...it could have gone very badly.

    In terms of drafting well...the fact is that whether the payroll ever pushes the 70M number or not the Pirates have to be COMMITTED to drafting and signing (thus spending BIG) in the draft. Just to add here, I have read in the last couple days that it is possible that Washington would not spend the money to draft and sign Harper...if that's true then the Pirates should and move him to like 1B or 3B--depending on Alvarez. In GENERAL, though, I do agree with you, Kipper, that the Pirates need to start drafting and developing some pitching. The next wave of ZVR and Cain etc probably are good enough and if developed properly could become #1 and #2 starters for us...but they need to continue to draft pitching. Pitching wins championships...and the Pirates don't have enough of it. I do not know if Ranaudo is the answer...maybe Deck McGwire...maybe another...but the fact is that Pirates HAVE to go this way...unless, obviously, Harper is available.
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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I commented elsewhere about this being an area that Management (Frank and Neal) are very poor in and need to step it up - Negotiating and signing premier talent. they almost blew the alvarez deal and although Plummer was a ******** and didn't act in favor of his client and pursue the most money for him, it was Frank and Neal's negotiating tactics that turned Plummer away. That has to change ASAP. We can't lose players that we can actually afford and sign because Frank is trying out new "methods" or him and Neal are trying get guys for as low as possible.

    However... the Sano negotiations IMO had nothing to do with Bob nutting. Bob, Frank and Neal have all said that the money was there to exceed what the twins paid. you can't blame bob nutting for that.

    I completely agree about the next 2 year window. The key is definitely drafting. We will never be able to retain all of the talent. Some will be traded and flipped for prospects, but the goal is to make sure that their replacement is drafted etc...

    I was thinking about this today... Our next wave should be in the form of stronger pitching. ZVR and Cain should be the front of that next big wave along with anyone drafted this season. ZVR and Cain are probably what? 3-4 years away if they take the Andrew mcCutchen route and have no injuries. Now you're getting closer to the ends of alvarez and Mccutchen etc... control. I'm sort of thinking out loud trying to figure out what a realistic window should be per turn.
    There is a disconnect here. Why does Nutting indicate the Pirates are willing to spend, but the GM wants to spend as little as possible to acquire talent. WTF?

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    Default Re: Dejan interviews Bob Nutting

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    We clearly agree that we need to get better at signing the premier talent that we have access to. The point is not just to gain access to them, but to actually sign them. No, this is not Bob Nutting's fault...but it is an organizational problem that is worthwhile to address, especially after the owner was asked and brought up that they COULD have signed Sano. Likewise, you bring up the Alvarez situation...it could have gone very badly.

    It's not organizational. This has nothing to do with coaches, players, scouts and even the owner, so it's not an Organizational problem in a sense that the entire organization is to blame or the reason for the Sano failing. It's a Frank and Neal problem that those TWO guys need to fix and get right starting now because signing drafted players and international players is too big of a need for this organization to screw up


    In terms of drafting well...the fact is that whether the payroll ever pushes the 70M number or not the Pirates have to be COMMITTED to drafting and signing (thus spending BIG) in the draft. Just to add here, I have read in the last couple days that it is possible that Washington would not spend the money to draft and sign Harper...if that's true then the Pirates should and move him to like 1B or 3B--depending on Alvarez.

    Bryce Harper scares the **** out of me. Think Chapman and what the Reds paid him, was a big money risk? Harper is very similar even more. there's even been word from scouts that there's some ugly holes in Harper's swing that can get exposed to better pitching...

    ...but I think you have to make the signing. I'm not convinced that Harper is the best player in this draft and everything about him screams "bust". Strasburg was a no brainer. He competed and succeeded ridiculously at various levels. He was worth that money. Harper IMO isn't, but he's going to get it. Tough decision... very tough decision.


    In GENERAL, though, I do agree with you, Kipper, that the Pirates need to start drafting and developing some pitching. The next wave of ZVR and Cain etc probably are good enough and if developed properly could become #1 and #2 starters for us...but they need to continue to draft pitching. Pitching wins championships...and the Pirates don't have enough of it.

    We've got a lot of pitching, you just aren't aware of it or following it. Look at AA and below in the organization. Neal has drafted some solid arms the past 2 drafts. Last years draft was petty much pitching dominant. Our problem is that in the lower levels, we are lacking impact bats... so when that wave of pitching comes through, the bats are very thin and that worried me about Bryce Harper. sign Bryce Harper and the rest of the draft is definitely going to be Slot or below signings. That's jsut a ton of money to spend to expect overslots elsewhere and I believe that we could use more "better" bats than one potential bust that could be a great bat... but that's me. I'm not big on gambling

    I do not know if Ranaudo is the answer...maybe Deck McGwire...maybe another...but the fact is that Pirates HAVE to go this way...unless, obviously, Harper is available.

    They'll go that way because the first round lacks decent hitting, it's pretty pitcher happy, unless they go the tony Sanchez route but I have no idea what is available lower. If there's some really high potential highschool bats that are going to command a lot of overslot to sign and not goto college... I'd go the same route we did with the 2009 draft. The top spots in this draft don't appear to be as strong as the 2008 draft was
    .

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