Courtesy of Point Park University

Friday Insider: Vazquez draws interest, Heat on Hawkins, GM and Sullivan make it work

MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

The Pirates’ best chip as the July 31 trade deadline starts to appear on the horizon is undoubtedly Felipe Vazquez.

Front office executives and scouts I have talked to unanimously say the closer would get the Pirates more in return than any other player on the roster, including Josh Bell.

“He can be a difference maker in a pennant race and the postseason, and you’d have him for multiple seasons,” an executive from a National League team said. “There’s a lot to like there.”

Whether the Pirates want to trade Vazquez is another story. He is one of the best closers in baseball and has converted 17 of 18 save opportunities this season, a year after being selected to the All-Star Game.

Furthermore, Vazquez is seemingly in the prime of his career at 27. And he is also very affordable, even to the Pirates, as he has two years and $15 million left on his four-year, $22-million contract after this season.

I have learned of three teams who have at least some degree in Vazquez: the Braves, Red Sox and Twins. Whether those teams have engaged the Pirates in talks this far from the deadline is unknown. The Pirates still hold out hopes of contending despite their 33-40 record and aren’t quite ready to commit to a selloff.

The Rays are also in the market for a closer and tried to signed Craig Kimbrel as a free agent earlier this month. He ended up signing with the Cubs for three years and $43 million.

Though manager Gabe Kapler has professed his faith in Hector Neris, the Phillies are likely to look for an upgrade as the deadline gets nearer.

The only other closer certain to be on the trade market is the Tigers’ Shane Greene, who is 21 for 22 in save opportunities this season. However, every scout I’ve talked to prefers Vazquez to Greene.

With that many teams looking for closers, the Pirates could have multiple offers to chose from if they consider trading Vazquez. That will make the next five-plus weeks interesting.

MORE PIRATES

Jameson Taillon’s rehab from a strained flexor tendon in his right elbow has been slow enough that the Pirates now consider it a bonus if he comes back to pitch this season. In fact, some in the organization quietly fear that the right-hander could need Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career. If that’s the case, he would miss the entire 2020 season. Taillon is not expected to begin a throwing program for another two weeks. Having been on the injured list since May 2, Taillon will be starting his season over from scratch and not likely be ready to pitch in a major-league game until September. And that’s if everything goes perfectly, which hasn’t been the case so far. – Perrotto

Dovydas Neverauskas has a 6.44 career ERA in 56 games over three seasons with the Pirates. That isn’t the type of track record that would allow a player to get too comfortable in a major-league setting. Yet Neverauskas always looks quite cozy in the Pirates’ clubhouse as he often can be found sleeping at his locker or on a couch. That has caused more than a few teammates to bristle. Neverauskas is currently at Class AAA Indianapolis. No word on what the sleeping accommodations are like in that clubhouse. — Perrotto

• The multitude of injuries that have beset the Pirates at the major-league level has had a ripple effect on their minor-league-rosters, particularly at Indianapolis. Pirates pro scouts have been scouring the independent minor leagues to find veteran players who could provide help. That is why they recently signed utilityman Darnell Sweeney, who was playing for the Kansas City T-Bones in the American Association, and assigned him to Indy. He has played in 39 major-league games with the Phillies and Blue Jays. – Perrotto

STEELERS

• Throughout the OTAs and minicamp, Jerald Hawkins was consistently the last member of the Steelers on the practice field. The offensive tackle spent time working on his explosiveness and conditioning. Now going into his fourth season, Hawkins realizes it’s crunch time for him in his career. The former fourth-round draft pick missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury, then suffered a quad tear during OTAs last season. He enters the final year of his rookie contract with little to show for it. “It’s something I used to do. I’m getting back to the old ways,” Hawkins told me of his specialized workouts. “I really thrived off that. It made me better. It’s even more important this year. I need to get better. I realize this is the last year of my contract. Time is really flying by. It’s something that helps me get better mentally and physically.” — Dale Lolley at Rooney Complex

