First up: how does everyone like the new layout? I think it’s pretty slick. The new commenting system should be on its way in fairly short order, and when it’s installed we’ll really be cooking. Also, please note the link on the right sidebar to download the WHYGAVS Android app, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s my understand that an iPhone app is in the works, but that Steve Jobs hates freedom and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and so we’ve run into some trouble (yes, both of my computers are Macs, but then, yes, I also have an Android phone) getting it approved.
Second: today’s rumor o’ the morning is Jon Paul Morosi at FOX Sports saying that while the Pirates are perfectly happy with having Joel Hanrahan and/or Evan Meek close out games, they’d also be willing to trade them and sign a free agent closer or back-end reliever. I’m sure that that idea scares the crap out of some Pirate fans, but depending on what Neal Huntington has it might I think it could be a pretty savvy move.
People overpay for good relief help. Look at what the Tigers just paid for Joaquin Benoit and compared to how much the Rays paid for him last year. Or compared to how much the Pirates assembled an excellent bullpen corps of Meek, Hanrahan, Octavio Dotel, and Javier Lopez, last year, then rebuilt it on the fly by adding Chris Resop and Chan Ho Park after trading Dotel and Lopez for nice hauls. Obviously adding older relievers via free agency can be a bit of a crapshoot and Huntington might not hit the jackpot in the exact same way this year that he did last year (remember Brendan Donnelly; there will always be some misses), but the bullpen is one place where the Pirates can trade younger players and not really mess with the long-term rebuilding plan. Put more succinctly, if Octavio Dotel is worth Andrew Lambo and James McDonald, imagine what Meek or Hanrahan could be worth.
Of course, Neal Huntington wanted Neftali Feliz in return for Joel Hanrahan last year, so it’s probably best to assume that nothing will come of this.