In today's Post-Gazette: Pirates make two minor trades.
The Pirates parted with next to nothing to acquire these players, making them upside plays. If one hits, great.
Of more importance: The search for a catcher, and namely the chase for Russell Martin. Attempting to outbid other teams for a free agent in a scarce market does not fit the Pirates' standard operating procedure. They have made these types of overtures before, so we cannot ignore them.
Age opening day 2013: 30
Arbitration year: Second
Acquired: Claimed off waivers from Braves in August 2010
Service time: 4 years 38 days
2012 salary: $850,000 (avoided arbitration)
Stats: 3.91 ERA in 732/3 innings over 61 appearances, 46/24 K/BB ratio, 2.9 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, 1.43 WHIP
When I went to find video clips of Resop for this series, three or four of them had titles with some variation of “Resop escapes jam,” because that’s what Clint Hurdle believes Resop can do on a consistent basis. Resop stranded 73 percent of base-runners last season. He’s durable and can pitch multiple innings.
He’s also hittable – more than a hit per inning allowed in 2012 – and doesn’t have exceptional control. Hurdle did not use him in high-leverage situations as often during the second half of the season. Part of that has to do with the presence of Jason Grilli, who handled the eighth inning as well as anyone last season, but the number of base-runners Resop allowed didn’t help.
His strikeout total decreased from 79 in 2011 to 46 last season, but his ground-ball rate increased about 14 percent.
Comp: Matt Guerrier, 2009, and Jose Veras, 2012. In his second year of arbitration, Guerrier earned $1.475 million, up from $950,000 in 2008. Guerrier had a 5.19 ERA in 2008 and pitched 761/3 innings in 76 games. He struck out 59, walked 37 and allowed more than a hit per inning. Veras had a 3.80 ERA with the Pirates in 2011 and struck out 79 in 71 innings, but also walked 4.3 batters per nine innings. He lost his arbitration hearing and earned $2 million.
Analysis: I think the Pirates will tender Resop a contract. He will make around $1.5 million and will be a reliable middle reliever. If the Pirates do not re-sign Grilli, Resop could assume more late-inning work while the younger pitchers gain experience. Parting ways with a steady reliever like Resop at his price point seems unlikely for the Pirates.
-- Video courtesy of MLB.com
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