TIOPS Daily 5

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

1. Here come the Pirates!

Another come from behind win, this time a 4-run sixth inning fueled by a 2-run Josh Harrison homer as the Pirates rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a 4-3 win over the Brewers on Tuesday night at PNC PArk.

On a night where they got Starling Marte back from an 80 game suspension, the Pirates are surging.

Winners in 9 of their last 11 games, Pittsburgh has moved to five games back of the surprising Brewers.

The Pirates during this run are finding ways to win in games that easily could have went the other way.

They could have been swept against the Cardinals last weekend but instead took 2 of 3.

Tonight vs Milwaukee, the Pirates were out-hit 13-6 and overcame a start from Ivan Nova who struggled with his location, highlighted by the Shaw homer on an 0-2 count.

A testament to this club with their season riding on the line to continue finding different ways to win.

Pittsburgh now has Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon going the next two games and are in great position to take 3 of 4.

Things are starting to get interesting at least.

2. A Pirates sweep of the Brewers would put the Pirates 3 games back. The Brewers take the next two games, the Pirates would be back where they started the series, seven games out.

These next two games will obviously have a major swing.

Pirates split they come out of the home stand with an accomplished goal of 5-2.

The Pirates have won 9 of 11, have a 2.79 ERA in July and just got Starling Marte back.

Things are setting up where Neal Huntington at least owes it to this group to add some complementary parts and those type of moves should be happening right away. You don’t have to sell the farm to add a bench piece or another bullpen arm or make an Ivan Nova type trade from 16.

If a surge in July continues, it has to take Harrison, Mercer and McCutchen off the market until the winter than anything, but there’s still 11 games to go before July 31.

The sense is what we’re going to see is a near identical trade deadline game plan as last July.

You move a pending free agent like Tony Watson and whether in the Watson deal or another separate deal, you then add another reliever with term.

That’s what the Pirates are surveying the market for.

Some players being made available are tied to what the Pirates do the next 7-8 games. Others are available regardless.

2 games or nine games back by July 31, some veterans like Watson and even To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

3. The Pittsburgh Steelers will always be willing to pay their stars and in many cases handsomely. Some in the case like Cam Heyward where they’ll overpay players their identify as core players.

Pittsburgh wanted to get the Le’Veon Bell deal done Monday to open up some things with others like Alejandro Villanueva and Stephon Tuitt this summer.

Failing to come to an agreement, Bell will play next season on the franchise tag ($12.1MM). The Steelers won’t be seeing him showing up to camp until Mid-to-Late August either. His camp told the Steelers Monday he won’t be signing his tender anytime soon.

Pittsburgh made a substantial offer to Bell, 5 years with the total value of the contract worth $62.5 million, a source confirms.

Other details have leaked on some of the key numbers:


Per the NFL Network, Pittsburgh offered a deal that would have netted Bell $30 million over the first two years and $42 million in total over 3 years.

However, indications are  there was a sizeable gap in guaranteed money. Bell’s camp sought as much as $30 million guaranteed in year one.


4. NHL agents have been advising players to be cautious with their money as another stoppage is coming in a few years from the owners.

Interesting enough, there is also a big play among a group of players/agents for the players to be willing to strike.

The work has already begun on trying to get players strongly on board to pushing hard for a change to the [hide] salary cap system to a soft cap + luxury tax system — And pushing hard enough where they’ll strike to get it. —

It would take a strike to get any movement but with so many stars like Sidney Crosby and others already locking themselves into longer deals than they should have, one agent involved in this push fears when the time comes to negotiate, the soft cap system won’t be a hill the star players will be willing to die on.


5. The Penguins will learn on July 22nd what Brian Dumoulin’s camp is requesting in arbitration and vice versa for the Dumoulin camp on what number/term the Penguins are requesting.

A sidebar on Dumoulin is the agent did engage early this month in talks with an Eastern Conference team regarding an offer sheet for Dumoulin, league sources say.

The identity [hide] of the team has not been confirmed but the scuttlebutt around the league is the team involved is believed to have been the New Jersey Devils.

Offer sheets rarely happen but talks between interested teams and agents of RFA’s happen a lot more often than it gets out there before a player elects for arbitration.

This has happened here.


$1,295,571 or less – No compensation
$1,295,571 to $1,962,968 – Third-round pick
$1,962,968 to $3,925,975 – Second-round pick
$3,925,975 to $5,888,960 – First and third-round picks
$5,888,960 to $7,851,948 – First, second and third-round picks
$7,851,948 to $9,814,935 – Two firsts, a second and third-round picks
Over $9,814,935 – Four first-round picks[/hide]