So far the Pirates off season has been eventfully uneventful. They picked up what appears to be a quality Rule 5 arm in Tyler Webb that should be easily hidden on the 25 man roster if not a significant piece of the bull pen.
They also made some minor league contacts with spring invites that could prove to be decent depth options should the year take its toll.
Two losses so far include Sean Rodriguez to the Braves and Matt Joyce to the A's The Pirates made attempts to keep S-Rod and it would've been nice but Matt Joyce got a great deal from the A's and the Pirates probably didn't even attempt to get close to that.
Ivan Nova is still out there and the Pirates are making an attempt to bring him back but given the thin starter market Nova's cost is likely to inflated to make it a real option. Do not expect to see him in the black and gold in spring.
What is probably the most important news, the team tried to trade Andrew McCutchen. After looking at other deals this off season it is pretty obvious to me that the attempt to trade him was less serious than what most probably think but still could have happened.
The biggest news and only real chatter came from the Nationals, they ended up getting Adam Eaton from the Tigers for two highly rated prospects and one mid level with a lot of promise. in my opinion they got three of the better pitching prospects out there. Eaton may not ever play to the level Cutch has done, but he also comes with lower price tag and quite a few more years of control, which could even out the value, especially given Cutch's poor season.
So with that you have to wonder, what was Pittsburgh asking for in return for Cutch? To me the answer appears to be, everything.
This is how I think it went down. Neal Huntington saw some teams needed an outfielder and Neal through his name out there. When teams called back Neal made what most would consider an unreasonable request and almost all of those teams walked away... except the Nationals who have quite a few pitchers that could be wasted in their organisation if not moved. A few calls back and forth to see if they could make something happen and the Nationals realized that the cost was still very high and moved on.
This leads me to believe that the Pirates really didn't have the intention to trade the "Face of the Franchise", But if they found someone dumb enough to give them their very high demands they would.
So, what did the Pirates do wrong here? Nothing really. The only thing they could have really done is tell Andrew this so that there would be lower tension.
Of course all that is just my opinion, should the trade have happened and it ended up being what we would expect (a quality MLB starter, a pen option and a couple of prospects) then we'd be talking about how Neal is probably a genius and sad that Cutch is gone but wish him well.
In other trade rumors, Josh Harrison's name was floated but nothing really serious. At this time there is no one in the organisation to play second base should he leave. Tony Watson and Antonio Bastardo's names are also out there and probably the most likely to be traded.
Watson and Bastardo are both lefty pen arms in a pen that includes 4 lefties. Combined to make well over $10 Million and both in their final years of their contracts. Both have had performance that could return a couple mid level prospects or a fair bench bat. The problem with moving these two is that they need to make a move to fill the void. There are some options still out there, Greg Holland and Joe Blanton for example.
A couple other names that could be on the trading block, John Jaso and Alan Hanson. One or both could be traded for a reasonable pen arm, however their value to the team increased after Jung Ho Kang's continued and compounding legal troubles both here in the states and in Korea.
Just a quick overview of the Pirates post season, things should be getting more settled in early 2017.