A small bit of Pirate stuff from the fourth and final day of this year’s Winter Meetings…
– The annual Rule 5 draft basically marks the end of the meetings, and that took place this morning. As expected, the Pirates passed on everyone in the major league portion. No sense in trying to keep a marginal player on the roster the whole year.
They did lose LHP Andy Oliver to the Phillies, however. The Bucs got Oliver, 27, from the Tigers at the Winter Meetings two years ago, but he never got a chance in the bigs due to some awful command. He posted a 4.05 ERA out of Indianapolis’ bullpen in 2013 while walking 8.1 batters per nine innings; he had better results this year (2.53 ERA) but still struggled with the strike zone (6.6 BB/9). Oliver does strike a lot of guys out, but obviously the Pirates never gave him a chance and didn’t feel the need to protect him from the Rule 5. Maybe he’ll figure things out with the Phillies.
They didn’t take anyone in the minor league portion of the draft either, but lost two players: Luis Urena (a converted pitcher) to the Tampa Bay Rays and Tyler Waldron (also a RHP) to the St. Louis Cardinals.
– Things are quieting down on the rumor mill, but Pedro Alvarez might be on the Marlins’ list of first base targets. John Perrotto wrote a few days ago that Alvarez would be available in trades, add that an Alvarez for Nathan Eovaldi trade was shot down by Miami. Tom Singer tweeted today that the teams could “renew Alvarez-Eovaldi talks,” but that seemed too good to be true. Bill Brink basically said there’s no chance it happens.
Eovaldi is a 24-year-old flamethrower who tossed 199.2 innings for the Marlins in 2014. His fastball averaged 95.7 mph, fourth-best in the bigs, just ahead of Gerrit Cole‘s 95.5. Eovaldi has three years of control remaining vs. Pedro’s two.
Once again, Alvarez’s trade value is low right now after the year he just had. He’s a streaky hitter at best, strikes out a ton, can’t touch a left-handed pitcher, forgot how to throw and now has to play an unfamiliar position — who knows which Pedro will show up in 2015. Sorry, I don’t think he’s going to fetch a young, controllable pitcher like Eovaldi.
– Brandon McCarthy signed with the Dodgers last night for four years, $48 million. He was a good target for the Pirates, and they were one of the teams that pursued him. I doubt they would’ve gone four years on him… all in all, they definitely did a good job of bringing back Francisco Liriano for similar money on three years.
– As we said yesterday, the Pirates will be unveiling a new alternate jersey on Saturday. There was an all-gold jersey floating around Twitter this morning, which was a fake. However, the guys over at SportsLogos.net have already seen the new threads — they won’t leak anything, but are saying the actual alternate is worse than the fake one on Twitter. Yikes.
The Pirates have some camo items on their promotional schedule, and SportsLogos.net sort of alluded to it… so they might be camo. Meh. For what it’s worth, the black alternate jersey and Sunday throwbacks are apparently staying in the mix. Guess we’ll find out on Saturday.
PirateFest on Saturday and Sunday.