Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Neil Huntington Era- Part III

The holidays are over and now it's time to continue my Neil Huntington analysis.  Today, we look at all of the signings that NH has made, since his arrival on the job in 2007. Now here is the section of the analysis, wit absolutely nothing to report; because just like his predecessor, NH has not made a big splash by signing anyone of value.  Most of this blame can be put squarley on the owner, but as the product on the field gets worse by the day, NH eventually has to step up and get the job done.

While he has made the farm system much better through trades and the draft, the big league product has suffered drastically and don't expect it to get any better in 2010. Now let's take a look at the studs that NH has inked to contracts.

2007- Kevin Thompson (waivers A's), Phil Dumatrait (waivers Reds), Josh Wilson (waivers Rays), Ty Taubenheim (waivers Blue Jays), Evan Meek (rule 5), and the ever popular Chris Gomez (1yr/$1mil)

2008- Raul Chavez (minor league), TJ Beam (minor league), Luis Rivas (ml), Doug Mienkiewicz(ml), Freddy Sanchez (2yr/$11mil extension), Donnie Veal (rule 5), Ramon Vazquez (2yr/$4mil), Ryan Doumit (3yr/$11.5mil extension), Garrett Jones (ml)

2009- Craig Monroe (ml), Virgil Vazquez (waivers SD), Eric Hinske (1yr/$1.5mil), Paul Maholm (3yr/$14.5mil extension), Nate Mclouth (3yr/$15.75mil extension), John Meloan (waivers Rays), Steven Jackson (waivers Yankees), Anthony Claggett (waivers Yankees), Justin Thomas (waivers Mariners), Chris Jakubauskas (waivers Mariners), Wil Ledezma (ml), Vinnie Chulk (ml), John Raynor (rule 5), Bobby Crosby (1yr/$1mil), Jack Taschner(ml), Javier Lopez (1yr/800k)

2010- Tyler Yates (ml), Brian Burress(ml), Neal Cotts (ml)

I think I got everyone

As you can see, the trend has been to work the waiver wire and the Rule 5 draft.  Every once in a while, you hit pay dirt with a guy like Jones.  Meek has turned out to be a decent arm, but other than that, the reality is the new regime has failed to land one major league caliber player to help the big league product.

Journeymen just don't help teams that are filled with holes.  Now I do realize that it could have been pointless to sign better players until your young talent is ready, but eventually, it is going to have to get done.  The question has always been- What quality player would want to play in Pittsburgh?  Well that's NH's job to get them to want to play here and so far nothing has been done to change things.


  1. Why do we suck? well that list explains a little. boy there are some depressing names there

  2. you said it all at the end of your article. Who the hell wants to play in pittsburgh. until then, who cares who the gm is until he can sign people.

  3. having said that though, if douchebag would sell the team, i do feel NH is competent enough to make them competitive

  4. he got lucky with jones. take him out and there isn't a guy on the list worth a damn

  5. you could field a complete team with that list of guys and guarenteed wouldn't win 10 games

  6. so basically he is done trying to improve the team this season since he has already signed his utility infielder

  7. How can you say, "Every once in a while, you hit pay dirt with a guy like Jones." and then "the reality is the new regime has failed to land one major league caliber player to help the big league product." in the same sentence?

    As I agree the Pirates need to focus more on guys like Garrett Jones and considerably less on worthless pieces like Bobby Crosby, Craig Monroe, Ramon Vazquez, Luis Rivas etc. But they did do the right thing with Jones.

  8. No doubt they found what looks to be something special in a guy like Garrett Jones. That's the point I was trying to make, even though it might not have sounded right.

    With the trend of journeymen and guys past their prime we have signed since who knows when, seeing a guy like Jones emerge -who was signed to a minor league deal- is a good thing.

    He, along with the other young talent is who they should build around.

    The piece was basically to demonstrate that 1. even though they hired NH, he isnt going to sign players to improve the club until the young core is established.
    2. even if he wanted to, he will be hamstrung by ownership and
    3.looking at the trends, once the young core is in place, the trend will have to change and he will have to land some quality players on the open market to eventually make this team competitive.

  9. I've liked your opinions and coverage on everything. I am a new reader to this blog. I would have to agree with you about hitting paydirt with jones.

    Basically working the waiver wire. the are looking for guys whom were taken off the 40man, guys they may have liked at other times.

    So far none have panned out. Signing a guy like Jones to a minor league deal and seeing him emerge they way he did, well that is like striking gold.

    Taking chances on journeymen and hoping guys can find what they once had, well that doesn't do it for me. I would like to see them start signing people, but as you have said before, now isnt really the time.

    Do you foesee them signing anyone else before the season? Anyone that can help? keep up the good work. I have enjoyed the blog

  10. Thank you jolly roger for the comments. the one thing every move NH has done since he took the job has in common is that they are all low risk-high reward type of moves.

    If a guy pans out and can help the club well then great, if not then it really doesn't hurt them that much.

    As far as signing anyone, I can see them waiting it out til almost spring training. maybe another guy for the pen and a backup outfielder. they will wait for free agents price tags to go down.

  11. One guy you failed to mention, a guy they should have but didnt sign was Miguel Angel Sano.

    Old NH really botched that one

  12. You are right, I forgot to mention thee Sano situation and they did botch that one