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    Default Pirates finding winter plans difficult

    Pirates finding winter plans difficultTEXT SIZE By: John PerrottoBeaver County Times
    Saturday December 4, 2010 11:14 PM
    PITTSBURGH — In many ways, Disney World is the perfect setting for baseball’s winter meetings.

    The entertainment empire likes to say Disney World is the place where dreams come true. And anyone who has ever visited the place realizes how expensive of a proposition that is.

    The Pirates’ dream going into the winter meetings, which start Monday on the Disney grounds at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is to improve a team that lost a major league-worst 105 games last season. It is going to cost money to make the Pirates better and, so far this off-season, General Manager Neal Huntington has tried to spend some dollars to fix his roster.

    However, the problem is that the Pirates have gotten nowhere so far, and are coming off a most frustrating week.

    The Pirates made a very competitive offer of three years and $31.5 million to free-agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who was considered the second-best starting pitcher on the open market beyond Cliff Lee and would have significantly upgraded the rotation.

    De La Rosa, though, wanted a player option for a fourth year added to the contract. When the Pirates said no, he re-signed with the Rockies for two years and $21.5 million with a player option for 2013.

    Therein lies a big problem for the Pirates.

    They have had 18 straight losing seasons and most players consider playing in Pittsburgh the equivalent of being asked to relocate to Kabul.

    Thus, attracting a top-quality free agent is next to impossible.

    The Pirates also thought they had a trade in place to acquire shortstop J.J. Hardy from Minnesota on Thursday. But the Twins backed off and decided to keep Hardy, a good fielder with power, and the Pirates were forced to re-sign Ronny Cedeno.

    Advertisement The Pirates will continue to look for a shortstop but the options are becoming limited. In fact, their best bet for an upgrade at this point is to trade for St. Louis’ Brendan Ryan, a defense whiz who can’t hit.

    The Pirates will also continue their hunt for a starting pitcher in Orlando and their primary free-agent target is now believed to be left-hander Jeff Francis, who has spent his entire career with Colorado and pitched for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle when he was with the Rockies.

    Francis won 17 games in 2007 when the Rockies won the National League pennant but has just eight wins combined in the three seasons since as he has battled shoulder problems.

    Right-hander Justin Duchscherer, another free agent, is also on the Pirates’ radar. Yet he has only pitched in a combined five games the past two seasons because of arm problems since going 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA in 22 starts for Oakland in 2008.

    Adding some combination of Francis, Duchscherer and Ryan this week wouldn’t be a bad thing but it also wouldn’t be the same as getting De La Rosa and Hardy. And it would shoot a pretty big hole through that wishes-coming-true marketing hype.

    Times sports correspondent John Perrotto is editor-in-chief of BaseballProspectus.com.

    http://http://www.timesonline.com/sp...difficult.html
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    Default Re: Pirates finding winter plans difficult

    And so, after another offseason, we will see the same **** ****ing players that established a horrible record, return to Pittsburgh pretty much intact with the only hope at bettering our team, lies in the progress of the players currently on the roster. Sure, we will probably add a scrap heap player her and there to try and add competition, but more than likely the same crew that got us a **** season last year will open the season.

    Kudos to the buccos to stashing their cash, and relying solely on the draft.

    I am surprised our latin american scout, Rene Gayo, hasn't pushed the buccos brass to sign Kenny ****ing Powers yet.

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    Default Re: Pirates finding winter plans difficult

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    And so, after another offseason, we will see the same **** ****ing players that established a horrible record, return to Pittsburgh pretty much intact with the only hope at bettering our team, lies in the progress of the players currently on the roster. Sure, we will probably add a scrap heap player her and there to try and add competition, but more than likely the same crew that got us a **** season last year will open the season.

    Kudos to the buccos to stashing their cash, and relying solely on the draft.

    I am surprised our latin american scout, Rene Gayo, hasn't pushed the buccos brass to sign Kenny ****ing Powers yet.
    Blah Blah Blah.

    Last edited by Kipper; Dec-05-2010 at 11:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Pirates finding winter plans difficult

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Blah Blah Blah.


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    Default Re: Pirates finding winter plans difficult

    I do not understand what the big deal was with adding a player option for a 4th year...or compromising and adding a club-option 4th year.
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    Default Re: Pirates finding winter plans difficult

    I can't see your point here, Ben. How on earth are a player option and a team option interchangeable? A player option is basically saying that if a guy stinks, you are stuck with him. A team option is basically saying if a guy exceeds expectations, he's stuck with that option year. I don't see how one could replace the other when they are oppisite extremes.
    I like how the Pirates acted during these negotiations. They outbid everyone to try to get their guy, bit when his agent wanted them to far exceed the bid from the Rockies, they told them to go pound salt. The Nats could have saved themselves a ton of future headaches if they had been similar to the Pirates in their Werth negotiations.

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