• How intent are the Steelers about moving on from Antonio Brown? The team put together a video highlight package of Ben Roethlisberger‘s best plays from 2018. Not one of those included a throw to Brown. Considering Brown caught 104 passes and 15 touchdowns in 2018, there had to be at least one play, right? Of course, we know none of those highlights with Brown could have happened in Week 17. — Lolley

• Of Donte Moncrief’s 346 career targets, just 141 came from Andrew Luck. On those 141 targets, Moncrief had over 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches. That’s right around half of his production. Considering he had over 200 targets from quarterbacks not named Andrew Luck, that’s important now that he’s working with Roethlisberger. — Lolley

PENGUINS

Jim Rutherford readily admits that he and Mike Sullivan sometimes are not on the same page about things. But he is adamant that they invariably manage to work through their differences. “Do we have different viewpoints on some things?” Rutherford said. “Sure. I would hope so. But when a meeting is done, we don’t have a different viewpoint. We talk through it until we get to a point where we’re comfortable with what we’ve decided, whether that’s somewhat of a compromise or whether that’s one of the two of us deciding they’re OK with the other guy. I cannot remember, as long as we’ve been together, that we have ended (a meeting) with a difference of opinion.” — Dave Molinari in Vancouver

Speculation that the Penguins might trade Evgeni Malkin has been rampant in some quarters since the end of their season, but there’s no evidence to suggest that Jim Rutherford has actually explored doing anything of the sort. And based on a pretty key factor, he has absolutely no plans to do so, because the Penguins have not approached Malkin about waiving his no-trade clause and do not plan to put it on their to-do list. Malkin’s contract gives him the power to veto any trade, so the Penguins couldn’t deal him without getting Malkin to approve the destination. — Molinari

Nikita Pavlychev, a center at Penn State and one of the most intriguing young players in the Penguins’ prospect pipeline, will not participate in their development camp next week. The word from inside the organization is that abdominal surgery will preclude him from taking part. Pavlychev will be a senior with the Nittany Lions in 2019-20. — Molinari

 

111 Comments

111
Join the discussion

38 Comment threads
73 Thread replies
3 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
62 Comment authors
jtopper$nowNC-BOBMike P.parker39 Recent comment authors
  Follow Discussion  
Newest Oldest Most voted
Notify of:
$now
$now

The Yankees got Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman as a rental. That should be the absolute minimum level prospect coming back.

$now
$now

If they move Vasquez it will also allow them to start thinking about the inevitable Josh Bell trade & start scouting for the next Colin Moran.

EddieT
EddieT

Scouring the minors for fringe players? Hasn’t that always been the Pirates’ approach? Get some guys to work cheap. The Pirates need to start looking at the California Penal League, for the next Wild Thing.

EddieT
EddieT

Maybe Neverauskas has an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Reuters is reporting that perhaps as many as 1/3 of the population has undiagnosed sleep apnea. I don’t see why sleeping is an issue, if he is not missing any meetings or practices. It should make him a stronger pitcher. However, given his record and his skill set, maybe it is hopeless to expect more than what he has shown. Anyway, the Pirates have many more problems and many bigger problems than one fringe pitcher who needs to take naps. He shouldn’t be treated like Uncle Joe at the Shady Rest Hotel, between Hooterville and Pixley.

NC-BOB
NC-BOB

Nobody would care about his naps if he got people out.

wayne1608
wayne1608

Vazquez has more value to a team that actually has a chance at the WS. Him saving games here will help us pass Cincy for 4th place. But like others have stated, how can anyone trust NH to make the trade to get the tremendous return Vazquez should bring.

$now
$now

To be fair, he did trade for Vasquez.

Bettis36
Bettis36

I wonder how many meetings between JR and Sully ended with an agreement on playing time for Ryan Reaves?

Jkaminski30
Jkaminski30

No no no no no no no No no no no no no no No no no no no no no No no no no no no no No no no no no no no No no no no no no no

Rick B
Rick B

Typically I would say trade Vasquez because (1) this is a lost season & (2) sure looks like the Pirates are or should be in rebuild mode. However I have zero trus in this management making a good baseball trade.

