The big news out of the Winter Meetings in Nashville surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates is the fact that Garrett Jones has been thrown on the trading block with closer Joel Hanrahan. We predict that both players will be gone by the time Spring Training rolls around.
We think you know the reasons, it’s one thing—cash. Some say, it’s selling high on GFJ, umm, a team always wants to sell high. It’s about the money. It’s always about the money.
The Bucs just locked up Russell Martin to a $17 million dollar two-year deal to anchor the catching position for A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, and the other starters. It’s also a move aimed to help top prospects Gerritt Cole and Jameson Taillon as they inch closer to the big leagues.
With Bob Nutting’s paper thin budget, Garrett Jones simply doesn’t fit as his salary grows with his consistent power production over the past years. Jones has many flaws, but it looks like you can consider it a lock for the powerful lefty to blast 20 bombs a season. Those don’t come cheap. Jones got $2.25 million last year. A big raise will be coming this year.
Hanrahan won’t be cheap either.
It’s a shame, but a reality.
The return might not blow you away either, if a prospect is tossed in, we think it will be someone in this range. The best scenario might be the Bucs adding a bit more to the deal to secure a young player that could help in the future, but we see the Pirates doing the opposite–the get will be players that will help the team right now. (Or at least the Bucs think they will)
Now how much the player will help is the big question? Replacing a closer isn’t overly difficult, the Bucs have shown the ability to turn around relievers when they arrive in the Burgh–exhibit 1A is Hanrahan, exhibit 1B is Jason Grilli.
Now replacing the power of The Manchild, now that’s a different story. The Pirates haven’t shown much of a track record of acquiring talented hitters recently.
Adding it all up, Jones and Hammer could add up to nearly $12 million bucks and both play a limited amount of time. Nutting won’t pay that, so as much as you enjoy having them around, you might want to get your jersey’s on eBay soon.