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Thread: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

      
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    Default The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Sometime soon the “best Management Team” in baseball will be looking at Neal Huntington and deciding to extend him or go in another direction. Let me preface this by saying you have to make this decision based upon the now, not the would could be, because his contract is up. Let’s look at his deals and see how he is doing.



    Evan Meek – I give Neal his highest marks in picking this guy up. One of the few times we have heard of the guy with the power arm actually hitting the numbers we heard. Meek really has learned how to pitch this year and not just be a thrower. He is the future closer and I give Neal an A for this move.



    Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Karstens for Nady and Marte. Again another high mark for Neal. Ross is a bright guy who you can see using it as a pitcher. Tabata looks to have a high ceiling and cleaning up some personal stuff. The only thing missing appears to be power. Karstens is like a Josh Fogg guy, I like his makeup. Nady is looking poor with his injuries and Marte despite playoff success is not doing great. However at the time of the trade he was dominate on left-handers. Grade B+ with the potential of Tabata to make it an A+





    Gorzo and Grabow for Hart and Ascanio. Well this one goes down as an F for now. Gorzo never really got a second chance and is doing very well for the Cubs. Grabow isn’t but does have a good track record. By biggest problem with this trade was dealing two left-handers within the division and not getting a lefty back or another position of need. If Hart does come back it could change but again we don’t have the time for that to happen.



    Bay for Laroche, Morris, Moss, and Hansen. Well this is the marquee trade. Many will argue the Pirates would never have signed Bay anyhow. That is not a fair argument. He had a 1 ½ year contract. He preformed well for the Red Sox. Moss is a flop, Hansen is probably done. Laroche is a guy I really do like. The key will be Morris, who has done exceptionally well in A ball. He is 3 years away though and as we know with the Pirates a Tommy John surgery always seems to be on the horizon for our pitchers. Sorry the best I can give the Deal now is a D. Yes it could improve to a B or better all depending on Morris and the improvement of Laroche.



    McClouth for Locke, Hernandez and Morton. This is the trade that upset me the most. It had to do with integrity of the organization signing Nate and saying he is a core player. Some argue that Huntington realized he made a mistake and got the most he could at the player’s highest value. I will never buy that theory. Nate has been bad as a Brave, Morton has been pretty bad as a Pirate but I at least see that the guy does have an arm. Locke has started to come on at A ball but again, he is 2-3 years away. Hernandez has been poor with no power and a Mendoza like average in the minors. I say it has been a slightly better than even trade for the Pirates so a C+ but it definitely can improve if Locke continues on and Morton starts getting his stuff over the plate.



    Wilson for Clement and Cedeno. Didn’t like it when it happened, don’t like it now. Clement does have some power, but he doesn’t appear to have a clue on adapting to hitting. Cedeno has disaapointed the Pirates with mental lapses. Wilson has been hurt, and is aging. I would have to rate this a C- . It depends on Clement and I think you left a gap at shortstop with Cedeno.




    Sanchez for Alderson – I loved Freddy and he did have a National League batting championship. The pitcher we got seems to have lost something off his fastball, Freddy is always hurt. I call it even with the Pirates having the ability to win this trade if he gets healthy and can become the pitcher they thought he would be. Grade C




    Morgan and Burnett for Milledge and Hanrahan – I will say I thought Morgan was way overated as a fielder and his exciting catches were the result of misplaying the ball to begin with and the fact he was a poor base runner despite his speed. Burnett was left-handed and by trading him hurt Russel and his options. Milledge unfortunately has no power, where it has gone is up for debate. Hanrahan has pitched well and is in the role he needs to be in. He is a type of pitcher Neal likes, power. I rate this trade as even. Although I think the Pirates may be better with Morgan leading off than what they do now. Grade C


    Jaramillo for Jogging Ronnie. A+, I like this guy a lot. Great arm and decent bat.



    Aki for Chavez - Again this is a big F for me. I understood trying to fill a gap at second. I disagree with the approach.



    Free agents.


    Church – B+, finally a good signing, I like how he plays the game.

    Hinske – F, but I blame that on Eric, he was a quitter here.

    Vasquez – F, he sucked.

    Gomez – D, couldn’t play much infield, poor hitter.

    Dotel – C+ so far, he looks like he has a little bit left.

