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Pirates chat: Conversations with Keith Law, Rob Neyer and Travis Sawchik

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Late January is generally a very quiet time on the MLB calendar, but things heated up this week with new Commissioner Rob Manfred's initial remarks, Keith Law's release of his farm system and top 100 prospect rankings and of course, the Pirates trade of Travis Snider to the Orioles.

I had a chance to discuss these topics at length on my show on 970 ESPN and I thought I'd provide the links here in one place.

On Tuesday I spoke with Rob Neyer about Manfred's comments, defensive shifts, the strike zone, the pace of the game and the accuracy of defensive metrics, including Bill James new work with Win Shares and Losses. (20 minutes)

We got news about the Travis Snider trade on Tuesday night and I opened Wednesday's show with my thoughts on the deal. (Starts about 4:00 in, duration 10 minutes). Did finances play a part in the trade? Well, when the GM says the deal provides "financial flexibility" it can't be completely ignored. (6:30)

Pirates beat writer Travis Sawchik has a new book coming out, Big Data Baseball, he joined me on Wednesday to discuss the genesis of the book, share a story about how the Pirates integrate data and analyze the Snider deal. (16:40)

ESPN's Keith Law joined me on Thursday. Keith published his top 100 prospects list (insder) and farm system rankings (insder) this past week. Keith and I talked drafting, Manfred, the Pirates system, highlighting Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell and he shared his thoughts on Jung Ho Kang. Keith had some very complimentary things to say about the way the Pirates do business, their 2014 draft and Stephen Tarpley one of the guys who came over in the Snider deal. (17:50)

I really enjoyed talking with these guys, I hope you enjoy listening. As always, all feedback is welcome.