The latest free agent signings of Jaret Wright and Casey Fossum are smart gambles on the side of the Pirates. Let me temper that by saying I was also a fan of the Armas and Duckworth signings the last couple years. The reasoning is the same, only the names have changed.
Why am I a fan of these moves? Beyond an insanity plea, they are low risk gambles with potential future value. If Armas was handled correctly by the previous regime, the ties would have been cut early on when it was obvious to anyone watching the gamble would not pay dividends.
Duckworth never had the chance to show his worth in Pittsburgh, we'll never know how that could have turned out. I have a feeling Fossum will play out in a similar manner. He doesn't excite me, really he never has.
Jaret Wright is a different story, I had the chance to see him pitch quite a few times when he was with Cleveland. I have been very high on him for a long time, shoulder issues have been his downfall. Guess he'll fit in with all the number one picks with shoulder issues in Indy.
Littlefield never knew when to cut loose on his gambles. Being a GM at times is similar to playing No Limit Hold 'Em, you have to know when to cut loose a bad hand. Any poker player will tell stories of a bad beat or getting rivered, it is the nature of the game. Littlefield loved to play a pair of deuces or a 2-7 (the worst hand in Hold 'Em) when a flush draw is on the board. Littlefield would call that a bad beat. Littlefield's play as a GM was similar to dead money at the poker table.
If the new regime plays their cards right knowing when to fold on these two gambles or to play their hand will prove if the front office changes improved the teaam at all. These signings will not hurt at all, but they have the potential to gain something in trade or in actual production for the Pirates.
Remember Armas was not a bad signing, he was just held on to for too long.
If Wright can regain what he had earlier in his career, or as recently as the season he put together for the Braves in 2004, he will be a free agent steal. I said Armas could have been a steal last year also, if he recovered and played to his early career output.
Wouldn't it be nice to rake in some chips for a change?
Chacon still wants to sign with the Pirates. If he were to return, this would not be a bad thing. He may keep fans on the edge of their seats, but at least he keeps you interested in the game. Chacon would fill a dire need on the team, a right handed reliever with experience. He can fill the role of setup man and give depth in the rotation if needed. I prefer him out of the pen.
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