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    Default Want to Spend on FA's?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Sure it's some cherrypicking of players, but these are some names that were tossed around frequently on various sites.

    More to the point, it goes to show that there's no sure thing in the FA market, as a 'quick fix', either.

    http://community.post-gazette.com/bl....aspx#comments

    Free agents no sure fix for Pirates

    By Bob Smizik | Monday, 12:30 a.m.

    The Pirates are headed toward their 18th consecutive losing season and there’s scant reason to believe there won’t be a 19th. The club is in the midst of a rebuilding phase, a move the current management team believed was necessary when it took over before the start of the 2008 season.

    With a young team that has few established players, expectations are understandably low. The best way to break this cycle and strengthen the team until the young talent mature would be to acquire free-agent talent.

    That’s what a lot of fans called for and when it wasn’t forthcoming there was the expected lashback at owner Bob Nutting, for either being unwilling or unable to bankroll such a strategy.

    To further delve into this issue, let’s play the game Bill Cowher never would play. Let’s play the ``What-If Game.’’

    What if prior to the start of this season Nutting told general manager Neal Huntington to bolster the team at several position with free-agent acquisitions.

    Instead, for example, of signing low-cost Bobby Crosby to backup light-hitting shortstop Ronny Cedeno, the Pirates had hit the free-agent market and won a bidding war with the Boston Red Sox, who signed former Toronto shortstop Marco Scutaro to a two-year, $12.5 million contract. Of course, in order to the Pirates to lure Scutaro to Pittsburgh instead of Boston it would have taken at least $13 million.

    Which means, instead of having an offensively challenged shortstop like Cedeno, who has three home runs and 11 RBIs in 137 at bats at a salary of $1.125 million, they’d have Scutaro, who is doing the following for his $6.5 million. Two home runs and seven RBIs in 169 at bats. (All statistics are from before the games of yesterday.)

    To beef up their outfield, where the powerless Lastings Milledge usually starts, the Pirates could have gone after free agent Jason Bay, who, remember, ``wanted’’ to stay in Pittsburgh. If the Pirates won the bidding war for Bay, instead of having Milledge in left field, with his zero home runs and 15 RBIs, they’d have Bay, with his one home run and 17 RBIs. All that extra home run and two RBIs would cost the Pirates is about $16 million, which is the difference between the salaries this year of Milledge and Bay.

    Or perhaps the Pirates could have signed Mike Cameron to play the expansive left field at PNC Park. Cameron, who signed for two years at $15.5 million with the Red Sox, is on the DL and has no homers and no RBIs in 30 at bats. Or Johnny Damon, three homers, 17 RBIs and $8 million with Detroit.

    To add some muscle at third base in place of Andy LaRoche, who has three homers and 10 RBS in 129 at bats, the Pirates could have signed Pedro Feliz, a free agent last winter who signed with Houston for $4.5 million and has two homers and 16 RBIs in 140 at bats. Or they could have paid $9 million to Adrian Beltre, like Boston did, and have three homers and 26 RBIs.

    Instead of trading for Aki Iwamura and his $4.85 million contract to fill their need at second base, the Pirates could have gone after Chone Figgins, who signed with Seattle for four years at $36 million. In 155 at bats, Figgins has no homers, 13 RBIs and a .200 batting average.

    To fill a slot in the pitching rotation, the Pirates could have outbid Milwaukee for Randy Wolfe, who is 3-4 with a 5.10 earned run average, and has a contract worth $29.75 million for three years. If they wanted to go short term, they could have done what Oakland did and signed Ben Sheets for one year and $10 million. Sheets is 2-3 with a 5.66 ERA. Or Joel Piniero, two years, $16 million with the Angels. He’s 3-5 with a 5.00 ERA. Doug Davis, one year, $5.25 million, is 1-4 with a 7.56 ERA with Milwaukee.

    At first base, instead of experimenting with Jeff Clement, the Pirates could have gone with the established Nick Johnson, who got one year and $5.75 million from the Yankees. Johnson has two homers and eight RBIs and currently is on the 60-day disabled list.