    Crosby – C, great spring but doesn’t look like he has all that much left.

    Donnie Veal – C+ with potential to go higher. He has the arm, will he get the accuracy to go with it?

    Garrett Jones - B+ could go back to an A if he hits better like last year. Still a great pick with no risk.

    D Young - B, he is a very good pinch hitter, something this team lacked for a long time. If that is all he ever does and does it well it is good.

    Hiring of JR. I am giving this a D. Too many times I have seen him fail to even go out to argue an obvious call. I think the team reflects that sometimes, almost like it is ok, we are the Pirates so why not expect calls against us. It is hard to judge how good or bad he is because he is playing with a bad hand.


    Draft – I am going to give Neal his best marks here. However we won’t know until they actually make it to the bigs. For every great player there is a Bixler in the wings.


    Failure to sign Sano and Scheppers – These are two that bug me. You Pay Aki 4.5 million and this could have gone to these two. The Sano thing looked to be the Pirates overestimating their pull with Gayo. Also we have to throw in the Matt Capps fiasco. All three of these to me, were major failures on the Pirates part. Take the money wasted on Aki, Hinkske, Vasquez and you could have had the two young guys with money to spare.


    Summary

    I am not a big fan of Neal Huntington, I admit that. I have found many of his and the organization's statements to be ludicrous such as the "Lefthanders are overated and We aren't breaking up the 27 Yanks." Coupled with Coonley's new Dynasty statement and the "Best Management Team" I am sure many of you will disagree with my opinion but I thought that was what this board was for. Trust me, I have no problems with disagreement. However keep in mind that you have to make the decision on him before the year is up. So do you keep him or not? Based on what I have seen, I see the Pirates slightly improving in the next two years, but not enough to be a playoff caliber team. I think he has made to many obvious mistakes that you will not get there from here. In his biggest trades he has failed to get the blue chip guy that gives me hope. His plan fails to address critical needs of this team specifically at short, 2nd and power from anywhere. That coupled with the wasting of resources (Aki, Hinske, Vasquez and getting something for Capps) are why I don't go longer with him. Have at it. Interested is seeing responses.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Pretty well thought out. I give the writer an A-.

    My thoughts are fairly simple here. No one ever has a perfect trade/signing record. Never has, never will. While it is fairly easy to point out the flaws, I still think the direction they have chosen is the proper one. Money spent can not be the only barometer, for it is HOW the money available is being utilized. They have invested in the farm teams and eventually this will pay off.

    Will it guarantee a WS ring? No idea, but to bring in another GM with his own people and philosophy would be a huge setback at this stage. Let it run its course for another few years and see what happens. If nothing else, with the kids now in the lower ranks moving up, at least a new guy will have more to work with than Huntington did when he came in.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Very neat thread topic! Thanks for taking the time!

    It seems that you are basing your grades primarily on how you feel about the players or their progress. I understand you are trying to grade NH based on how certain players are performing, but I'm not sure how fair that is. Personally, I would grade him on the thought process behind the trades / signings / demotions / cuts.

    For example, it was very emotional for many fans to say goodbye to Capps, but to me the logic of releasing him was solid. McClouth was another tough one. But...

    I give him an overall grade of an A and will extend him based on the plan and his committment of executing it. He had to take risks and he did. As with any trade, not all players will work out so you have to play the odds. I personally like his gambling style.

    He has stocked the minors and we finally have some pretty young depth at each position. We weren't going anywhere with what we had. Now at least we have a chance.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Sometime soon the “best Management Team” in baseball will be looking at Neal Huntington and deciding to extend him or go in another direction. Let me preface this by saying you have to make this decision based upon the now, not the would could be, because his contract is up. Let’s look at his deals and see how he is doing.
    Not True. You can make a decision based on where you believe the organization is positioned going forward, based on the draft and the entire system. I highly doubt that Frank Coonelly or any GM would use flawed logic of only evaluating trades in a buyers market or some cheap gamble free agent pick ups for a team that was gutted and in the process of a major rebuild.

    Secondly... DROP the Sano thing. He wasn't "NOT SIGNED" because we didn't pay him. He wasn't signed because his agent didn't return a call to Neal Huntington. Say that Neal Huntington botched the negotiations on that one all you want because there was a screw up there but Sano wasn't signed because Hutnington wasn't allowed a counteroffer.