Joe California
Joe California

Yes they should be in a bit of a rebuild mode but he is one of the players they need to rebuild around not use to rebuild. It’s players like Marte, Dickerson, Cabrera, and Cervelli that they should be trading…

Neal F'ing Huntington*
Neal F'ing Huntington*

Marte would provide a good return, Cabrera a halfway decent prospect. No market or Cervelli. Might get some cash for Dickerson.

Joe California
Joe California

I agree and if you can get a prospect for Dickerson or Cervelli then trade if not keep for rest of year but they should not be trading base. Because they still have some quality young players. I see next year:

1B: Bell
2B: Moran
SS: Newman
3B: Hayes
LF: Martin (if they trade Marte)
CF: Reynolds
RF: Polanco
C: Diaz

That’s a pretty decent lineup… depending on return for Marte they maybe go out and get a better OF than Martin… but it’s RP that has been the downfall of this team and that’s what needs to be addressed… Getting rid of your best RP is not gonna answer that!

Joe California
Joe California

One intriguing possibility for OF is Hunter Owen who tore up AA and just got promoted as 3B to Indy but has played OF before…

Hockeymn25
Hockeymn25

Moran does not have the range to play second..

Ralphie
Ralphie

Recent trades: The Tampa trade was a disaster, the Astros trade appears to have greatly benefited the Astros but it appears that we did come out ahead on the Giants trade. Sometimes blind squirrels find nuts.

DJ
DJ

Yeah, trade Vasquez to the Rays.

Maybe they’ll offer a 3rd Rd pick.

Neal F'ing Huntington*
Neal F'ing Huntington*

Thankfully, I can only trade compensatory draft picks.

$now
$now

Vasquez for Meadows and Glasnow haha.

bigdaddy
bigdaddy

Sure trade Vazquez because other teams need him. The only pitcher that is dependable is Vazquez. It really doesn’t matter though. They finish last with him and last without him. Ownership will do everything possible to make this a last place team. That’s one thing TBMTIB is Good at !!!!

Paul
Paul

When is the last time that someone went on the 60-day IL for a flexor tendon that didn’t go for TJ surgery. The writing was on the wall from day 1. They just wasted two months of recovery time for the 1 in a million chance that it would heal.

The problem will come if they let him sit all winter and then have to operate at the start of next year.

Finch
Finch

You post this take a lot but everyone does this when it comes to flexor tendons. Rehab is typically 18 months, so you aren’t getting them back until the the start of 2021 anyway if he had surgery in April or September. The Angels did the same thing with Ohtani last year.

lycarib2002
lycarib2002

Seems worth noting that if there is “rampant” speculation about a Malkin trade, it was fed in large part by one J. Rutherford”s
pointedly coy/noncommittal answer when asked directly about that very topic!

Dave Molinari
Dave Molinari

Malkin can’t be traded unless he waives his no-movement clause, and I have absolute confidence in the individual who told me that the Penguins have made no such request and have no plans to do so. Obviously, an extreme offer could change management’s mind, but there’s no reason to anticipate one of those at this point.

jtopper
jtopper

I would have been interested in seeing what Felipe Vazquez could do as a starting pitcher with the Bucs. It’s likely too late to find out, but with his repertoire, I think he could’ve done it.

Paul
Paul

I agree. I’ve said that before, too. Plus fastball, curve, and change-up–and he’s so strong that length wouldn’t be a problem once stretched out.

jtopper
jtopper

Yep

$now
$now

If he could do it, he’d have more value to the Pirates throwing 200 innings than 60.

jtopper
jtopper

No question.

TheKanger
TheKanger

John- just wanted to say you’re doing a great job.

Joe in Nebraska
Joe in Nebraska

It’s nice to hear that GMJR and Sullivan have conversations about their disagreements. Nicer still would be to have these conversations take place before GMJR makes trades for players that Sullivan has no intention of using.

Finch
Finch

If they deal Vazquez, it doesn’t really make sense to keep Marte. If they feel like they need to rebuild those two would be good trade pieces.

GoldenTornado#54
GoldenTornado#54

That’s a very good point. I would be surprised as well if Marte was still here after Vazquez was traded. Hopefully we would get some quality in return.

