Neal Huntington might as well spend the money available to him this season & more in today’s TIOPSDailyFive

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

Huntington1. Two criticism’s of Neal Huntington is he over-values his own prospects and 2. doesn’t have an owner who pushes him to spend the money available to him. Bob Nutting gave his blessing to the Pirates acquiring David Price but Nutting is never going to be someone who pushes Huntington to make a move for a particular need area.
There is a complete difference with the hockey team in town who strive to win championships. Now Penguins ownership claims Ray Shero spent their money recklessly, but during his tenure Shero had an ownership group that pushed him to make moves and spend the money they made available to him. The Marian Hossa trade is case in point where Shero had a five year plan and Ron Burkle stepped up and said scrap that damn plan and go get Hossa. Heck, even this past winter right near the trade deadline, sources say a high ranking official within the ownership group went into Ray Shero’s office and said go get Marian Gaborik. Shero wasn’t interested in pursuing Gaborik but I don’t believe Huntington has people around him like that.

2. The Pirates 40-man payroll is around $75 million this season. To start the season the self imposed budget was in the neighborhood of $85 million, and there is talk that Nutting gave Huntington the authority to spend up to $88-$90 million this season when the team was trying to sign A.J. Burnett once he decided in February he would be playing this season. It’s going to be telling if the saved money this season is maybe put towards new deals for Russell Martin, Neil Walker this winter or the the saved money leads to an increased budget next season. Probably not, especially the latter. Neal Huntington has money to spend right now and he might as well do it during the August waiver trade deadline because it might not be there next season.

3. It’s been truly amazing at how far Pedro Alvarez’s stock has fallen. Here were Scott Boras comments to Tribune-Review in March 2013 prior to the 2013 season. “People always ask me about the rarity of power at third base,” Boras said. “Teams that have a player with the combination of 20 to 30 (home run) power and quality defense at third base are the teams that are usually in the playoffs. “It would be a very wise business move for the Pirates to continue their relationship with Pedro. There are 29 other major league teams that would want to do the same thing. He’s gotten better every year — and his best years are yet to come. Part of our evaluation (of any offer) will be about where he is going in his career and what is fair.” — Fast forward 17 months and there was little to no interest in Alvarez from other teams at the trade deadline and the Pirates could very well DFA him this winter.

4. Gaby Sanchez is 16-89 (.179) with 0 home runs, 5 RBI since June 1. With runners in scoring position, he is hitting .182. He needs to call that guy who was giving him PED’s in college…….kidding

5. From day 1 in camp the Steelers have been operating with the mindset that Johnny Manziel would be the Browns week 1 starter vs Pittsburgh. They were about the only ones who have believed that and they might end up correct. After a poor start to camp, Manziel is making his move after a reported strong performance in Saturday’s scrimmage.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Manziel is working the 1’s today at Browns camp.
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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

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