Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors and Notes: McCutchen and Draft

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is some of the latest rumors and news surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates.  There is an update on Andrew McCutchen trade talk, the Pirates receiving another draft pick, and some pitching notes.

Andrew McCutchen was deemed unlikely to be traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, that may not stop teams  from trying to land the all-star outfielder.  Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal wrote that he still envisioned an Andrew McCutchen trade this off-season.  Today Jon Heyman tweeted that according to sources the Pittsburgh Pirates had another strong offer to consider.

Heyman tweeted this morning that a mystery team made a strong offer, but was not exactly what the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking for:

"“pirates received nice offer of prospects from mystery team for mccutchen but seeks MLB now or MLB ready players. so no go.” @JonHeyman"

According to reports the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted Lucas Giolito as the center piece of a trade with the Nationals.  One thing is apparent, it is that the Bucs do not want to settle for players who will help in three or four years.  Yes, players like that could be involved, but they also need one who will impact their 2017 team.  It sounds like the inquiring team offered multiple high-end prospects, but lower level in terms of their minor league experience.  The first teams that would have these types of prospects to offer would be the Toronto Blue Jays or the Atlanta Braves, who have multiple intriguing prospects in their lower minors.  It is good to see the Pittsburgh Pirates not folding and continuing to stand by the idea of getting “their deal”.

One note is Jon Heyman did confirm that this was a recent offer and seems to have occurred after the Winter Meetings.

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Also coming out today was the MLB Competitive Balance picks. In recent seasons we saw the Pittsburgh Pirates receive multiple of these types of picks.  Dating back to the first year, the Bucs traded their first competitive balance pick for Gaby Sanchez.  Then they used another pick to select Connor Joe in 2014.  In years past there was 12 picks given to eligible teams in a lottery.  The teams selected for the draft were the bottom ten revenue for the previous season and/or the bottom ten markets.  In 2015 the Pittsburgh Pirates did not receive a draft pick as there were typically less picks than eligible teams.  That is now changing.  This year the system uses a formula to determine who will be eligible for the 14 available picks.

Here is how MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo describes the new system that should help fixed the previous flawed lottery:

"“The Competitive Balance Rounds are no longer determined via lottery. Instead, all teams that fall in the bottom 10 in revenue and bottom 10 in market size will get a pick in Round A, after the first round, or Round B, following the second round. Using a formula that takes revenue and winning percentage into account, six teams were awarded Round A picks, with eight teams getting picks in Comp Round B. The groups of teams will switch in 2018 (meaning there will be eight Comp Round A picks, six in Round B), and will alternate as such for the life of this CBA.”"

Next: Rosenthal On Cutch

Unfortunately the Pittsburgh Pirates did not receive a pick after the first round.  They instead will be drafting third to last in the Competitive Balance B round. The B round takes place after the second round.  This is mainly because they had the third best record compared to all the other eligible teams.  However, according to Mayo is seems they are guaranteed a Competitive A round pick next in the 2018 draft.  Extra picks are always good. With the new system, the Bucs seem guaranteed to continue receiving extra draft picks and draft pool over the next few years.