Tri-State at the Plate Episode #93: Tri-State 2016 Trade Deadline Spectacular, Pt. 2

In a continuation of the trade deadline that was, Andy, Bob, and Jason dig into the four moves by the Pittsburgh Pirates this trade deadline: 1). The trading of relief pitcher Mark Melancon to the Washington Nationals 2). The trading of Jon Niese back to the New York Mets for reliever Antonio Bastardo 3). The trading of two players to be named later for the services of Yankees’ starter Ivan Nova for two months and 4). The confusing trade of Francisco Liriano and his $17 million contract, outfield prospect Harold Ramirez, and catching prospect Reese McGuire to the Blue Jay for starter Drew Hutchison. It’s a trippy episode that elicits some raw emotions from Andy’s childhood, back when the Pirates were mired in the midst of a twenty year losing streak.

This is an episode you won’t want to miss.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #92: Tri-State 2016 Trade Deadline Spectacular, Pt. 1


This week’s episode is actually a two-for-one deal as there was so much trade deadline discussion, it had to be broken up into two episodes! In part one, Andy, Bob, and Jason talk about the feud between Billy Butler and Chris Gimenez before they dive right into the trade deadline that was for the Cleveland Indians’ front office… to mostly positive reviews! The trio dissect the trading of super prospect Clint Frazier for Andrew Miller and how the trade affects the Indians’ franchise. They then discuss the less-than-sexy, but statistically important trade for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer, before they talk at length about the trade that never was for former Milwaukee catcher (current Texas Ranger) Jonathan Lucroy. Make sure you tune into part two, in which they trio take a lot at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ trade deadline moves.

Tri-State at the Plate #70: The 2015 Trade Deadline That Was

The 2015 trade deadline has come and gone so you get an hour and twenty minutes of podcast goodness today, but before Jason and Andy discuss things with the Tribe, they first discuss an appropriate age to bring your child to a baseball game. Once they finish with that discussion at the 12:45 mark, they then dive into the Cleveland Indians. Jason gives his thoughts on the Brandon Moss trade, the Carlos Carassco trade that never was, Jason Kipnis and leadership in the Indians’ clubhouse, and Andy waxes poetic about Francisco Lindor‘s recent production at the plate.  Then around the 44:00 minute mark, Andy and Chris Bradley dig into the Pirates’ trade deadline: they first hit on the Aramis Ramirez homecoming, Joe Blanton and the least sexy trade ever and the rest of the Pirates trades before finishing up talking about A.J. Burnett‘s elbow (or what’s left of it) and Jung Ho Kang’s hot streak the last month. Andy then finishes with a quick SeaWolves shout out and talks about going to meet former Pirates manager Jim Leyland this week!

Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Target: Tyson Ross 2.0

By Andy Burdick

Armchair General Manager

“Heavy is the head that wears the crown.”

The trade deadline is quickly approaching on Friday, July 31, and everyone’s favorite hobby of armchair GM-ing is in full swing.  We’re no different here at TSM Baseball. What Pirates’ fan wouldn’t want to spend a day nearing the trade deadline in Neal Huntington’s shiny, patent leather shoes? While those shoes are probably never comfortable and leave you feeling more paranoid about your professional standing than a ‘Game of Thrones’ character, when there are no stakes to be had as an internet writer, the exercise becomes a lot more fun!

In this article I will have a seat in the hypothetical general manager’s chair and target Tyson Ross, a player that I have become obsessed with over the last three years.  I will also look at some of the pieces that I might be willing to part with that will send the Yinzer fans in Pittsburgh into a blind rage as they line up and down Federal Street, throwing IC Light cans and yelling expletives in protest.

Full Disclosure: My sexy trade deadline move for the Pirates that would have surely melted the internet would have been a move in which the Pirates traded super-prospect Tyler Glasnow in a package deal to the Rockies for short stop Troy Tulowitzki. I had been working out the players in my head that might fit on both sides, but with the recent trade of Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, this exercise is now over.

Rest easy, internet.

Full Disclosure 2: While I mostly agree with the general fan sentiment that Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow are untouchable, no players are totally untouchable for the right price. While Ross isn’t that piece, there are players out there that would be worth dealing either of those two for. Continue reading

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

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #56: 2014 Trade Deadline Edition

This week Andy and Jason team-up for a special Trade Deadline Edition of Tri-State at the Plate. The guys start things off by talking about the Indians decision to trade Justin Masterson, before moving on to all the juicy rumors that are swirling, including the Pirates reported interest in Red Sox ace Jon Lester.

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

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

Bryan Morris traded to Miami Marlins

By Andy Burdick

Bryan Morris Miami Marlins

Jeffrey Loria had better not back out of his promise of free Marlin rides to new players.

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Bryan Morris is now Miami Marlins relief pitcher Bryan Morris.

Morris was traded to the Marlins today for the 39th overall pick (a competitive balance pick) in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, which will take place this Thursday.  The departure of Morris leaves a 25-man roster spot open on the Pirates’ roster, which will presumably be filled prior to tonight’s nationally televised game against the Dodgers. Continue reading

Chris Stewart Dealt to the Pirates

By Chris Bradley

According to Ken Rosenthal, Yankees catcher Chris Stewart has been acquired by the Pirates.

This deal has obvious implications for non-tender candidate, Mike McKenry, also known as “The Fort”. Stewart appears to be a better defensive backup than McKenry, by a slight margin.  Stewart is poised to make roughly $1 million in arbitration, while The Fort will more than likely make around $900k.  McKenry’s 2013 was cut short by season-ending knee surgery in August.

In 340 Plate appearances with the Yankees, Stewart hit a paltry .211/.293/.272 with a .566 OPS.  He will more than likely play backup to Russell Martin, while 2009 first round pick Tony Sanchez gets a few more at bats in the minors.  This move is somewhat puzzling to me because Sanchez is not only pretty good defensively, he has a lot more pop in his bat than Chris Stewart.  It looks like there will be a competition during Spring Training to see who gets to back up Russell Martin.

However, I am not one to question the GM kung fu moves that Neal Huntington puts on other teams (especially the Yankees. A.J. Burnett anyone?).  While McKenry has been somewhat of a fan favorite over the past few years, the Pirates never had any plans of making him the everyday backstop.  In his career as a Pirate he has hit, .226/.293/.381, and was worth about 1.4 WAR.  His best season as a Pirate was in 2012, when he had 275 PAs and hit .233/.320/.442 with 12 dingers. The Pirates have designated Mike McKenry for Assignment.