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How to Waste Money

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Dave Littlefield knows how:

Strong indications on the third day of Major League Baseball's winter meetings were that [at least part of the Bucs' money would be spent on] on a reliever with experience in late innings, an area Littlefield reiterated was his top priority after first base.

Two relievers in whom the Pirates have shown a strong interest are Braden Looper and Roberto Hernandez, agent Randy Hendricks confirmed last night.

Jeez. What a terrible, awful, bad idea. The last thing the Pirates need is Roberto Hernandez making millions while going all Jose Mesa in the Pirates' pen.

Mesa 2005, Age 39: 56.7 IP 37 K 26 BB 4.76 ERA
Hernandez 2004, Age 39: 56.7 IP 44 K 29 BB 4.76 ERA

Ladies and gentlemen, that's the same season. The differences between the two pitchers are that Hernandez is older, and he somehow managed to put together a good season last year. But his 2003 was a lot more similar to his 2004 than his 2005. And he'll be 41 next season. Can anyone say "fluke"? Anyone want to take the under on his ERA being below 4.50 next season?

In the same article, the Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are looking to acquire Craig Monroe, Trot Nixon or Jacque Jones. Why would you want to acquire any of those guys when you've got Craig Wilson around? None of those guys is an obvious upgrade on Wilson. In fact, Jones is obviously worse. And Jones has long been rumored to have been offered contracts in the $20 million range. Dejan Kovacevic speculates that the Pirates are thinking of trading Wilson; if they can get a good deal for Wilson while picking up one of these guys to replace him, fine. (Well, not fine if it's Jones.)  But I have a sneaking suspicion that they're just doing this to get rid of Wilson. I don't like where this is going, but I'll wait to see how it plays out.