Cpt. Delicious Pants
Cpt. Delicious Pants

If they’re going to rebuild it would make no sense to keep pretty much anyone currently on the roster including Bell. A rebuild will take 2-3 years at minimum so anyone who isn’t under team control for 4-5 years should go. What would be the point in keeping a player like Bell who is controlled until 2022 if your going to tank in 2020 & 2021?

Finch
Finch

I would say ideally they would be looking to compete in 2021 if they sell Vazquez and Marte at the deadline this year. I’m not sure this is in need of a complete rebuild similar to the Astros at the beginning of the decade. They have a cheap, young infield lined up for the foreseeable future. They need at least one more OFer should they deal Marte and starting pitching outside of Keller and Williams. I could see Marte and Vazquez bringing back two top notch pitching prospects and a future CFer.

Cpt. Delicious Pants
Cpt. Delicious Pants

Even with that scenario they would really only have Bell for 1 season because worst case scenario he’ll have to be moved at the 2022 deadline but ideally he’d be moved after the 2021 season ended or even at the 2021 deadline when his value was higher than it would be as a rental at the 2022 deadline.

Hockeymn25
Hockeymn25

Does it really matter? Who cares who goes or stays, as long as Nuttings wallet is in charge the Pirates have no shot to win anything of any significance….

$now
$now

I disagree.

60 innings from a closer is useless to a team that isn’t contending. Having a good bat in the lineup provides protection for the teams young hitters and gives them more opportunities to drive in runs, etc. Having a plus defender in CF helps the teams young pitchers. Unless the return is overwhelming, I wouldn’t trade Marte.

TheKanger
TheKanger

Kind of interesting that one of those terrible QBs that threw to Moncrief came into Heinz field and ripped Tomlin’s defense to shreds. Pathetic that a team
With that ridiculous an amount of talent could not contain Blake Bortles with 2 weeks to prepare. And someone please
Explain why Sean Spence was starting over LJ fort in that game

Dale Lolley
Dale Lolley

What are you talking about? The Steelers won 20-17 out there in 2017. They won 28-7 out there in 2016. They won 45-10 in Pittsburgh in 2015. They won 51-34 against Luck in Pittsburgh in 2014. Exactly where did any terrible QV rip the Tomlin defense to shreds?
Sorry man, love ya, but you can’t just make up your own facts.

TheKanger
TheKanger

I’m referencing Bortles who is being used as one of the bad QBs to explain Moncrief’s production.

Anyway, keep up the good work Dale. You keep churning out high quality work even if I disagree with some of your conclusions.

JL
JL

The bucs aren’t going to contend for several years given their lack of pitching, lack of minor league prospects, and unwillingness to spend. I would have no problem trading Vazquez based on their competitiveness over his contract. First, and very importantly, NH has to go. Bring in a new, competent GM to make these trades. Otherwise, it’s more bad trades and promises for a future that will never arrive. Isn’t 12 years enough?

Hockeymn25
Hockeymn25

The Bucs are NEVER going to contend unless someone offers Nutting 2 billion and buys the team. Most likely we will all be dead before that happens….

Mike P.
Mike P.

You don’t need a closer if you don’t intend to actually win anything. Then again, NH would probably trade Vazquez for a Subway gift card and an open gallon of paint and tell us what a great deal it was.

Neal F'ing Huntington*
Neal F'ing Huntington*

PPG or Valspar?

Mike P.
Mike P.

Whatever the WalMart house brand is…

Titan35
Titan35

The Bucs should absolutely not trade Vasquez. They got a better core right now than they did in 2013. The got most of their best players for the next 3 years. The tallion injury is a concern, but Once healthy and get Kuhl, Santana, next year and Kela, their pitching staff should be solid and they have the best offense they have had in years. 3 regulars batting over .300, and 4 more batting over .275. Not many teams can say that. In addition they have a bonafide superstar to carry them in Bell. They gotta give this at least two more seasons, then burn it down.

