Trade Probabilities and the Cleveland Indians

By Jason Ruggiero (Remember me? I used to post here all the time)

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If you are interested enough to read this I’m sure you know that MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching this Thursday (July 31) at 4 pm EST. There are of course piles of bogus rumors circulating right now and as usual the Indians are not included in too many of those rumors as they tend to keep a pretty tight lid on their actions. When scanning the various rumor sites the best advice regarding the Indians is if you are reading about it, it usually isn’t true.

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Shopping the Bargain Bin at the Deadline: Vol. 1

By Andy Burdick

One of my favorite moves in all of baseball is when a team trades for a player while the other team is picking up a portion of that player’s salary.  Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington executed this deal perfectly when he traded for then New York Yankees starter A.J. Burnett and cash.  At the time, Burnett had $31.1 million remaining on his deal with the Yankees, of which Pittsburgh had to pick up $13 million.  That deal has been one of the best during Huntington’s tenure in Pittsburgh, not only for the talent acquired, but because it was acquired with the Yankees picking up most of the tab for two seasons. Continue reading

Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Target: Ian Kennedy

By Andy Burdick

The Hot Stove is heating up… to tepid at least.

As reported by Ken Rosenthal, the Pittsburgh Pirates were scouting San Diego Padres starter Ian Kennedy during his last start.

Charles LeClaire, USA Today Sports / July 4, 2014

Keep playing with fire, Pittsburgh.

While this may not be the sexy David Price trade everyone continues to hope for, it could be a significant addition to a Pittsburgh roster that is in the hunt for its second consecutive playoff spot.  As the old adage says, you can never have too much pitching; with Gerrit Cole‘s sore lat and Liriano’s control issues, Kennedy could help shore up a rotation that has relied on significant starting contributions from Vance Worley.

And that is never a fun game to have to play. Continue reading

Chris Bradley’s 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Mid-Season Awards

By Chris Bradley

I’ve been a Pirate fan for most of my life, although I have cheated on them with those lovable “idiot” Red Sox teams of the early to mid 2000s. Then again, this is mostly because I liked it when Yankee fans felt pain, and the Red Sox  doled out that pain, and no amount of “28 championships!!11!!!1!” retorts could ease an insecure Yankee fan’s pain. I still like the Red Sox, hell I like pretty much every baseball team that isn’t the Yankees, Braves, Cardinals, or Reds.

Most of the Pirate teams from that era are forgettable, and for good reason. There were no players to love, like Cutch, no Ray Searage voodoo magic, like Locke and Volquez, no hometown hero, like Neil Walker, and no true phenom, like Gregory Polanco. Now that the Huntington regime has put together a solid core of young players that Pirate fans can watch for a years to come, we here at Tri-State of Mind can hand out Mid-Season Awards without irony or the pall of waiting for next year. So, here are my picks for Mid-Season 2014:

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Andy Burdick’s 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Mid-Season Awards

By Andy Burdick

The All-Star Break does not represent the exact mid-point of the baseball season, but it does provide a few days of relaxation in the marathon schedule of Major League Baseball.  Pittsburgh currently sits in fourth place in the National League Central and is 3.5 games behind the division leading Milwaukee and three games out of the Wild Card.

The purpose of this article is to examine some of the first half performances of 2014 that have helped to get the Pirates to this point in the season. Continue reading

The Gregory Polanco Effect on Andrew McCutchen

By Andy Burdick

On the July 11 podcast, Chris Bradley referenced Andrew McCutchen‘s numbers since Gregory Polanco‘s call up, and I think it is important to note the increase in production.  I do not have access to a database that can get detailed information like a Major League front office, but suffice it to say that a number three hitter who has a lead off hitter getting on base with a .374 OBP is probably going to see an increase in offensive production. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #55: Penny Pinching Pittsburgh Pirates

On this week’s episode, Chris Bradley steps in to pinch hit for Jason and discusses the injuries that have been plaguing the National League Central teams other than the Pirates with Andy.  Andy then does his best to fill Jason’s shoes while he talks about the founding father of the Corey Kluber Society, Corey Kluber, Jason Kipnis’s weak start to the season, and Justin Masterson’s struggles.  Chris then dives right into the action in Pittsburgh talking about the complexities of his feelings for Charlie Morton, how Gregory Polanco has improved Andrew McCutchen’s offense, and what’s happening down on the farm.  The duo wrap up with a SeaWolves shout out, highlighting not only the SeaWolves, but the other All-Stars Andy will see next Wednesday in Altoona at the Double-A All-Star Game.

Futures Game Features Erie SeaWolves Outfielder Steven Moya

By Andy Burdick

If you are an Erie SeaWolves fan, the 2014 Futures Game is going to be of interest to you!  Erie SeaWolves outfielder and Puerto Rican native Steven Moya has been selected to represent the world (The World?) in this year’s contest.

There is no questioning the power Moya brings to the plate every time he steps into the box.  Moya launched his 18th home run of the year Wednesday off a mistake from Akron RubberDuck Jordan Cooper in the 7th inning. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #54: Regal Ruggiero Returns

This week Andy and Jason discuss a scandal in Houston. Andy then discusses Pittsburgh’s improved offense, their bullpen at length, Gerrit Cole’s refusal to rehab and speculative trade targets. Jason then asks Andy, “What’s wrong with the following players?” as they dive into the performances this year of Nick Swisher, Justin Masterson and Jason Kipnis, followed by a brief update on Francisco Lindor. The gang finishes with a SeaWolves shout-out.

BUCN Trade Targets

By Christopher Bradley and Andy Burdick

We’re roughly five weeks away from the trade deadline and pundits across the blogosphere already have ruminated on possible trade targets for the Pirates. The Tri-State of Mind staff has done some ruminating of their own on recent podcasts as well. This article will dig deeper into the rumor mill and help provide a more in-depth analysis of some of the names being bandied about the hot stove by allowing us to have a seat in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ imaginary general manager’s chair.

Armchair General Manager

“This is the best job ever!”

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s starting pitching has been less than stellar this season, as the starters have posted the eighth worst ERA in baseball at 4.16.  This is a far cry from their 2013 success, in which the starters finished the season with a 3.50 ERA, which was the fifth best in baseball.  With no options to bolster the rotation ready on the farm, this means the Pittsburgh Pirates’ hot stove is scorching and ready for a starting pitcher!

This article will examine the art of the trade in three distinctly different capacities.  First, as armchair general managers, we will examine who we feel the Pirates should trade for.  Then we will predict who we feel the Pirates will trade for, as the fans’ predictions are usually distinctly different than the reality that unfolds.  Finally, we will examine the aphorism the best trades are oftentimes the ones that you never make, as we take a look at moves that have have been discussed, but we believe should not be made.

So take a seat in your favorite recliner, crack open an icy cold beverage, and join in on all the trade talk with the Tri-State of Mind staff.  As an armchair general manager like us, you can relax because you’re not actually in charge of the transactions of a multi-million dollar franchise.  The best part of this job is that there are no repercussions for having a wrong opinion.

Let’s talk some trades! Continue reading