December 4, 2010

Milledge Era Ends

I'm late on this news so you've probably already read that the Pirates cut loose Lastings Milledge. They decided at the midnight Thursday deadline not to offer their right fielder a contract, making him a free agent. What a great reaction to one of by better Milledge jokes of all time.

It is a fairly unusual move to cut loose a player entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, since teams still usually get those guys at a significant discount. However, Milledge was not a candidate to start - and a player who can't field, throw, run the bases, or hit right-handed pitching is not terribly valuable on a team's bench.

Coming to Pittsburgh in 2009 in the Joel Hanrahan deal, Milledge hit .291/.333/.395 with four home runs in 58 games that year. He was considered a breakout candidate entering his age 25 season in 2010 and opened the season as the Pirates' #3 hitter. Instead, every aspect of his game declined. He hit .277/.332/.380 with four home runs in 113 games and lost the starting job. Milledge will be 26 in 2011 and his prospect sheen hasn't totally worn off - which means he'll be running from second to third on a grounder to the shortstop for some major league team.

Also non-tendered were infielder Argenis Diaz and pitchers Brian Burres and Donnie Veal. The Pirates traded Adam LaRoche for Diaz in 2009, thinking Diaz could learn to hit. He never did. Non-tendering Diaz is more surprising to me since despite his deficiencies, he could have been a good-fielding utility infielder at the major league minimum. Burres wasn't terrible in 2010 (4-5, 4.99) but there's no reason he should be part of the Pirates' future plans. The Pirates hope to sign Veal who is still recovering form injury.

Cedeno, Karstens Return
On the negative side, the Pirates signed Ronny Cedeno for $2 million for 2011 with a club option for 2012. Shocking, I know. I'm not sure what he did to merit an $875,000 raise. Cedeno is one of those players who really looks like a baseball player, has enough skills to make you think he's a good player if you don't pay attention, but then at the end of the year has had another terrible season. I really wanted a new shortstop and I think we're not getting one.

Jeff Karstens signed a one-year deal for $1.1 million. He's fine as a long reliever/emergency starter but he should not pitch 123 innings as he did in 2010.


  1. Good riddance.

  2. Milledge is a wet fart. He comes out with hot wind that stinks, but it ends up being just a blob of diarrhea.