Results tagged ‘ payroll ’
The Pirates new skipper Clint Hurdle chatted with the Analysis’s of MLB Network on Monday evening. Here are the things they discussed:
On his thoughts on being officially announced as Pirates manager: “I am humbled with another opportunity to manage in the major leagues with the traditional rich Pittsburgh Pirates. We all know the state here. We are well aware of the 18 consecutive seasons of sub .500 play. We have work to do, no doubt about it. But this opportunity to be a part of leadership with this group and turn this thing around. And reignite the fan base.”
On what the conversations (back-and-forth) between Hurdle and the Pirates ownership is like during interviews/what they discuss: “Well the questions I was asked was ‘why the interest level?’ I wanted to understand a little bit more about the situation, is there continuity from top to bottom. Is the mentality all mentality. I understand the skepticism of the fan base, the raw emotion that it has. It’s understandable, its factual.”
On pitching and payroll. “The payroll is one of the questions we talked about internally. There is money available to spend. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you should spend it all. We want to spend it wisely. I think there are some keys to the pitching puzzle out there this winter that we will actively peruse. There is money available for Neal [Huntington] to go searching and to find the right fit. And probably extend themselves more than they have in the past.”
MLB Network analyst Barry Larkin brought up the question, “How do you change the mindset of losing every single year? They lost 105 games this year.”
Billy Ripken discussed his opinion: “I think that’s the first thing that Clint Hurdle is going to address is the mind set of the club. And let’s face it, I think that what Clint Hurdle brings to this mix is a positive attitude, he’s going to have some attention to detail and he’s going to be more of a front guy. But that only takes you so far. They’ve got some position players but until somebody gets out there on the bump, Clint Hurdle is going to be in a tough situation. His attitude is going to be key. I think that’s going to be good but you got to find someone on the bump that’s going to get people out.”
President Frank Coonelly took part in his monthly chat on Wednesday. Some of the topics were on the manager vacancy, payroll increase and off-season plans. You can read the entire chat here. These are a few of the questions I thought were interesting.
I support this rebuilding process and am excited for the team in 2012 and beyond. That said, without giving a canned answer, are you going to add enough payroll to support a better team in 2011? Can we hope for at least a $50M payroll?
Coonelly: “I appreciate your support of our plan to return the Pirates to a championship caliber club and your recognition that such a plan necessarily takes time.”
“Notwithstanding what was a very disappointing season in 2010, we have made meaningful progress in upgrading the talent in our organization and over the last two years have added several of the most exciting young players in the National League, including Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez.”
“Speaking candidly, I have said that we have the capacity to add meaningfully to our 2011 payroll if we are able to secure players who will help us win in Pittsburgh. We have the capacity to have a payroll over $50 million and we’ll add those payroll dollars if we are able to bring in players that can help us win.”
What do you plan on doing to help the pitching situation for next year, as it was clearly our biggest weakness?
Coonelly: “There is no question that we need to improve our pitching in 2011, particularly our starting rotation. We have identified the starting rotation as a priority this off-season and we’ll aggressively pursue adding at least one starting pitcher during the off-season, either through a free-agent signing or a trade. Of course, the free-agent market for starting pitchers is rather thin this off-season and thus there is no guarantee that we will be able to add a free-agent starter who will be able to impact our roster.”
“Part of the solution, therefore, must be getting better performances from pitchers like Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, and, possibly, Charlie Morton and/or Brad Lincoln. James McDonald pitched well for us following his acquisition. Ohlendorf was pitching very well prior to being shut down with shoulder soreness and Charlie Morton, who is currently pitching in winter ball, looked like he was beginning to figure some things out as the season closed.”
“These pitchers and any offseason acquisitions should be pushed hard by the young arms (Rudy Owens, Bryan Morris, Justin Wilson and Jeff Locke) who helped the Altoona Curve win the Eastern League championship this year. In summary, we must pitch far better in 2011 and I am confident that we will.”
How confident is the organization with Hanrahan or Meek as the closer in 2011? Or will you shop for a veteran closer again (like 2010 with Dotel) until you feel one is ready?
Coonelly: ”Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek both have shown that they have the tools necessary to be quality closers. As a result, we would be comfortable relying on Joel and/or Evan closing games for us in 2011. Having said that, we are looking to add to our bullpen and if we were able to add an experienced closer, we would certainly consider making such an addition to the back of our bullpen.”