It's very confusing when the Pirates say they have money to spend and then use it on Matt Diaz, Scott Olsen, and Kevin Correia. Not that I'm pushing for the Pirates to spend money for the sake of spending money, but at some point or another we have to question just how determined the F.O. is to winning now and in the future.
Again don't get me wrong, I love the work NH has been doing, but the talent evaluation on FA's has been flat out lousy. Sure, were not out there trying to sign, Crawford or Dunn or Cliff Lee, but of the mediocre talent that is available to us, we seem to end up with the back end of it.
Lets be fair here, what are we really going to do with Olsen? We have Ohlie, McDonald, Maholm, Morton, Lincoln, Hart, DCutch, Correia and now we have Olsen competing as well. I'm ok with Correia being signed. Nothing special but never has had the past troubles of Olsen and were not expecting him to be the leader of the rotation anyways. Now, the expectations for Olsen may be similarly low, but couldnt we have just kept Duke? or sign one of the project pitchers out there that could easily surpass the output of any of our pitchers such as Webb or Bedard. Even Chen-Ming Wang? How about Millwood or Chris Young?
Understandably, the Pirates cant throw money out there and lose it on a player who may never even take the field, but sometimes its a risk you have to take. Maybe, the Pirates are not done signing players but up to this point they've done nothing worthwhile in terms of FAs.
Come on, Matt Diaz? Yes, his career numbers show he has good splits as a platoon guy with GFJ. But really, was biggest need to this point a bench guy to play part time with Jones? We couldn't go after a slightly bigger fish in the pond such as a Lance Berkman? What about D.Lee at 1B or even Jorge Cantu?
None of these guys would have handicapped the franchise financially so that excuse is out the window. And as I said, maybe the Pirates aren't done spending. And maybe the plan is to get Pearce and Bowker extra playing time next season, but with upgrades out there, why not take a risk with one or even two of them while our own team salary is low and can take on the extra few million now rather than later.
Its a funny thing, NH makes me a believer with his drafts and even a variety of his trades. But I cringe every time we sign a FA. I've been quiet on here this offseason but I'm semi-fed up with these FA signings. I'll still say I'm highly optimistic for 2011, I just think a better job of adding through Free Agency could be done.