Pirates Front Office Needs a Closer


Put the coffee down Neil Huntington.  Coffee is for closers.  The one closer in the Sano Saga was Dejan of the PG.  Good Lord have mercy.  The beat writer told the GM that the Twins signed Sano.

Forgive me if you haven’t heard about the Sano saga.  We are moving forward with the assumption you know the story.

Here are some of the exerpts from the fine work done by Dejan at the PG:

So Rob Plummer, Sano’s agent ”respected” the Twins so much that he wouldn’t accept more cash, say $3.5m from the Pirates rather than the $3.1m from the Twins?  Who is this guy Jerry Maguire?  I am simply blown away.

Plummer was on the PBC Blog Wednesday morning, and Rum Bunter was fortunate enough to be right in the middle of his posts.  To say that Plummer was kissing NH’s ass was an understatement.   If you care to read his posts the name he posted under was baseballagentesq,  here is the link.  And one of his very random posts below:

"baseballagentesq wrote re: Morning links: The Sano sagaon Wed, Sep 30 2009 2:45 AMyou can sit there and sit there and sit there and if everyone wants to beat the highest offer then nobody goes full bore.  If you don’t promise not to shop their offer then why would the Twins go to ownership if they think that the Yankees are just going to beat their best offer.  Why would the Yankees make a big offer if they think they have the opportunity to beat any offer.  So what happens in that situation is you don’t get any offers.  I think one of the problems is that Gayo wanted to sign Sano too much.  At one point he even told me that he loved Miguel Sano.  It’s like when you like a girl too much and call her too much.  it pushes the girl away.  Everyone needs some space.  This signing was a joint decision: The coach, Miguel, him mom, step mom and myself.  I regret how it ended and I owe Neal a big apology b/c he’s doing a good job.  The Pirates are headed in the right direction for sure.  I just felt like nobody was going to step forward b/c nobody believed a team like the Twins were going to step forward so that really slowed negotiations.  When everything with the investigation was finished the Twins were ready."

Where I work, when the organization wants something, and I presume the Pirates still wanted Sano…everyone is involved in making certain, without any question,we get what we want.  Bottom line.

We never simply ASK the target client to call back when they are ready to negotiate.  Whose job is it to get the player you so badly covet?  It’s the Pirates job.

Does anyone find that at all arrogant?  Call me.

I can hear Plummer saying immediately after he hung up, “yeh, I will call you, yeh first thing.”

This is an epic fail.  Was a third party or anyone, other than NH and Gayo even in the country in the past month?  I had heard, but can’t confirm the Twins had brass on the ground.

And the Twins obviously had brass working on Plummer.  Plummer made the call where Sano would sign.  I am baffled the Pirates weren’t able to weigh the power Plummer made in this negotiation.  Sure it’s great to know the family, but if they aren’t going to be the decision maker, well we have words for wasting time with people who don’t make decisions.

With nothing left to play for at the Major League level, it is mind boggling to believe that a strategy wasn’t developed to ensure, without a shadow of doubt, the Sano signing.  Around the time NH was enjoying the All Star Game with his family, I am left to presume the Twins were working on how they could steal Sano.  Shameful.

Talk about a lack of focus.  If you aren’t a negotiator, aren’t a salesman, hell put your ego aside.  Call in a reliever, a person in the organization who can specialize in these situations, such as the Steelers Omar Khan who is brilliant in exactly those situations.  It’s one of his many duties with the team, but he has the personality that the agents love and is one hell of a negotiator.

It’s not comparing sports ladies and gentlemen, it is gaining a competitive advantage with a specialist.  A personality battle doesn’t get results in this vital segment of the Pirates future.

Signing the best baseball talent on the line that is dotted is where the Pirates must focus.

The Pirates Neil Huntington should never, as Dejan’s article in the PG states, resort to playing low level negotiations with “different approaches”  what is that?   Good cop, Bad cop?  Sigh.

Surely the Pirates knew that Rob Plummer’s goal was to become the Scott Boras of the Dominican.  It certainly is easy to find that quote in numerous articles.  Plummer is the decision maker.  He calls all the shots.  Think of the guy in the office with the massive ego, and double it.  Plumer is the man.  Period.

This is real life, not Sales 101.  Be yourself.  Close the deal, make them laugh, make them buy….I truly believe Plummer wanted to buy.  Sano wanted to buy.  They wanted to buy into the Pirates future.

Plummer needed stroked and the Pirates didn’t provide the stroke.

Both sides were at fault.  But fault isn’t what this is about.  This is about signing a young player the Pirates had their sights set on.

They failed.

And the Pirate fans aren’t happy about it.

And the Pirate sales team has to explain it to the real buyers.  The season ticket holders, the corporate sponsors, the casual fans….


Sano had the following quote at his press conference today:

“People were expecting the amount to be over $4 million, and people assumed that I was just going to sign with Pittsburgh. My dream was to play baseball. … It was not so much about the money. I’m just glad I signed with the Twins.”

Yeh, I am glad you signed with the Twins as well kid.

I just wonder what you said to Gayo?