I miss baseball season. Like, a lot. You’d think a couple months away from the dismal baseball played by the Pittsburgh Pirates would be relieving, or relaxing… or something like that. This should be especially true because I live in Pittsburgh, and it is currently Steelers and Penguins season, but those two just don’t do it for me.
I miss baseball. I miss the Pirates. I miss the losing. I miss everyone making fun of me for being a fan. I miss the ballpark. I miss scalping tickets for under 5 dollars. I miss my favorite thing in this human life.
While nothing I can say or do can bring next season any faster, all of these free-agent and trade rumors are keeping my head above water. Let’s get down to it.
- The Pirates signing of Akinori Iwamura has apparently opened up the management’s mind and opened up opportunities to sign more Japanese players. The Pirates are now trying to sign Ryota Igarashi, a 30 year old relief pitcher who throws in the high 90′s. Igarashi is right-handed, which is unfavorable for the Pirates (or at least should be), but there will be no complaints from me if they do sign him. He could be a legitimate replacement for Jesse Chavez. While he is by no means a main priority of the Pirates, he is definitely someone they are looking into.
- Apparently the Pirates received some offers from the Brewers when they were shopping J.J. Hardy. The Brewers asked for either Paul Maholm or Zach Duke, but the Pirates quickly declined both offers, a very good move in my opinion. Management was hoping to land Hardy at the cheap cost of Matt Capps or Ryan Doumit, but they couldn’t make it happen. The Brewers recently traded Hardy to the Twins for Carlos Gomez, so we won’t be hearing any more about him.
- The other big name in the Pirates offseason rumors is that of Ryan Doumit. The Pirates have made it clear they are still very willing to hear offers for him, and they have also said it has been that way since July. Candidates to try and get him are the Giants, Mariners, and Rays. This is a tough one to formulate an opinion on. If Doumit were to get traded, I definitely would not miss him, however, I think there is a very good chance his value will go way up from where it is now by the 2010 trade deadline. I would like to see the Pirates hold on to him until then, unless they can get something really good for him.
- I stated in earlier posts that I really wanted to see the Pirates make a run at signing Jack Wilson again, but that will not be happening. The Mariners paid him $10 million this week to stay in Seattle. If the Pirates would have paid that price for him, I certainly would not have been happy. I think the Mariners gave him a little too much money there. But they could compete this year, and his defense is going to help them a lot.
Other things that could be popping up are the aforementioned names of Zach Duke and Paul Maholm, although I don’t expect Neil to make any deals involving them. If he does, I’d expect it to be something that would make me very happy. I’m honestly not expecting too much out of those two next year; I really think they are pretty overrated in Pittsburgh (and that’s really saying something). I think the Pirates would be wise to trade Duke while his stock his so high. I don’t want to see him go out there this year and revert to his 2008 form and lose all trade value he has. I’d rather see Duke go than Maholm, in my book Paul is a safer bet to perform well in 2010 (plus I have his bobble head in my dorm room).
So there you go, there’s the news, a couple days late, but written with style.