    In the bullpen, the Pirates signed Octovio Dotel, one year, $3.25 million, and Brendan Donnelly, one year, $1.35 million are both are pitching well. Baltimore signed former Pirate Mike Gonzalez, two years, $12 million. He’s on the DL after pitching three games and earning an ERA of 18.00.

    I could go on and on and on.

    And, of course, there are free-agent success stories. Toronto signed shortstop Alex Gonzalez for one year, $2.75 million and he has 10 homers and 30 RBIs. But the examples of failure dwarf those of success.

    All forms of player procurement must be utilized in building a team. But free agency is not the panacea some think it is. Had the Pirates struck out in that direction last winter they could well be worse off today instead of better.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Hell... could've just said "look at the Seattle Mariners". Team was buying up free agents left and right, making trades. Jack Z was the talk of the town and the league. Pirates fans in some circles were praising Jack Z as well...

    It's a ***** to watch struggling players, inexperienced players, losing after losing after losing, lack of fundamentals etc... but the Pirates have to be patient and very few fans have and are accepting patience right now. I can't even really argue much against it as much as I've tried. accepting patience after all of these years of losing is impossible to ask for and expect
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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Hell, let's not even talk about signing free agents. Let's imagine we kept that juggernaut 2008 team together by re-signing Bay and Nady, along with JW and Freddy. Look up the stats of this lineup:

    McLouth CF .198 - 3 HR - 13 RBI
    Sanchez 2B .211 - 0 HR - 1 RBI - 19 AB
    Bay LF .307 - 3 HR - 19 RBI
    Nady RF .238 - 1 HR - 10 RBI - 63 AB
    Doumit C .286 - 4 HR - 18 RBI
    LaRoche 1B .283 - 7 HR - 32 RBI
    Bautista 3B .242 - 14 HR - 32 RBI
    J Wilson SS .221 - 0 HR - 7 RBI - 75 AB

    Now look who WOULDN'T be with the organization:

    Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Brett Lorin, Nathan Adcock, Aaron Pribanic, Gorkys Hernandez, Karstens, D. McCutchen, Tim Alderson, Hunter Strickland, Argenis Diaz, et al.

    I'm in no way saying all the above will pan out, but I'll sure as hell take my chances with guys like Ohlie, Tabata, Locke, Morton, Andy, Morris, Lorin, Adcock, and Alderson than I would with keeping the 08 team together. Now, add the last two drafts with guys like Alvarez and Tony Sanchez, plus over slot picks like Cain and Von Rosenberg, among others, add in the trades netting us Hanrahan and pick-ups like Evan Meek and Donnie Veal, guys close to the bigs like Lincoln and Neil Walker, and you tell me the kind of job NH has done. He's missed some too, but this organization is light years ahead from 2007.

    The premise of Smizik's article was correct - I'm simply taking it another direction. Remember all those upset over "breaking up" the best outfield in baseball?

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Slyke View Post
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    Hell, let's not even talk about signing free agents. Let's imagine we kept that juggernaut 2008 team together by re-signing Bay and Nady, along with JW and Freddy. Look up the stats of this lineup:

    McLouth CF .198 - 3 HR - 13 RBI
    Sanchez 2B .211 - 0 HR - 1 RBI - 19 AB
    Bay LF .307 - 3 HR - 19 RBI
    Nady RF .238 - 1 HR - 10 RBI - 63 AB
    Doumit C .286 - 4 HR - 18 RBI
    LaRoche 1B .283 - 7 HR - 32 RBI
    Bautista 3B .242 - 14 HR - 32 RBI
    J Wilson SS .221 - 0 HR - 7 RBI - 75 AB

    Now look who WOULDN'T be with the organization:

    Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Brett Lorin, Nathan Adcock, Aaron Pribanic, Gorkys Hernandez, Karstens, D. McCutchen, Tim Alderson, Hunter Strickland, Argenis Diaz, et al.

