POLL: Pirates Offseason Confidence Index

With 29 days until pitchers & catchers report, the Pirates are looking pretty set for 2015. A number of new faces will join the Bucs in Bradenton next month; here’s a quick roundup of what the team has done this winter:

Additions

Francisco Liriano (free agent; re-signed for 3 years, $39 million)
A.J. Burnett (free agent; signed for 1 year, $8.5 million)
Francisco Cervelli, C (acquired from New York for Wilson)
Sean Rodriguez, UTIL (acquired from Tampa Bay for MiLB RHP Buddy Borden and cash)
Antonio Bastardo, LHP (acquired from Philadelphia for MiLB LHP Joely Rodriguez)
Corey Hart, 1B (free agent; signed for 1 year, $2.5 million)
– Jung-Ho Kang, IF (free agent; signed for 4 years, $11 million)
Radhames Liz, RHP (free agent; signed for 1 year, $1 million)
Justin Sellers, IF (acquired from Cleveland for cash)
Pedro Florimon, IF (claimed from Washington)
Rob Scahill, RHP (acquired from Colorado for MiLB RHP Shane Carle)

Subtractions

Russell Martin, C (free agent; signed with Toronto)
Edinson Volquez, RHP (free agent; signed with Kansas City)
Clint Barmes, IF (free agent; signed with San Diego)
Justin Wilson, LHP (traded to New York for Cervelli)
Ike Davis, 1B (traded to Oakland for cash)
Gaby Sanchez, 1B (DFA’d; signed with Rakuten, Japan)
Jeanmar Gomez, RHP (DFA’d; signed minor league deal with Philadelphia)
John Axford, RHP (DFA’d; free agent)
Andy Oliver, LHP (selected by Philadelphia in Rule 5 draft)

…which leaves the depth chart looking something like this:

pirates batting depth chart

pirates pitching depth chart

EDIT: Elmore was DFA’d this morning to make room for Kang. If he isn’t claimed/traded, they’ll likely outright him to Indy and keep him around as depth.

That being said, how pleased are you with what the Pirates have done this offseason? A lot of people weren’t happy with what the club was doing last January, but the front office seemed to have a much better plan heading into this winter.

Thanks for voting.

76 days until Opening Day…

Go Bucs

POLL: How many games will the Pirates win in 2014?

Pirates 2014

The Pirates get started today at noon with their annual “Black and Gold” intrasquad game at McKechnie Field. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Grapefruit League, and Opening Day is just 34 days away.

Around this time last year, we asked: “How many games will the Pirates win in 2013?” The majority of voters predicted between 81-85. Of course, the Bucs went on to exceed the expectations set by everyone around baseball and win 94 contests.

So now, here’s the same question: how many times will they raise the jolly roger in ’14? Will it be a major/minor step back from 94, or an improvement? Let us know what you think:

Go Bucs

POLL: Which team will sign AJ Burnett?

On Tuesday afternoon, Travis Sawchik reported that veteran RHP A.J. Burnett will pitch in 2014. After mulling retirement for quite some time, Burnett’s ready to pitch in his age-37 season.

The Pirates are “still very much engaged” in talks with him, but will he return to the ‘Burgh? The Orioles and Phillies make sense for Burnett as well.

aj burnett orioles phillies

So where will he end up? Let us know what you think.

Good luck to A.J.

Go Bucs

Poll: How do you feel about the Pirates offseason so far?

AJ Burnett Pittsburgh Pirates Signing Autographs

Coming off a great 2013 campaign, the offseason has been a little underwhelming. Not that there isn’t promise for 2014, but it seems like the Pirates have just been treading water this winter.

Elsewhere in the NL Central, the Cardinals continue to get better – it might be hard for them to improve on 97 wins, but they fixed their shortstop problem with Jhonny Peralta and added a solid outfielder in Peter Bourjos. The window may be closing on the Reds, while the Cubs and Brewers haven’t taken huge strides.

Here’s a rundown of what the Bucs have done so far…

Additions to 40-man roster
– RHP Edinson Volquez (1 year, $5 million)
– SS Clint Barmes (re-signed 1 year, $2 million)
– C Chris Stewart (acquired from Yankees)
– OF Jaff Decker (acquired from Padres)
– 1B Chris McGuiness (acquired from Rangers)
– RHP Duke Welker (re-acquired from Twins)

Subtractions from 40-man roster
A.J. Burnett (free agent)
John Buck (free agent)
Marlon Byrd (free agent; signed with Phillies)
Justin Morneau (free agent; signed with Rockies)
Garrett Jones (DFA’d/non-tendered; signed with Marlins)
Michael McKenry (DFA’d/non-tendered)
Jerry Sands (DFA’d; claimed on waivers by Rays)
Ryan Reid (DFA’d; claimed on waivers by Mets)
Kris Johnson (traded to Twins)
Miles Mikolas (acquired from Padres; traded to Rangers)

With that, please vote on our new poll…

88 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

POLL: Best Pirates Walk-Up Music of 2013

Every time you go to the ballpark, it’s cool to hear the music that players are using as they walk to the plate. There are databases all over the internet for all 30 teams’ walk-up music; RTJR keeps a nice one for the Pirates, as does pirates.com.

We have to ask: who had the best walk-up music in 2013? Please vote on the poll. All songs are linked below if you wish to listen.

Andrew McCutchen: Higher Ground | Church Clap

Andrew Lambo: Mercy

Clint Barmes: Don’t Stop Believing

Gaby Sanchez: Deliverance

Garrett Jones: Apache (Jump on it) | Whiskey in the Jar

John Buck: Big Bad John | Wheels Rollin’

Jordy Mercer: Tonight is the Night

Justin Morneau: Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution

Marlon Byrd: Work | Get Like Me

Neil Walker: Seven Nation Army | Wild for the Night

Pedro Alvarez: Juicy | Brooklyn Go Hard

Russell Martin: Black Skinhead

Starling Marte: Dale Miami | Placata

Tony Sanchez: Tony Montana

Travis Snider: Smells Like Teen Spirit | Can’t Hold Us