Gerrit Cole, Jonathan Sanchez start as Pirates play vs. Orioles, Twins

USA TODAY Sports

Split-squad action today, with both games on the road, beginning at 1:05.

Against the Orioles, with Gerrit Cole on the hill and Russell Martin behind the plate:

Russell Martin C
Alex Presley
Jose Tabata LF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Neil Walker 2B
Jerry Sands RF
Brad Hawpe DH
Matt Hague 1B
Clint Barmes SS

Gerrit Cole P

Elsewhere, the Pirates are giving the Twins a four-walk handicap to start the game. You can tune in when the third inning starts, which should be around 2:30.

Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Gaby Sanchez 1B
Brandon Inge 3B
Clint Robinson DH
Ivan DeJesus 2B
Tony Sanchez C
Jordy Mercer SS

Jonathan Sanchez P

A couple fun things came up in my shift at MLB Trade Rumors last night.

-P- First, Brian Cashman re-tells an amazing story about how the Yankees nearly traded Mariano Rivera for Felix Fermin in early 1996. Fermin would have then blocked Derek Jeter. Some commenters pointed out that it wouldn't have been the first time Fermin, a light-hitting infielder, was traded for what would have been an excellent player. The Pirates shipped him (and an inconsequential infielder named Denny Gonzalez) to Cleveland for Jay Bell. And then, a few years later, the Indians sent Fermin with Reggie Jefferson to Seattle for Omar Vizquel. Jefferson, at least, was a promising young hitter. But we've really come a long way in terms of how most teams value young players.

-P- See if you can find the shot at the Pirates in this interview with Indians CEO Paul Dolan! Wait, no, here it is.

I expected the Indians to go in the opposite direction, trading veterans such as Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo (who was traded) and possibly Justin Masterson for prospects.

"That was not one of the options," he said. "None of us wanted to think about tearing it down. Our goal is to put together a team to win a World Series. Another goal is to avoid 20 years of losing, which some smaller-market teams have endured."

Ouch. Actually, though, I think there's a pretty good chance that the Indians won't even pull off a winning season this year despite signing Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to long-term deals. These are the sorts of high-risk moves that might produce a winning team now, which certainly has value, but that's far from guaranteed. And these contracts also might cause problems down the line, when the team would otherwise be in a better position to compete. As Dolan himself notes elsewhere in the article, the Indians haven't had the best luck with long-term deals for veterans.

Dave Cameron at FanGraphs recently wrote that, because it's so difficult to project won-loss records, there's more value than you might think in simply going for it every year, as opposed to having cycles of rebuilding and building back up. But the Indians were so bad last year. Their best move of the offseason, I thought, was the one traditional rebuilding one, where they dealt Shin-Soo Choo and got back Trevor Bauer and Drew Stubbs.

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