    I'm in no way saying all the above will pan out, but I'll sure as hell take my chances with guys like Ohlie, Tabata, Locke, Morton, Andy, Morris, Lorin, Adcock, and Alderson than I would with keeping the 08 team together. Now, add the last two drafts with guys like Alvarez and Tony Sanchez, plus over slot picks like Cain and Von Rosenberg, among others, add in the trades netting us Hanrahan and pick-ups like Evan Meek and Donnie Veal, guys close to the bigs like Lincoln and Neil Walker, and you tell me the kind of job NH has done. He's missed some too, but this organization is light years ahead from 2007.

    The premise of Smizik's article was correct - I'm simply taking it another direction. Remember all those upset over "breaking up" the best outfield in baseball?

    That's a nice sobering slap in the face right there for those who advocated "keeping the best outfield in baseball" back then.

    We would've finished under .500 with them, and we'd be much further away from any potential rebuild.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Slyke View Post
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    Hell, let's not even talk about signing free agents. Let's imagine we kept that juggernaut 2008 team together by re-signing Bay and Nady, along with JW and Freddy. Look up the stats of this lineup:

    McLouth CF .198 - 3 HR - 13 RBI
    Sanchez 2B .211 - 0 HR - 1 RBI - 19 AB
    Bay LF .307 - 3 HR - 19 RBI
    Nady RF .238 - 1 HR - 10 RBI - 63 AB
    Doumit C .286 - 4 HR - 18 RBI
    LaRoche 1B .283 - 7 HR - 32 RBI
    Bautista 3B .242 - 14 HR - 32 RBI
    J Wilson SS .221 - 0 HR - 7 RBI - 75 AB

    Now look who WOULDN'T be with the organization:

    Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Brett Lorin, Nathan Adcock, Aaron Pribanic, Gorkys Hernandez, Karstens, D. McCutchen, Tim Alderson, Hunter Strickland, Argenis Diaz, et al.

    I'm in no way saying all the above will pan out, but I'll sure as hell take my chances with guys like Ohlie, Tabata, Locke, Morton, Andy, Morris, Lorin, Adcock, and Alderson than I would with keeping the 08 team together. Now, add the last two drafts with guys like Alvarez and Tony Sanchez, plus over slot picks like Cain and Von Rosenberg, among others, add in the trades netting us Hanrahan and pick-ups like Evan Meek and Donnie Veal, guys close to the bigs like Lincoln and Neil Walker, and you tell me the kind of job NH has done. He's missed some too, but this organization is light years ahead from 2007.

    The premise of Smizik's article was correct - I'm simply taking it another direction. Remember all those upset over "breaking up" the best outfield in baseball?
    Adam LaRoche is really playing that well?? Holy ****. Did someone forget to tell him that it's the month of May? .....

    and where the hell did the 14 HR's by Bautista come from? I had to look that up, I thought it was a typo. Nope... Jose frickin' Bautista is tied for the league lead in Home runs Talk about someone playing way over his head
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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    I generally agree that free agency is not the way to go, but this takes it way too far.

    What if the Pirates went out and made smart 1-2 year signing, like they did with Donnelly, Carasco, Dotel, etc and signed:

    Scott Podsednik to bat leadoff and play RF
    Kelly Johnson to play 2B
    Alex Gonzalez to play SS
    Placido Polanco to play 3B

    and kept Matt Capps in their bullpen.

    Their lineup would look a lot better (at least using today's stats):

    RF Pods
    3B Polanco
    CF Cutch
    1B Jones
    C Doumit
    SS Gonzalez
    2B Johnson
    LF Milledge

    Again, I am NOT advocating this approach, but cherry picking signing that look bad after two months is not exactly a quality argument.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    I generally agree that free agency is not the way to go, but this takes it way too far.

    What if the Pirates went out and made smart 1-2 year signing, like they did with Donnelly, Carasco, Dotel, etc and signed:

    Scott Podsednik to bat leadoff and play RF
    Kelly Johnson to play 2B
    Alex Gonzalez to play SS
    Placido Polanco to play 3B

    and kept Matt Capps in their bullpen.

    Their lineup would look a lot better (at least using today's stats):

    RF Pods
    3B Polanco
    CF Cutch
    1B Jones
    C Doumit
    SS Gonzalez
    2B Johnson
    LF Milledge

    Again, I am NOT advocating this approach, [HIGH-LIGHT]but cherry picking signing that look bad after two months is not exactly a quality argument[/HIGH-LIGHT].

