Bucs deal Resop, Navarro

ResopIn addition to officially signing Russell Martin and deciding on who to tender/non-tender, the Pirates have traded relief pitcher Chris Resop and utility man Yamaico Navarro.

Resop, 30, will be headed to Oakland. With rumors of a Joel Hanrahan trade and increasing interest in Jason Grilli, this trade will further deplete the Bucco bullpen. Although he’s not considered a late-inning/pressure situation reliever, Resop is still a decent option at a cheap price. A lot of fans hated him, for whatever reason. He held down a 3.88 ERA in 159 games for the Bucs over three seasons.

In return, the Pirates will receive RHP Zach Thornton. Thornton, a 24 year old University of Oregon product, was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft. He played High-A ball this year for the Stockton Ports, where he went 4-0 with a 4.53 ERA.

The A’s Twitter accidentally said that they had acquired “Jim Resop”…

Furthermore, the Pirates sent Navarro to Baltimore. He only played 29 games at the big league level last season, and hit just .160. Yamaico performed well at Triple-A Indianapolis, but was arrested for D.U.I. in July.

They will get RHP Jhondaniel Medina in exchange for Navarro. Medina is only 19 years of age, but has been in the O’s organization for three years. He has a career 3.14 ERA in 35 games between the Dominican Summer League, Gulf Coast League, and New York-Penn League.

Go Bucs

Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons

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Bill James 2013 Projections: Pirates Pitchers

Last week, we took a look Bill James’ projections for some of the Pirates’ offensive players. Here’s how the Bucs’ pitchers are predicted to perform in 2013:

W L SV G GS IP ERA FIP
A.J. Burnett 11 13 0 32 32 209 4.05 4.09
Chris Resop 4 4 0 61 0 72 3.75 3.52
James McDonald 9 10 0 31 31 172 3.87 4.06
Jared Hughes 4 5 0 67 0 76 4.14 3.83
Jeff Karstens 6 6 0 24 16 105 3.86 3.96
Joel Hanrahan 3 3 40 59 0 57 3.63 3.61
Tony Watson 4 3 0 71 0 58 3.26 3.81
Wandy Rodriguez 11 11 0 32 32 206 3.80 3.79

* This is under the assumption that most of these players will be back in 2013. Burnett and Rodriguez have guaranteed contracts. Watson and Hughes are still pre-arbitration eligible and should be in the bullpen again. Hanrahan, Karstens, Resop, and McDonald are eligible for arbitration.

A few quick notes…

A.J. Burnett is projected to regress a bit after his bounce back 2012 season.

Chris Resop and Tony Watson are expected to pitch similarly to past performances out of the ‘pen, while Jared Hughes‘ ERA is expected to be 4+.

James McDonald, who had the same number of innings pitched (171) and ERA (4.21) in 2011 and 2012, is predicted to lower his earned run average a bit and also throw one more inning.

– James has Joel Hanrahan‘s ERA jumping up to a concerning 3.63, but sees him reaching the 40 save plateau once again.

– If the Bucs decide to tender Jeff Karstens, he’ll be expected to pitch 105 innings between the rotation and bullpen (16 starts out of 24 games).

Wandy Rodriguez, last year’s trade deadline acquisition, is projected to produce a reasonable 11-11 record and 3.80 ERA.

These are pretty moderate projections; nothing to get too excited about. However, they are just predictions after all, so they could be very far from true.

124 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

2012 in Review: Bullpen

Closer Joel Hanrahan once again anchored the Bucco bullpen.

A consistent Bullpen was one of the strengths of the ballclub and paved the way to many victories.

The top five relievers in 2012:

Wins Losses ERA IP
Joel Hanrahan 5 2 2.72 59.2
Jared Hughes 2 2 2.85 75.2
Chris Resop 1 4 3.91 73.2
Jason Grilli 1 6 2.91 58.2
Tony Watson 5 2 3.38 53.1

Other pitchers to make relief appearances: Brad Lincoln, Juan Cruz, Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson, Chad Qualls, Doug Slaten, Evan Meek, Chris Leroux, Hisanori Takahashi, Bryan Morris, Justin Wilson, Rick van den Hurk, Daniel McCutchen.

For much of the year, the game was just about locked up anytime the bullpen took over.  Hammer and Grilli were lights-out, while Watson and Hughes really pitched well for how inexperienced they were.  Resop, although he got plenty of hate, really fit in well to the middle inning/multiple inning roles.  Other than that, the rest of the bullpen was pieced together for most of the year.  A handful of AAAA guys all had their moments, but ultimately couldn’t find a place in the ‘pen.  Some of this, however, could have been due to the mismanagement of the bullpen almost all year.  Looking forward to 2013, Hanrahan (possible trade) and Grilli (free agent) very well could leave, which would deplete the bullpen.  There is a solid group of young guys, with a few more in AAA hopefully on the way, but the bullpen is a bit of a question mark for next season.  Luckily for the Pirates, finding a group of relievers that make up a successful ‘pen isn’t too difficult, assuming your manager knows how to use them effectively.

MLBTR: Pirates Arbitration Eligibles

MLB Trade Rumors takes a look at the Pirates arbitration eligible players. The article is to-the-point and informative; here it is in full length:

“The Pirates are next in our 2013 Arbitration Eligibles series.  Matt Swartz’s salary projections are below.

