Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pirates Shaking Things Up at the Winter Meetings

Two transactions in the last half-day or so for our Buccos, and in all likelihood they have another one coming a little later on in the Rule 5 Draft. In case you haven't heard, the Pirates dealt away Fat Ronny last night, and believe it or not, another team gave the Pirates something of substance in return. I had just assumed that when Paulino was dealt, the Pirates would get nothing in return and end up sending money along with him in order to cover for his new team's increased buffet costs. The guy they got in return was the great Jason Jaramillo (no that isn't his pic above, I'll get to that in a minute). He too is a catcher with some ability (a former second round pick), but never really amounted to much. He is going to be fighting with Robinson Diaz and maybe Raul Chavez for the coveted opening backup catcher slot.

Now, for that glorious picture above of a man with the great mustache, that could be the Pirates newest member, Mr. Ramon Vazquez, signed for an oustading 2 years and 4 million dollars!!!! My first reaction: Uhmm....What?!? Sure he had a nice little career year last season, batting .290 in 300 at-bats with a career-best .795 OPS, numbers that are respectable for a utility middle infield guy, but take a look at these career stats! For one, he's 32 years old and hasn't been a full-time player at any point in his career and the season in which he saw the most action was 2002! That will be 7 years ago! Aren't we supposed to be a small-market team in a recession? How are we spending 2 mil a year on Ramon Vazquez? This has to mean that Jumpin' Jack is getting dealt in the coming days, right? If there's no deal for Jack, then we are paying 2 million a year for a guy who right now the team hopes almost never starts a game this season, right? I mean if Jack stays (and up until this signing I thought there was an increased chance of that) then we certainly expect him and Freddy to be out there for 150+ starts this season, and the team has shown it is more than happy to let Andy LaRoche does his best Adam-in-April routine for most of the season without any repercussions, so where does the 2 million dollar backup fit in? Nowhere! I think this was a crazy move, personally, as they could have waited until the free agent market was picked over and signed someone to a minor-league deal and gotten 80% of Vazquez for a 25% of the price, much like Luis Rivas or Douggie Mientkiewicz a year ago.

No comments: