Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 7.19.17
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John
12:31
Feels like the best SP addition could come from a resurgent Glasnow, rather than from outside the organization. Any chance Glasnow is up from AAA before September if Bucs start to make a run?
Bill Brink
12:33
He has lost his prospect status, yes, and he's been great in the minors. Stephen Nesbitt caught up with him when he went to see Marte (http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/pirates/2017/07/16/Pirates-pitcher-...) and he seemed optimistic that he was doing what he needed to be doing. Huntington said Glasnow has shown the ability to pitch through major league lineups, rather than just getting triple-A guys out by out-stuffing them, but he needs more consistency before he does
Patrick Costigan
12:33
Do you believe the team will do anything to shore up 3rd base.  I know you don't speculate, but Maikel Franco would check a lot of boxes for this team.  He would probably cost a lot.
Andrew
12:33
The pirates really have a hole in 3rd base because of Kangs absence. What are your thoughts in trading for a 3rd baseman? Nick Castellqnos?
Bill Brink
12:35
I agree with both points: Franco would check some boxes and also cost a lot. Not sure I see that one. The Tigers have indicated they're selling and Castellanos would make sense, he has two more years of control after this one. He would take a haul as well.
BobbyToledo
12:35
I never thought I'd be able to say this this season, but could the Pirates' play force the F.O.'s hand to make a deal to help them make a run? At this point, to ship Cutch and others it would look like they're giving up. So might as well buy, right?
Bill Brink
12:36
It's looking like they might keep McCutchen through the season and revisit the issue in the winter, so they might sell and buy: Trade Watson and/or Nicasio, add a reliever, maybe a bench bat.
RPJR
12:36
In your opinion, if today were Aug 1, would the Pirates be buyers or sellers?
Bill Brink
12:37
They're still five out and under .500 and they don't know what Marte will bring so it would be hard to imagine them going in hard, but they might upgrade around the fringe.
Marte's Partay
12:37
Is it a blessing that the Pirates are so far out of the wild card? Battle cry: "Win the Central or bust!" sounds a whole lot better then just sneaking in for a one game playoff. Your thoughts?
Bill Brink
12:37
Definitely agree, although they're creeping up in the wild card: eight games back there too.
Steve
12:37
If the pirates do look to add, has their been any mention of how much salary they are willing to add?
Bill Brink
12:38
They saved $5 million or so on Kang (so far), Marte and Hughes, so that would be a good place to start. Their payroll also decreased from last year. But their attendance is down, which means revenue could be too, which brings us to ...
Joe
12:38
Do you think ownership notice the lack of attendance and ratings. And could that end up being a good thing or bad thing?
Bill Brink
12:40
They absolutely notice attendance and ratings. Adam Bittner wrote about that today (http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/pirates/2017/07/19/pirates-tv-ratin...) and that will have an impact on their decision-making process. To increase attendance and get a better TV deal when the current one expires in 2019, you want a better product on the field ... which costs money, which they'll have less of after a down year of attendance
Halvybuckets
12:40
Does Watson actually have a market?
Bill Brink
12:40
Oh yeah. Everyone needs lefty relievers this time of year. Except the Pirates I guess.
Halvybuckets
12:40
Nova is showing some signs of decline (high hr rate/hitability/etc.) is he fatigued or is the NL catching up to him?
Bill Brink
12:41
I'd say both. He'd never pitched as many innings in a half season as he did this year, and the NL has now had almost a full year to get a read on him.
Alex
12:41
Any chance the pirates simply stay put at the deadline? Or would it be more reasonable for Neal to go all-in one direction or another?
Bill Brink
12:42
I think you're more likely to see them either stand pat or tweak around the edges: Trade Watson, add a bench guy, maybe go get a third baseman or a reliever.
Tara Holiner
12:42
If Cutch gets hurt or traded, do you think this team can win without him?  Their track record over the past two years doesn't provide much optimism.
Bill Brink
12:42
Hard to imagine whoever replaces him (say, Frazier back in left with Marte in center) could replicate his production. They'd need several players to step up big-time.
Greg
12:43
Cole would bring a haul and the FO holds all the negotiating chips. I see the Astros as the most likely. What prospects specifically would you ask for in return for Cole?
Bill Brink
12:45
Have to think it starts with Kyle Tucker (Astros might actually need Martes, not sure they'd trade him this year) and Tucker just went on the minor league DL. Maybe David Paulino or Forrest Whitley.
Halvybuckets
12:45
Happ two years ago, Nova last year...should we expect a "project" pitcher addition this year?
Bill Brink
12:45
They'll look, but they won't force it. Only if there's one available.
Marte's Return
12:45
It was written that Jha and Freese have both been scouted by the Redsox recently. Makes sense that the Pirates would be willing to give up one of these guys with Frazier being pushed out of left with Marte's return. What like of return could the Pirates expect from Freese or Jha?
Bill Brink
12:46
Harrison will bring more than Freese given his age, production and contract. Not an A prospect, maybe a lower-level guy or two.
Dave
12:47
Do you think the Pirates might consider extending Nicasio? Bridging to Rivero seems to be one of the biggest question marks going into next year, and having him around for another two years would certainly go a long way. Or do you think he'll want to test the market / the Pirates won't want to invest the money?

Failing all of that, what would it take to land Justin Wilson? Are we talking a 7-15 prospect on the list and a lottery ticket, or more than that? Paying too much in assets or salary for relievers seems like a recipe for failure, but extending Nicasio and/or reuniting Wilson with Searage seems like a straightforward if somewhat aggressive way to make sure that the top 3 SP are anchored with 3 good RP over the next year and a half.
Bill Brink
12:48
I think another team will pay more for Wilson than the Pirates will. As for Nicasio, he's had success here and they paid for relief pitching by giving Daniel Hudson $11 million so it's not out of the question, but if he gets a third year elsewhere he won't be back.
Stan
12:48
Hypothetical:  the Pirates are 2 games out of first by the time of the trade deadline.  You're the GM, Bill.  What do you do?  Positions to go after, etc.
Bill Brink
12:48
I look at third base, I look for starters, I look in the bullpen and see what there is.
Zack
12:49
What's the explanation for keeping Moroff in the majors for so long, when Bostick is hitting in the minors, and guys like Brett Lawrie are kicking around in free agency?
Bill Brink
12:49
The Pirates like having three guys on the roster who can play shortstop, is part of it. But yes, Bostick is hitting well.
Patrick Costigan
12:49
Is there a reason that the Pirates are so slow with advancing their top prospects?  I look around baseball.  Many contending teams have youngsters in big league uniforms.  For example, Urias, Moncada, Arcia, Clint Frazier.  Cole Tucker is in his second year of Single A.
Bill Brink
12:52
This is similar to the Bellinger/Judge/Seager question. Urias, Moncada, Arcia and Frazier are some of the top prospects in baseball. Tucker is good, but not of that caliber, and has had two significant surgeries that cost him playing time.
Marte's Partay
12:52
Do the pirates need to trade to upgrade the pen? I think if they call up Brault (a much needed left handed starter) and move Kuhl and Glasnow to the pen (99 mph heat) it can be upgraded internally. Also Shugs has looked good. Your thoughts?
Bill Brink
12:53
Schugel does look good, best I've seen him. Moving a starter to the pen could help, although it has stabilized in recent weeks. I think they'll want to build off Glasnow's improvement in triple-A while starting. Maybe Kuhl (it would make sense stuff-wise) but he's gotten better too.
SalemPirate
12:53
Mercer will be soon be 31 and going to arb for the final time. The closest minor leaguer is Newman at AA. After Mercer is dealt next summer, who plays short till Newman's ready
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