Hanrahan remains an asset for the Pirates, though this year’s return to a big-time strikeout rate came with the unwanted side effects of a high walk rate and a lot of flyballs.  On the surface, the Bucs have a guy who’s converted 76 of 84 save opportunities the last two years with a 2.24 ERA and two All-Star game appearances.  Hanrahan will be entering his walk year.  With draft pick compensation for relievers mostly a thing of the past, GM Neal Huntington has to decide whether to trade Hanrahan or extend him in the neighborhood of $10MM per free agent year.

Elsewhere in the bullpen there’s Resop, who added groundballs this year at the expense of strikeouts.  The 29-year-old is hittable yet serviceable, and he’s not terribly expensive.

The Pirates have three arbitration eligible starting pitchers.  McDonald’s ERA sat at 2.37 after a July 7th win; through 110 innings it seemed as if he’d turned a corner.  He was brutal over his next 13 outings, with a 7.52 ERA in 61 frames.  It was an odd season, but McDonald is expected to begin next year back in the Pirates’ rotation.  Now is not the time to consider trading or extending him.

Morton had hip surgery a year ago, but was able to make his season debut in mid-April.  He lasted only nine starts before succumbing to Tommy John surgery.  He has to be considered a non-tender candidate, as otherwise the Pirates would have to pay him a projected $2.6MM in 2012 to pitch at most three months.  Huntington must decide the value of the chance to control Morton for the 2014 season.  The GM was noncommittal on the subject of Karstens, who had an injury-shortened 2012 as well.  Since Karstens finished the season healthy, he might be on firmer ground than Morton.

Jones needs a platoon partner, but he did hit .289/.332/.556 with 25 home runs in 434 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.  I think he’s safe, though this could be the last raise the Pirates are willing to give him.  Walker had another nice year, and the Pirates have flirted with extending the Pittsburgh native before.  In March, I suggested five years and $27MM for the Super Two second baseman.

The Pirates acquired Sanchez from the Marlins at the July trade deadline.  The 29-year-old was better for the Bucs, but still fell well short of the production of a typical starting first baseman.  There’s a decent chance he’s non-tendered.

If only Hanrahan, Jones, Karstens, McDonald, Walker, and Resop are retained, the Pirates would be looking at an estimated $22.3MM for six arbitration eligible players.

Matt Swartz’s arbitration projections are available exclusively at MLB Trade Rumors.  To read more about his projection model, check out this series of posts.

For more, visit MLB Trade Rumors.

Piratefest 2011 Review

December already…and that means…Piratefest?  Yep, that’s right.  Pirates baseball in December instead of January.  Personally, I liked having Piratefest a month earlier this year.  The event, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a three day convention where you can meet some players, get autographs, play games, win prizes, and just enjoy some Bucco baseball during the offseason.  We attended the Season-Ticket-Holder-Only session on Friday, and I’ll give a rundown of what it was like.

Friday’s Piratefest started at 4PM for people who paid for their season tickets in full (which is us, but we didn’t get in at 4.  That’s a story for a different post), and 6:30PM for people who hadn’t yet paid for their season tickets in full. We arrived at 5:30, and there were already between 30 and 50 people in line ahead of us.  As it got closer to 6:30, the line really began to get long, and eventually snaked around all the way to the escalators.  We really found it hard to believe that there were so many people who had season tickets.  It’s possible, I guess, that people had gotten 10 game packs last year with all of the excitement built up about the team, and got their Piratefest tickets that way.  It was still great to see so many people there to support the Bucs though.  Finally, we were let through the doors and we loved what we saw.

First off, Alex Presley was right at the door greeting fans, which was pretty cool.  Within the first 2 minutes of being there, we met Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington.  This leads me to my first point about this year’s Piratefest, which is that the players and management were very accessible and friendly.  You couldn’t walk around for more than a few minutes without seeing a player or member of the front office walking around talking to people.  This never really happened in the past years, so it was pretty cool to get to meet these guys.

The second thing that we loved this year was the sheer size of Piratefest.  In years past, the event was only one section of the floor at the convention center.  This just made everything cramped and made it really hard to navigate through.  This year, Piratefest was expanded to the whole top floor of the convention center, and it made a huge difference.  The aisles between tables were bigger.  Everything was so much more spread out, and you could walk around without bumping into someone every 5 seconds.  They also made good use of the added space, and seemed to have every booth or stage positioned well.

Our one complaint was the selection of items at the store.  Both of us were looking to buy a new player shirt, and the options weren’t too great.  I had hoped that they would have a bigger variety of items at the store this year, considering people might have been finalizing some last minute holiday shopping there.  I can’t really complain too much about the store though, because both of us were able to get a new player “shirsey” for $18 with our VIP shopping passes.  Overall, this isn’t too important of a problem, but it would have been nice to see a bigger store with a bigger selection of items.

The 2011 Piratefest was definitely a great event though.  We got to meet Chris Resop, Jose Tabata, newly acquired Clint Barmes, Neal Huntington, Clint Hurdle, and a few more.  Between the player and management Q&A’s, meeting the players, and more fan-friendly layout, I would call this the best Piratefest to date.  We’re definitely more excited about the upcoming season (and enjoying our new season tickets) because of it.

Go Bucs