    Third.... Tanner Scheppers was seriously injured and came in for his tryout throwing like he was a cripple when him and his "advisor" said otherwise. He wasn't given what he wanted because his injury was too big of a risk at the time for he wanted. Considering how arms are... this is something you have to let play out. That original arm injury could come back into play. Hindsight is great (like you're using right now) but most Pirates fans at the time were supportive of Scheppers not being signed because of his injury + asking price + his arm being nowherer near where it was supposed to be at the time of the tryout. I'm one of them. A good arm would be nice but I wouldn't have taken that risk not with how injured arms have panned out for the Pirates in the end.

    There's hits and there's misses like every GM has. It's not like Neal Huntington inherited Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Sergei Gonchar, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski and Max Talbot. He inherited a bunch of guys exiting their primes at the end of their contracts with virtually NO decent youth in the system outside of Andrew McCutchen. There was NL GM's saying that it would take up to 8 years to rebuild this entire organization.

    Neal Huntington is likely going to get extended as logic would dictate because Frank is going to allow Neal to see how some of his draft picks and trades truly perform. Neal has spent his first 2-3 seasons gutting and rebuilding, there's no way they are going to evaluate him fully based on the record of the MLB team since 2008 or how a very small sampling of his decisions have done.
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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

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    Pretty well thought out. I give the writer an A-.

    My thoughts are fairly simple here. No one ever has a perfect trade/signing record. Never has, never will. While it is fairly easy to point out the flaws, I still think the direction they have chosen is the proper one. Money spent can not be the only barometer, for it is HOW the money available is being utilized. They have invested in the farm teams and eventually this will pay off.

    Will it guarantee a WS ring? No idea, but to bring in another GM with his own people and philosophy would be a huge setback at this stage. Let it run its course for another few years and see what happens. If nothing else, with the kids now in the lower ranks moving up, at least a new guy will have more to work with than Huntington did when he came in.
    I would take an A- anytime. You have a great point about letting it play out, the question is why are they not acting on it now then? This starts to be an issue on draft day and trade deadline. What about JR? His extention to me, would be in the same line. I agree no one is perfect on trades, but for a team like the Pirates you have to be better than 50/50, especially in the big trades.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    I would take an A- anytime. You have a great point about letting it play out, the question is why are they not acting on it now then? This starts to be an issue on draft day and trade deadline. What about JR? His extention to me, would be in the same line. I agree no one is perfect on trades, but for a team like the Pirates you have to be better than 50/50, especially in the big trades.
    I think you and others are probably reading into more of the extension not being given out than there is to it. I've thought about it a few times too but I think they are just waiting and will hand it out later.

    Russell... who knows. I think Huntington makes that decision at the end of the season.

    It's also still too early to grade these trades entirely. These guys are all still young and inexperienced, learning their way.
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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

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    Very neat thread topic! Thanks for taking the time!

    It seems that you are basing your grades primarily on how you feel about the players or their progress. I understand you are trying to grade NH based on how certain players are performing, but I'm not sure how fair that is. Personally, I would grade him on the thought process behind the trades / signings / demotions / cuts.

    For example, it was very emotional for many fans to say goodbye to Capps, but to me the logic of releasing him was solid. McClouth was another tough one. But...

    I give him an overall grade of an A and will extend him based on the plan and his committment of executing it. He had to take risks and he did. As with any trade, not all players will work out so you have to play the odds. I personally like his gambling style.

    He has stocked the minors and we finally have some pretty young depth at each position. We weren't going anywhere with what we had. Now at least we have a chance.

    Good point on the thoughts behind the trades. My concern is that in the Bay and Nate trade we didn't get 2nd, ss or power hitting, which is what is lacking in the organization. That would have set up other trades. One could argue the pitching depth was so bad that they needed pitching. Same thing with trading all you lefthanders. Good for you if you think Neal deserves an A. I hope you are right.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

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    Good point on the thoughts behind the trades. My concern is that in the Bay and Nate trade we didn't get 2nd, ss or power hitting, which is what is lacking in the organization. That would have set up other trades. One could argue the pitching depth was so bad that they needed pitching. Same thing with trading all you lefthanders. Good for you if you think Neal deserves an A. I hope you are right.
    You can only get what is being offered in a trade. During the Bay and Nady deals it was a buyers market and we were lacking teams to deal with. We might have jumped too soon on Nady but the guy had been considered a platoon hitter by every GM a few months earlier that winter. No doubt Huntington jumped when someone offered a starters return.