PeteH
PeteH

Right now the Pirates do not have a single starting pitcher they can depend on. Not one. To be a contender you need at least four. Dependability is also an issue with every member of the bullpen, injured or not, save Vasquez. Plus the infield defense is arguably the worst in baseball. The Pirates are not even close to contending. Does anyone trust management to build a good team, especially with very little in the pipeline? I sure don’t.

Christopher Rossetti
Christopher Rossetti

A better core than in 2013? You should market what you are smoking.

Chris Thomas
Chris Thomas

Trade Vasquez. A team this bad should trade an elite closer. He is a luxury. Get some young starters.

wd319
wd319

Sad but true🤔

baseball10
baseball10

Wonder if Tampa would do Felipe for meadows

JL
JL

More like Felipe and Ke’Bryan for some aging player with years of control.

IdahoNation
IdahoNation

You mean the Montreal Snowbirds?

Dale Lolley
Dale Lolley

Nah, the Montreal Ex-Rays

JoeBucco
JoeBucco

TBMTIB should not be trusted to trade a guy like Vazquez.

Years of Control
Years of Control

They got him via trade, so it shows they do get some trades right, such as McCutcheon. But I wouldn’t trade him at his salary cap number. If in two seasons when his contract is due to end & he’s just as effective, there’ll be teams that will want him at that time.

my3sons
my3sons

salary cap number?

Chris Thomas
Chris Thomas

Yeah, Neil has done a decent job with trades. I’d still trade him now. More years of control means a better return. Hopefully they can get elite talent in return.

Joe in Nebraska
Joe in Nebraska

Cole had years of control when he was traded and the return they got was a joke. I have no confidence that a Vasquez trade would be any different.

Drock17
Drock17

I wouldn’t say that it was a Joke. Musgrove has potential and Moran has been pretty good this year. Still much better than the Archer trade.

JL
JL

“Decent” at the PBC obviously carries a different meaning than in any other workplace

Outside the box
Outside the box

Can’t wait for T-bone to arrive in Pittsburgh. Clint has been looking for an Srod replacement. You know, the utility guy that will wash his car, pickup his dry cleaning and start the surrender Sunday games.

JAR
JAR

More bad horrible awful news on the buccos. Looks like a sell off and Jameson seriously hurt, just as I feared in May.

MC7187
MC7187

Is anyone else concerned GMJR will make another regrettable trade this weekend?

Years of Control
Years of Control

I am, or make bad contract signings such as Jack Johnson & Hornqvist for five years each.

PlazMan
PlazMan

Bad teams like the Pirates, ones that are true Pretenders and NOT contenders, don’t need a great closer, period. They should hold a bidding war for Vasquez and get all they can for him.

joecon53
joecon53

” The Pirates still hold out hopes of contending despite their 33-40 record, and they aren’t quite ready to commit to a sell-off.”

Baloney! Expect the usual selloff.
THEY know that it’s going to happen….
The FANS know that a sell off is coming….
Quit trying to pull the wool over fan’s eyes!!!

Cpt. Delicious Pants
Cpt. Delicious Pants

The usual sell-off? Please elaborate on that comment because the Pirates have never really had a big sell-off at the trade deadline under this management team. They typically do their selling during the off-season not at the deadline.

JoeBucco
JoeBucco

Guess this guy has a short memory. Andy Laroche would beg to differ.

Cpt. Delicious Pants
Cpt. Delicious Pants

I’m not sure if you’re trying to prove my point for me or if that was a failed attempted to disprove it. Trading 1 player away doesn’t constitute a “sell-off”. If anything 2009 when they traded away Grabow, Gorzelanny, Sanchez, Snell and Wilson at the deadline would have been a much better examples. And to be 100% truthful, yes I completely forgot about the 2009 sell-off being that it was 10 years ago. So I guess they did sell-off one time in the last decade so that easily constitutes them always doing it.

rmweber94+
rmweber94+

Pirates don’t pay players enough to have big sell off

towens1950
towens1950

What would constitute a “sell

towens1950
towens1950

Sell off ?

NC-BOB
NC-BOB

The Pirates should learn from how the Rays handled the Archer trade. Ask for the moon and see how much a team will pay. And if you don’t like the return, walk away.

kr70
kr70

you are assuming they have a brain….

