Tri-State at the Plate Episode #63: It’s On Like Jung-ho Kang

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Kang puns continue on this week’s episode.  However, before talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates, Andy and Jason first discuss Max Scherzer at length and question if $210 million is deferred, is it really still $210 million?  Andy then analyzes the Pittsburgh Pirates’ signing of South Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang and his role on the team before he discusses his surprise about the front office’s intended plan for him.  Jason then un-ZiPS the Cleveland Indians as he takes a look at the 2015 ZiPS projections for Michael Brantley, Corey Kluber, Jason Kipnis, Yan Gomes, and others.

Jung-ho Kang is a Pittsburgh Pirate

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates finalized their deal with South Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang last week.  Kang signed for 4 years and $11 million with a $5.5 million club option or $1 million buyout in 2019.  Pittsburgh is now on the hook for the $5 million posting fee as well, which means Kang is effectively costing the Pirates $16 million over the next four years.

At $4 million AAV, what vision does Pittsburgh have for Kang on their roster over the next four seasons? Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #62: Mercer Me, It’s Jung-ho Kang

On this week’s podcast, Andy and Jason discuss a very busy offseason for San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller before moving on to all things Pittsburgh and Cleveland related.  Andy first discusses the Pirates signing of A.J. Burnett and the re-signing of Francisco Liriano.  He then waxes poetic about the trade for Francisco Cervelli before discussing the move of Pedro Alvarez to first base and Pittsburgh posting for Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang.  Jason then talks about the Cleveland Indians signing of Gavin Floyd and its effect on on the rotation, the trade for Athletics outfielder Brandon Moss, and the stability of the short stop position in Cleveland over the last twenty years.

The Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Offseason

By Andy Burdick

The Pittsburgh Pirates had another strong showing in the National League Central in 2014, falling short of a World Series berth by a few rounds, but finishing with a winning record for the second consecutive season.  For a team that finished twenty consecutive seasons with a losing record, these past few seasons have been undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

In this article I look to examine some of the more important moves that the Pirates have made this off season that could change the trajectory of the 2015 season. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #61: Brandon Moss or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Trade Rumors

On this week’s podcast, Andy comes up with his favorite title yet before he and Jason open with a discussion of the Supreme Leader of the Atlanta Braves, John Hart, and his plan for the franchise.  Jason then aggressively dissects the trade rumors swirling around Cleveland, particularly as they pertain to Oakland Athletics outfielder Brandon Moss, but also throws some other interesting names out there that have been circulating the Twitter-verse.  He talks plenty of prospect value and which of the batch of Cleveland Indian middle infielders he would feel comfortable departing with.  Andy then discusses his complex feelings towards Russell Martin signing with the Blue Jays, the catching conundrum in Pittsburgh, the Pirates’ first base situation going forward, and pours one out for his homie, Clint Barmes.  The duo conclude the podcast by answering some Tweetmails about free agents from their good friend Dan in Buffalo.

Pittsburgh Pirates Free Agent Target: Kris Medlen

By Andy Burdick

As a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, I have grown averse to risk as it pertains to players’ contracts.  For example, I’d rather pay $8.5 million dollars for one year of A.J. Burnett than $13 million dollars a year for three years of Francisco Liriano.

Spending money on pitchers is always a roll of the dice.  The Detroit Tigers probably didn’t expect their newest, highest paid ace Justin Verlander to throw 206 innings with a 4.54 ERA last season.

That being said, no team has mastered how to fill five rotation spots with amazing starters, so most teams are going to have to spend money on free agent arms in one fashion or another.  And Pittsburgh is no different. Continue reading

Giving Thanks (And Hope) This Thanksgiving


By Jason Ruggiero

Two consecutive winning seasons. A Cy Young winner who is under club control for four more years. Being on the right side of the Yan Gomes trade. Jose Ramirez. These are just some of the (baseball-related) things that I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

It’s certainly a good idea to stop and count your blessings every once in a while and that goes for baseball or life in general but this year is a little different for an Indians fan. We always had things to be thankful for, even in the lean years . . .I mean we always have Major League right? But this year we have something special, something that doesn’t always come around . . . hope.

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Russell Martin Expectedly Signs Elsewhere

I told Andy that I would write about Russell Martin when he signed with the Blue Jays yesterday for 5 years and $82 million smackers. For the past two months or so (seriously) I had a draft started that changed titles three different times depending on my optimism:

  1. The Pirates Should Sign Russell Martin.
  2. Will The Pirates Sign Russell Martin?
  3. If The Pirates Don’t Sign Russell Martin, I’ll Die.

That last one was to see how many page views we could rack up from people wishing to see me have some sort of nervous breakdown.

Now that Martin’s tenure with the Pirates is over, I thought we could all look back at how the highest paid free agent in Pirates history helped them to consecutive winning seasons.

Continue reading

Noise on the North Coast – Nov. 17 2014

By Jason Ruggiero

Noise on the North Coast


Snow is piling up along the North Coast which means it’s the off-season, time once again for me to philosophize with my (electronic) pen about where the Indians are, where they are going, and if necessary re-hash where we have been. Obviously this column has been absent for quite some time, but rather than waste any digital ink explaining my disappearance, let’s just get right down to baseball, which is why you are really here.

Continue reading

Andy Burdick’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Review: Part 2

By Andy Burdick

This is the follow up to Part 1 of my fantasy baseball season review.  You can check that out here.  It’s a nice mental exercise that forces me to look at my roster and the moves I made and to analyze the direction my roster is going in the future.

2014 Trades I Made

As a fantasy manager, I am fairly aggressive with trades relative to the rest of the managers in my league.  This is partially because I feel like I have a competitive roster in the present and I look to fill whatever statistical gaps my roster has in an attempt to win now. Continue reading