Insider Only Daily 5: Zero Risk/Incremental upgrades for Pirates at deadline; Pens were beneficiaries of cheat deal & more

DHP_7095 TIOPS DAILY FIVE

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
Photo: David Hague

1. Neal Huntington acquired a third baseman, two right handed relievers, starting pitcher and a platoon bench player. He hit all of his needs in quantity but what about quality?
DHP_7591In Ramirez, things haven’t been promising so far and this trade might end up being the Penguins version of bringing Alexei Kovalev back in 2011 but whether Ramirez gives the Pirates much of anything or not, for the cost it was no-brainer to make the trade no matter how it pans out and the same can be said for the additions of J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton and Michael Morse. Zero risk and pretty much zero cost.
If JaCoby Jones ends up becoming a quality Major League player, the Joakia Soria trade could end up becoming similar to the Marlon Byrd trade where on the surface the Pirates gave up a high cost (Dilson Herrera) for a rental but like the Byrd trade, the Soria deal is the price of doing business when you’re a playoff team and have a need like the Pirates did.
Overall, Huntington stayed true to his form of not surrendering a top-10 prospect for short-term, the Pirates didn’t see Herrera as a top-10 prospect at the time, while Jones was rated No. 10 by Baseball America, he is viewed by many as a fringe top-10 prospect.
Little risk/Incremental upgrades is best way to describe Pirates deadline.

2. With the possibility of A.J. Burnett fading down the stretch at age 38, even prior to his injury being revealed, the biggest need for the Pirates coming out of the deadline was acquiring a No. 3 pitcher, preferably one with control as there continues to be such an unknown factor with Jameson Taillon moving forward and Nick Kingham who the Pirates envisioned both being in the rotation by 2016, if not sooner.
San Diego’s Tyson Ross who didn’t move would have been the ideal type of target.
Everything, though, kind of goes back to the off-season. Failing to acquire a No. 3 starter and with Burnett likely done, all of the pressure should be falling on the shoulders of Charlie Morton moving forward. He stepped up Sunday but for all of the fuss surrounding Jeff Locke on a daily basis, one guy is making $7 million in Morton, the other $546,000. The Morton contract on the books is one of the reasons the Pirates during the off-season didn’t have the stomach to give Edinson Volquez $9-$10 million a year after giving A.J. Burnett $8.5 million.

DHP_41723. Another reason Pedro Alvarez had no trade value at the trade deadline…..Other teams are certain the Pirates are going to DFA him at seasons end.

4. Flyers winger Jakub Voracek cashed in on a great 2014-2015 campaign with a massive 8 year, $66 million contract. Over-payment? Voracek is a very good player and it’s the price of doing business these days for NHL teams with the inability to do cheat deals.
The Penguins are one of the teams who were great beneficiaries of being able to do a cheat deal prior to the lockout in signing Sidney Crosby to a 12 year deal as in years 10-12, Crosby’s salary drops from $9 million to $3 million.
The key to being able to do that was Crosby only getting a five year deal out of his entry level contract. If he were to sign a 7-8 year deal once his entry level contract expired, we’re likely looking at an AAV of $11-$12 million going into his 30’s instead of $8.7 million.

Tomlin copy5. Steelers veterans have had an easy camp to start with Mike Tomlin taking the route of rest with many. Zero reason to be pounding veterans into the ground during camp/preseason which is way too long to begin with, but can already see it coming if the Steelers get off to a slow start to the season, the narrative of Tomlin being a players coach will be in full swing.

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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