    Bay... there were better deals that kept disappearing. Tampa Bay kept taking player after player away. A nice deal was there with Florida and the Marlins bailed out fo the 3 way with Pittsburgh and Boston in which Los Angeles entered at the last minute.

    Bay and Nady were going. They were too "hot" to hold onto and risk one getting injured or getting cold and their value slipping. they were getting traded for then and there. Who knows what was available but when you looked at the teams the Pirates dealt with, they didn't really have the 2B, SS and power hitter high up there in their prospects list and it's questionable if they had whether they would give them up. Teams don't trade away young power hitters for old ones too often. 2B and SS that can field and hit aren't easy to find.

    Andy Laroche was a top 2 prospect in the Dodgers oprganization, hell delwyn Young was #9 in 08 or 07
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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I think you and others are probably reading into more of the extension not being given out than there is to it. I've thought about it a few times too but I think they are just waiting and will hand it out later.

    Russell... who knows. I think Huntington makes that decision at the end of the season.

    It's also still too early to grade these trades entirely. These guys are all still young and inexperienced, learning their way.

    Kip,

    I prefaced the trades as for the now, because he is in the final year. Some definately could look better as I pointed out. I just think it is a great topic to bring up and get discussion on. We are going to disagree on the Sano point, it happened under his watch, so to speak, so I do think it applies. I know the agent was screwy but it looks like Gayo didn't listen either. Scheppers, I would only say, why draft him at all then? I would much rather waste money on him than Hinske or Vasquez. As always though I value your opinion even if we disagree. Note that I really did credit to him where I feel he deserved it.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    One could argue the pitching depth was so bad that they needed pitching. Same thing with trading all you lefthanders. Good for you if you think Neal deserves an A. I hope you are right.
    I never graded Neal Huntington and won't. I'm at the Incomplete stage.

    The pitching depth, hitting depth, defensive depth, power depth... there wasn't anything in this organization that wasn't needed when Huntington took over. Nothing. His trades got MLB ready pitchers, Minor Leagues pitchers, MLB position players, minor league position players... He spread it out. With how depleted this system was, Huntington went the "quantity route", and maybe he could've gotten a better prospect had he gone the "quality" route in his trades, but both were needed. We needed a lot of talent in the system, we needed some talent at the high minors, we needed legit future talent... You aren't going to get everything you want or the organization needs from a few trades in a buyers market.
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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

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    You can only get what is being offered in a trade. During the Bay and Nady deals it was a buyers market and we were lacking teams to deal with. We might have jumped too soon on Nady but the guy had been considered a platoon hitter by every GM a few months earlier that winter. No doubt Huntington jumped when someone offered a starters return.

    Bay... there were better deals that kept disappearing. Tampa Bay kept taking player after player away. A nice deal was there with Florida and the Marlins bailed out fo the 3 way with Pittsburgh and Boston in which Los Angeles entered at the last minute.

    Bay and Nady were going. They were too "hot" to hold onto and risk one getting injured or getting cold and their value slipping. they were getting traded for then and there. Who knows what was available but when you looked at the teams the Pirates dealt with, they didn't really have the 2B, SS and power hitter high up there in their prospects list and it's questionable if they had whether they would give them up. Teams don't trade away young power hitters for old ones too often. 2B and SS that can field and hit aren't easy to find.

    Andy Laroche was a top 2 prospect in the Dodgers oprganization, hell delwyn Young was #9 in 08 or 07
    No problem with Nady deal at all. As for Bay, I felt they rushed that one. True any player could get hot or cold. I already said I like Andy Laroche, I think he will devel2op even more power. Bay was a 30 homer 100 RBI guy, in his case, you demand a position player where you need one or move on to another team. In his case they would have had the whole off-season.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    Kip,

    I prefaced the trades as for the now, because he is in the final year. Some definately could look better as I pointed out. I just think it is a great topic to bring up and get discussion on. We are going to disagree on the Sano point, it happened under his watch, so to speak, so I do think it applies. I know the agent was screwy but it looks like Gayo didn't listen either. Scheppers, I would only say, why draft him at all then? I would much rather waste money on him than Hinske or Vasquez. As always though I value your opinion even if we disagree. Note that I really did credit to him where I feel he deserved it.
    They drafted him because he could've been a nice risk guy. He fell down because of his injury and the "advisor" said that Scheppers was rebounded. Other teams weren't willing to take that chance (which is why he fell so far down) and the Pirates were. Unfortunately, when it came time to throw for the Pirates, Scheppers had no velocity and wouldn't throw a breaking ball. No ****ing way they or any other team was going to give Scheppers the 1st Round money he wanted.