NC-BOB
NC-BOB

This is why I am suggesting “Think like Tampa”. Vasquez has 2 years under contract plus 2 option years (at $10M). The Yankees got Gleyber Torres from the Cubs for 2 months + playoffs in 2016.

Up to 4 years of Vasquez should net top prospects.
If the Braves want him, the list should start with CF Cristian Pache who could take over for Marte in 2021.

Joe in Nebraska
Joe in Nebraska

Like they did with Cole? 🙄

NC-BOB
NC-BOB

Cole is a perfect example of what not to do… They decided they would take the best offer and trade him no matter what instead of setting a high price.

rmweber94+
rmweber94+

The Yankees should have been contacted again about Cole. Play them against Houston for the best deal

Joe in Nebraska
Joe in Nebraska

I don’t know if Houston had the best offer, but it was definitely a case of quantity over quality.

msurma417
msurma417

I have zero faith in Huntington getting anything from another team for Vazquez. If they begin to look at trading him I’m sure 30 other GMs will come calling hoping to be the next person to fleece Huntington. Feel awful for Taillon. Hopefully he’s able to come back soon.

Dale Lolley
Dale Lolley

You mean like getting Vazquez for Mark Melancon? Huntington has made a couple of bad trades. But he’s made some very good ones, too.

Paddy
Paddy

Good info on Moncrief, Ben should be able to up those stats immensely.

ThePenguinsStillCare
ThePenguinsStillCare

I would be fine with trading Vazquez if it was anyone but Huntington doing it. I truly feel bad for Taillon and hope he recovers and goes on to have a solid career either in Pittsburgh or somewhere else.

BigFiddy
BigFiddy

I’m ok with trading Vazquez as long as they get what’s coming in return..
Starting pitcher
Future closer
Top 10 prospect

joecon53
joecon53

Most likely get an old, over the hill pitcher, that Ray Searidge can turn into a Cy Young contender.
Yeah……Right!

kliuch
kliuch

The note about Nikita Pavlychev made me think about a somewhat unrelated point. Why is it that it is so unusual and unique for an 18 or 19-year-old to make it to the NHL? Sure, there are exceptions, but still it is highly unusual. In soccer – not less demanding sport physically and mentally – 18-year-olds are so much more often on the pitch in top level teams and leagues. Why is that?

Same for MLB – I don’t think there are many teenagers playing in the big leagues. (NBA and NFL have rules effectively preventing that on purpose, so they are outside the scope of this point).

Taylor Haase
Taylor Haase

If a player is coming from juniors, they’d have to go straight to the NHL, they aren’t eligible to play in the minors at first. The CHL and NHL have an agreement that if a juniors-eligible player goes pro, it can only be to the NHL. If they’re not in the NHL, they have to be returned to juniors. Most players aren’t ready for that jump immediately, it’d have to be a top draft pick.

If a player is American, he’s probably being drafted out of the USHL or high school. There’s a huge difference between that and the NHL. It’d have to be someone like Hughes, a top player coming out of the USNTDP.

If a player that young is going to make the NHL, it’s probably going to be a European since they were likely already playing professionally in their home country. Like Elias Pettersson.

kliuch
kliuch

Thanks, that’s really interesting. This is still a completely different approach to player development than in soccer.

kliuch
kliuch

Wow, the Ben highlight video strikes me as highly unusual. Was this a conscious management decision? Or was a video editor in the media department just pissed at Brown? Cause if it is the former, it jumps out at me as quite unique. I don’t think the Steelers have ever tried to “erase” a player like that, not in the recent history anyway – not with Santonio, not with Plax… Or am I missing something?

Rick Kehoe
Rick Kehoe

Missing something? Have you been out of the country for the past 5 1/2 months?

Notorious Furn
Notorious Furn

Preach

kliuch
kliuch

Rick, I’m out of the country full time, FWIW, and 7 timezones away. But my question still stands – this is without precedent, to my best knowledge. So I’m wondering whether it is an organizational decision.