    I agree, as I said in the initial post, but neither is cherry-picking some FA signings that look good after 2 months.

    I just think that the overall point is it goes to show that there's no sure thing in the FA market as a 'quick fix' either so those that clamor for us just to spend money on FA's are patently wrong.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    I generally agree that free agency is not the way to go, but this takes it way too far.

    What if the Pirates went out and made smart 1-2 year signing, like they did with Donnelly, Carasco, Dotel, etc and signed:

    Scott Podsednik to bat leadoff and play RF
    Kelly Johnson to play 2B
    Alex Gonzalez to play SS
    Placido Polanco to play 3B

    and kept Matt Capps in their bullpen.

    Their lineup would look a lot better (at least using today's stats):

    RF Pods
    3B Polanco
    CF Cutch
    1B Jones
    C Doumit
    SS Gonzalez
    2B Johnson
    LF Milledge

    Again, I am NOT advocating this approach, but cherry picking signing that look bad after two months is not exactly a quality argument.
    I think the main overall point was that using Free Agency as a means to build a team or drastically improve it is far too much of a "miss". The players used were bigger named players this offseason and their returns have sucked. There's always a bunch of Alex Gonzalez types that exceed everyone's expectations that nobody can really guess with accuracy ...

    If you want to build a good team, build it from the ground up and use Free Agency as a means to plug minor holes since it's too unreliable for anything major.

    Even if that's not what Smizik is meaning, that's what this piece should have been saying.
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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by vandelay industries View Post
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    I agree, as I said in the initial post, but neither is cherry-picking some FA signings that look good after 2 months.

    I just think that the overall point is it goes to show that there's no sure thing in the FA market as a 'quick fix' either so those that clamor for us just to spend money on FA's are patently wrong.
    We are in agreement, it is the initial article I thought was weak. I actually think the point made about our former best outfield in baseball is much more interesting.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    We are in agreement, it is the initial article I thought was weak. I actually think the point made about our former best outfield in baseball is much more interesting.

    Not to mention the other 'linchpins' of that team, JW, Sanchez, and McLouth.

    I feel very comfortable in saying that not only would we not have potential good prospects for the future, but our ML team this year would be worse with that 2008 lineup than the one we currently have on the field.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    I am all for selling off our mediocre players. Other than Bay, who proved with the Sox he still had upside, none of the others were anything but middling talents. Even with Bay, there was very good reason to believe he might never have a great season again (and perhaps the truth is he only had one more left in him). Now, if we sell off Cutch in three years (assuming he keeps playing like he has so far), then I may have a problem . . .Also, at some point, a few key, even i not necessarily splashy) FA signings can help a team tremendously, so those cannot be foreclosed in my opinion. For example, what Nh did in constructing the pen this year through free agency was great. If the Pirates were a contender, that sort of thing would be crucial.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Small market teams have to have a core in place before we spend money.
    I beleve with in the next 2 season we will see us spend a little bit more money in FA. i think we will have to spend 80 mill wisely to be competivite in the NL Central.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    Now, if we sell off Cutch in three years...
    What would make you think we're going to sell off Cutch in 3 years?

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    I love how about once a year the Smiz tries to act like realistic knowledge guy, but in his other 50 columns a year he wigs out about everything. He screams "the sky is falling" every day, and then does a column like this one where he is basically saying "everyone settle down and think about this rationally". Dumbass Bozo.

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    Default Re: Want to Spend on FA's?

    Quote Originally Posted by just_ridin View Post
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    What would make you think we're going to sell off Cutch in 3 years?

    Depends on what you define as "selling off". I do believe if Cutch continues to grow, there is zero chance the Pirates can resign him. Why? Look at the recent contracts of Mauer, Howard and most closely related to Cutch, Upton. The Pirates would have to committ 1/4 to 1/3 of payroll to one player, If you were Cutch why would you stay? I believe it will be a baseball trade, not a dump but let's be realisitic this guy is the best since Bonds, Pirates will simply not be able to afford the contract. So it depends on what you define as selling.

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