    They took a gamble, didn't sign him, got a conditional pick in the first of 2009 for Scheppers.

    No doubt that Huntington and Gayo tried to circumvent the discussions with Plummer. Maybe it ****ed Plummer off, maybe Plummer used that all as an excuse to help a personal close friend who just happened to be the GM for Minnesota. Who knows. What we do know and have heard was that the Pirates were willing to spend to sign Sano and weren't given the shot. I just don't want to hear about money being a factor in it because it's not true. the negotiations and such were handled poorly all around and that can't happen.

    It's a decent topic for some, I agree. Who doesn't like to throw out grades? I just don't think you can fairly assess anything right now. For anyone saying that X trade gets Y grade because of this small sampling, I'm simply going to disagree with because I can't see a way one can truly rationally grade, not in an entirety at least.

    IF, Frank is on the fence with Neal, I think that the breaker is going to be what's happening in the minor leagues with the players drafted and traded for more than the team at the MLB level. That's just me. I can't see a ton of weight being put on guys like Milledge, Laroche, Morton, Clement who have such small sample sizes at the MLB level. who knows, those small sample sizes might save Huntington
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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    No problem with Nady deal at all. As for Bay, I felt they rushed that one. True any player could get hot or cold. I already said I like Andy Laroche, I think he will devel2op even more power. Bay was a 30 homer 100 RBI guy, in his case, you demand a position player where you need one or move on to another team. In his case they would have had the whole off-season.
    Rushed Bay? the Bay trade was done at the last minute of the trade deadline. 2 prior deals had been done.

    you have to remember, in order to make a trade you need to find a team that needs what you are trying to trade. There's not a lot of teams that are willing to give up a bunch of prospects for a LF.

    Sure they could've had the whole off season. Maybe they could've waited but who knows. It took Bay almost all off season this past year to get a deal as team after team backed off. Then there is the "present" and the present at that time of trading Bay was that Bay was very hot and he also could get cold or get another injury like the one that affected his entire 2007 season. It's a gamble. Hold onto Bay and risk that or trade him at that peak. They traded him. It might or might not have been the best decision or timing. At the time I felt it was the right thing to do. Bay was at 30 years of age with a bad back and knees, no sense in gambling.
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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    It's a decent topic for some, I agree. Who doesn't like to throw out grades? I just don't think you can fairly assess anything right now. For anyone saying that X trade gets Y grade because of this small sampling, I'm simply going to disagree with because I can't see a way one can truly rationally grade, not in an entirety at least.


    Never said it was fair, only that he is in the last year of the contract, you don't have a choice. If you truly think the organization is on the right path, why do you need more time? Come out and do it, I don't like seeing any coach or GM in a lameduck status. If you are going to be drafting soon, extend him before the draft. I don't disagree on most trades or drafts as incomplete, but then you would have to wait for each player to finish a career, time says you have to do it this year. Look one year the Pirates had the minor league system of the year. Wright at first, Hermansen at 2nd, Nunez at ss and Aram at 3rd. If you based it on that would that have been fair? 3of the 4 didn't really pan out, one did. I don't know if there is a right way, but in this instance time dictates a move be done.

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    Default Re: The case for Extending or Ending Huntington

    I would exstend Neil for 3 more years.

    He has rebuilt our minor league system up in the first 2 years.

    Bay is what is he is sure he will hit 30 hr but also strike out 150+ times a year and as a noodle arm. He got a solid Major leaguer and what looks to be our Future Ace not a bad deal.

    He ripped of the Yankess, getting Oldendorf and Tabata not to mention Karestens.

    IO hope Eric Wedge is our coach next year cause I can not stand Russel.

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