Uncle Steelkings
Uncle Steelkings

I’m sure it was an organizational decision. There is a psychological element to success. Teams that are confident win a lot. Teams that aren’t confident, don’t. I’m sure that video’s message was much more intended for the current offense than it was for Antonio Brown.

jesto68
jesto68

kliuch – AB burned bridges, roads, apartment balconies, anything that stood in his way of getting a new contract somewhere else. I can’t remember a Steelers player that did one quarter of that on his way out, so I completely understand the team erasing him from their short term memory. I doubt he is one that will ever be embraced on his return like tons of other sports figures have been over the years.

Dale Lolley
Dale Lolley

The whole situation was “without precedent.” Really, it was. And yes, you’d better believe it was an organizational decision.

PgherinLev
PgherinLev

A.B. will need some ointment on that burn, Dale!

Goose
Goose

Tailion is snake bit, and to an extent so goes the Pirates chances of any sort of competitiveness. This franchise is looking at a really long rebuild. Firing the front office and trading anyone of value, especially Vasquez would be an appropriate start. Unfortunaley I don’t trust Neil to identify the right deal or value in return.

Neal F'ing Huntington*
Neal F'ing Huntington*

If Taillon isn’t coming back this season, Vazquez should absolutely be traded for prospects. Dickerson, Polanco/Marte, and Archer should also be on the block.

Woomer
Woomer

I would argue that if they play their cards right (and they rarely do) that next season looks promising.

The rotation will have Taillon, Williams, Musgrove, Archer, Keller, and Kuhl available. The bullpen will be adding back Santana and Kela (and Brault back to long relief).

The infield could have Hayes, Moran, Newman, Frazier, Tucker and Bell to choose from. And the outfield will start with Reynolds, Marte and Polanco — with Diaz catching.

I see very few additional pieces that they would need to add to be competitive — maybe one more starter, a couple relievers, and a couple experienced bench players.

MainLineBurgher
MainLineBurgher

@woomer, Hmm. I agree with your point about TBMTIB’s card playing abilities.

I would look at trading Archer for a promising young stud pitcher and a top outfield prospect that is MLB ready!

Rennie.336
Rennie.336

You think Archer would fetch a young stud pitcher? Only if there was a GMNH clone out there in the mist

MainLineBurgher
MainLineBurgher

@rennie, that was meant to be a joke, as that’s what they gave up for Archer in the first place.

Rico Fata
Rico Fata

I see what you did there…

MainLineBurgher
MainLineBurgher

😉

Uncle Steelkings
Uncle Steelkings

@ Woomer: A strained flexor tendon in the elbow is a 6 to 9 week injury. When he starts the throwing program it will be 8+ weeks with at least a month to go. Taillon himself says he still as some pain in the joint. This isn’t going to go well. He will be closing in on 30 years old when he gets back. And the small sample size of success for pitchers with a 2nd TJ isn’t good. Most return as bull pen help. Not starters. I think that’s why they are trying to heal it with platelet injections. The Pirates know that a second TJ turns their very large investment into crap. I hope i’m wrong, but Taillons luck would need to change significantly.

Robsdaddy
Robsdaddy

I tend to agree. I think we have seen the last of JT as a viable member of the starting rotation.

Woomer
Woomer

U.S., I know nothing about orthopedics, but can’t a strained tendon either heal or be repaired?

For example if it has a tear within it or if it’s been stretched beyond its normal limits, won’t medical therapy as you describe help it to heal over time (even if it takes until next season)?

Or if its connection to the bone has weakened, can’t that attachment be strengthened with arthroscopic surgery?

I guess (being a complete medical amateur) I can’t see how it can’t either heal or be repaired.

parker39
parker39

Looks like Taillon won’t be back next year…

MainLineBurgher
MainLineBurgher

@Fake NH, agree, and they should look at any decent return for other players as well, such as Cabrera. Older and mightn’t get much, but a contending team looking for a deeper bench or to replace/share with a struggling starter, his .325 average might be worth parting with a good prospect. And we all know that they can can use players to supplement their farm system due to scouting, etc.