Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Pirates Roundup

Hello friends,

Sorry for my recent absence. The last week or so has been very busy and exciting for me personally, and I haven't had the time or inclination to think about baseball much.

The Pirates news we've heard since Wednesday has mostly been uninspiring. The Pirates avoided arbitration with Kip Wells, Josh Fogg and Brian Meadows. Wells' upside is worth the $3 million gamble the Pirates are taking on him, but the $3 million plus combined the Pirates will be spending on Fogg and Meadows is unnecessary. Last week, Jeff did a good job explaining why Meadows isn't as good as last year's numbers suggest. Fogg is simply mediocre, and despite the Pirates' recent problems keeping their starters healthy, the Pirates might have been better served if they'd handed Fogg's rotation spot to a youngster like Ian Snell and pooled the money they'll be spending on Fogg, Meadows, Benito Santiago and Jose Mesa to sign a single player who could help their dreadful offense.

The other major/"major" move the Pirates made recently was to take steps toward signing Albie Lopez to a minor league contract. Lopez didn't play in 2004, has had elbow trouble, and was awful in limited time in 2003, but he could be a useful bullpen arm if everything breaks right for him this year. The same could be said for at least a dozen younger, higher-upside guys the Pirates already have in the minors, however.


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