Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

I've been away for some time and didn't get a chance to react to the Pirates off season moves as they happened.  Some made sense, some didn't.  For this I'm going to give my opinion of the Pirates off season so far by looking at some cards I have. 

The Good
The Pirates signed Nate McLouth to a MINOR LEAGUE deal for $1.75 million.
I like this signing a lot. Nate was awesome when he was in Pittsburgh.  He even won a gold glove in CF in 2008 for the Bucs, as he was a breakout star.  After signing a very team friendly contract in the offseason of 2008 and being told that "Nate McLouth is a large part of our plans for the Pirates future," he was traded to Atlanta in the summer of 2009 for Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, and Gorkys Hernandez.  Charlie had a breakout year last year.  Jeff made his major league debut after starting the season in AA.  Gorkys was promoted to AAA and is still ranked as the best defensive outfielder the Pirates have in the system.  Nate on the other hand struggled A LOT for Atlanta and was even demoted to AAA while over there. 

I have 2 jersey relics of Nate the Great and am happy to move them in my cardboard stack of "Former" Pirates to Current Pirates.  The Allen & Ginter relic is like every other Ginter relic out there.  Plain, boring, blah.  But the Topps Authentic Ticket Stub & Jersey Relic is unique.  I like this concept and hope Topps can revisit this idea again soon.  I just wish Nate was wearing #13 instead of #49 in the photo.

It's nice to see a fan favorite back in Pittsburgh.  Now if we could only get Jason Bay or Jose Bautista on a 1 year minor league contract, all will be right with the world

The Good
Ryan Doumit signs with the Twins before the Pirates have to offer arbitration for him, thus ensuring the Pirates get a draft pick compensation for losing Doumit (a type B free agent).

The Good

The Pirates signed often injured, but very talented Erik Bedard to a 1 year deal for $4.5 million + incentives.  I like this signing.  With the Pirates buying out Paul Maholm and his $9.75 contract, they lost a veteran lefty.  While I will miss Paul, I think Erik will fill that role nicely for half the price.  Let's just hope he can stay healthy. 

The Bad

Ryan Doumit signs with the Twins on a 1 year deal for only $3 million and we sign Rod Barajas for $4 million.
I'm going to miss Doumit a lot.  It's really sad actually.  Doumit was never a top tier fielder, but his bat was something special.  There was a number of times that I just knew he would come up with a huge hit when the Pirates needed it most.  He's actually one of the main reasons, Trevor Hoffman was taken out of being the Brewers closer in 2010 when he hit 2 grand slams in back to back nights in the 9th inning off the then all-time saves leader. 

I still plan on collecting cards of Dewey, even though he did stuff like what's below when runners were attempting to steal a base.

I'll miss you Ryan Doumit.  At least, you're reunited with Matt Capps and Steve Pearce.
Anyone got an opinion on Rod Barajas? Because I sure as hell don't.  I'm still mourning losing Doumit.

The Ugly

The Pirates avoid arbitration of players who could have proved to be useful next season.  That list includes Steve Pearce, Ronny Cedeno, and Ross Ohlendorf.  I don't think any of these guys are big time stars and probably don't deserve being on a 25 man roster for any team except the Pirates, but here's some facts.
Prior to injuries Steve Pearce and Ross Ohlendorf were absolutely amazing in 2009 and 2010.  They both wouldn't have gotten much of a pay increase and probably deserved taking a flyer on at spring training this year.  Ronny Cedeno, for as inconsistent as he can be with the bat, is actually a damn good short stop.  Few NL shortstops provided a better fielding UZR or fielding percentage than Cedeno. 

I'm not terribly upset about these releases, but am dumb founded on taking a guy like Clint Barmes at SS and giving him all the money that these 3 could have made collectively.  Clint Barmes is not that good.  PERIOD


  1. I like Bedard. Mariners had some great pitchers hiding under a terrible offense. Fister was a huge pick-up for the Tigers. I was impressed by Bedard when I saw him pitch last year.

  2. Yeah, I really like the Bedard signing a lot. If he can give us 175 innings or something close to it, I will be extremely happy with that signing. I'm still not sold on the Barajas or Barmes signings though.

    Looking at the Pirates off season, feels like Sesame Street. This year's off season was brought to you by the letter B. Bedard, Barmes, Barajas