Sunday, October 10, 2004

Keep Kendall

This article should scare the pants off any Pirates fan.

I don't think the Pirates have any players they should consider untouchable, including Kendall. But once money is out of the picture, Kendall is a very, very valuable commodity - a catcher who puts up .400 OBPs and is one of the two or three best leadoff hitters in baseball.

Why am I taking money out of the picture? Well, because as a fan, it doesn't matter to me that Kendall is overpaid. If the Pirates are able to trade him and get his salary off the books, that money probably won't be used to improve the team. Given the recent patterns of Pirates management, the payroll will probably just shrink that much more if Kendall leaves.

This would be a different matter if the Pirates were getting great talent - especially great young talent - in return for Kendall. But they're not.

The Pirates wanted a promising pitcher, Yhency Brazoban, in return, but the Dodgers balked. Speculation is that another player -- Craig Wilson, for example, if he gets re-signed -- could be included with the Pirates receiving a catcher, Brent Mayne, perhaps, along with the pitcher they want.

Yhency Brazoban? Brent Mayne? From a baseball perspective, that's suicide, especially if they throw in Craig Wilson to make the deal. If anything resembling that deal occurs, I'll probably be able to stop rooting for the Pirates for good, and so will most of the rest of the fans that are still around. Here's the explanation:

That way, Humberto Cota could get more playing time and the Pirates would have a veteran backup to share the load. But then they'd have to make up Wilson's production somewhere else.

More playing time for Humberto Cota is not going to help the Pirates now or in the future. I hope that Robert Dvorchak didn't get that from a Pirates official.

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