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Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: February 19, 2021 (Pt. 2)

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KDKA's Josh Taylor and 93.7 The Fan's Paul Zeise discuss the sports topics of the day.

Video Transcript

JOSH TAYLOR: Welcome back. 412-575-2600 on the Bordas and Bordas Hotline, also taking your tweets. By the way, @JoshTayloHD. Paul, we got a couple of tweets about baseball here. Of course, the news we talked about a few moments ago. Pirates signed infielder Todd Frazier to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, Paul. If he makes the team he'll make about a million and a half this season. Frazier, a two time all-star, a guy who had a really better part of his career, when he was with the Reds and just torturing the Pirates, also became a Met at one point in probably the latter part of his career, was between two teams last season, over 200 home runs for his career in 10 MLB seasons. They got Mike on Twitter who asks what we think about it. Your thoughts on the signing of Todd Frazier, Paul.

PAUL ZEISE: I think it's a good deal for the Pirates. I mean, this is the kind of guy they're looking for. I mean, he's a guy that has a marketable skill and that is he can hit the ball out of the ballpark every so often. So if the first half of the season he's able to do that, he's able to show that he's still got a little bit of bat speed, and you know, he can hit with some degree of confidencey. And also have a little bit of pop, Josh. This is one of the guys that they could turn into, you know, probably a lower level prospect. But, you know what, that's what you're trying to do if you're the Pirates. You're trying to go get guys like this, hope they have a little bit of upside in the first half of the season, and hope some team comes along and needs a bench bat, you know a pinch hitter or whatever. And they decide, hey, this is who we're going to come get because he's on the market and we can get him reasonably cheap. And they give you a-- a lower level prospect that's three or four years away from being a major leaguer. And then you hope that you acquire enough of those guys that a few of them you hit on. That's how you've got to build an organization.

JOSH TAYLOR: Couldn't agree more. The there's really not a lot of risk on the Pirates side of this if he doesn't make the team, they don't really lose much. If he does, it's a minimal, nominal million and a half salary. And like you mentioned you might not even pay all of it if you trade them to get some guys back in return. It's one of those things that's low risk, it's high reward when you're looking towards the long term. We have James who says, he loves baseball but he hates the way the game is now with the Fernando Tatis Jr signing with the Padres and the Pirates signing Todd Frazier. But he also says he's looking forward to seeing games coming up soon. Your thoughts on that deal with the Padres? Fourteen years, 340 million for Fernando Tatis Jr. This is a team in San Diego that wasn't spending a lot of money a couple of years ago, and now they're cranking out 440 million for one guy who's 24 years old, by the way.

PAUL ZEISE: Yeah, I hate these deals. I hate these long-- 12, 13, 14, 10, 11, whatever year-- deals. I think, they're all terrible. I think they're also bad for baseball. I really do I just don't think it's good. I think it's one of those things where if you've got these guys signed like this for, you know, for this amount of money for this long. I mean, there's no way he's going to be able to live up to that contract. And I understand why they spread it out like that. But if you look at it from the terms of the Pirates, how are the Pirates ever going to compete if San Diego is giving out these kind of deals now?


PAUL ZEISE: Not Los Angeles, San Diego.

JOSH TAYLOR: And I understand from San Diego's perspective, they have to try to contend with the Dodgers. I get that part. I understand the Dodgers have more money than God when it comes to MLB and who they can go get and how much they can spend. I get that part too. But are we really to think that San Diego can run for that long? Do we think we can run-- they can run for half of the length of this deal? Just think seven years paying 24 million to one guy trying to go shot-for-shot with the Dodgers. It's just something that if this does not work for the Dodgers this can look really-- really bad in the long run. However, they got a lot of talent they got some young guys. If it works for them then maybe they're having us all eating our hats, but it's a really, really huge risk.

And you're right. This is something that not a lot of organizations are doing right now. I'd be surprised if it became a trend because it's a lot of teams putting a lot of money that they might not be willing to take on that risk over the long term. 412-575-2600 on the Bordas and Bordas hotline. We got Pete in [INAUDIBLE]. He's a mainstay. Pete you're on the Nightly Sports Call.

- Hey guys. How are you tonight?

JOSH TAYLOR: Good. How are you, Pete?

- Two questions, Josh. Number one, what's Todd Fraizer going to play? He's a third baseman. Is he going to play first? And a second question, bowling pin was broadcast on the TV side. Hockey fans are interested in who leads the league in goals and points, always with the best goals against average. After [INAUDIBLE] putting up some knucklehead statistics of how many points per game a guy has against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Harbor Hurricanes and stuff. That's like and irrelevant stat. Nobody cares about that. Hockey fans want to know about the stats that matter. What do you think? Thanks.

JOSH TAYLOR: Pete, you know I can't answer that question. I don't work over there. If they gave me a check, I'd tell you everything you wanted to know but I don't have the answer to that question. To your first part, to your first part, we were talking about Todd Frazier. Todd Frazier plays both corner and field positions. He plays third, he plays first. I imagine he could become a very good platoon candidate with Colin Moran. Moran's left-handed, Frazier hits right-handed. That's the thought I have in my mind. Maybe they need to give Ke'Bryan Hayes a spell. If they're still into the habit of wanting to give guys rest days, he'll probably fit in there. Maybe he becomes a defensive replacement that first play-- at first base, late in games. There's a different bunch of different possibilities. Paul, what are you saying about this one?

PAUL ZEISE: Well, I mean, again that's the thing, you bring a guy like that and he's got flexibility. You can use him in a platoon. They can use them in a couple of different places. He's a pinch hitter. There's a lot you can do with a guy like that. It's not like they're bringing him in to be a starter and/or a regular. They've already got guys for those two positions. Exactly, I mean, this is one of those guys. Plus he's a bench back if someone gets hurt you got a guy who's got a lot of experience, like I said. Ten years in MLB, more than 200 home runs, if you have a guy go down-- he's 34 years old. He's on the back end of his career. This might be his last or maybe next to last paycheck. You give him a shot to go in and play for a guy, if someone goes down. It's really one of those things where, like you said, it's nice to have when you're in the Pirates position. You're not bringing this guy in to try to build a winning-- winning team. You're trying to bring him in to maybe raise his stock and try to get something back for him down the road at the trade deadline. We got Rob in the Hill District, my old stomping ground. Rob, you're on the Nightly Sports Call.

- Yeah, Josh. They brought Burke in. The Penguins brought Burke in, man, because he's a gritty player. It's about to be a major trade. And they brought Hextall in to keep the eye on the future. So listen, when the Penguins had a team like this back in the day, when they had Mario and they had John Cullen was the backup center. The second last time he was 100% scored and they got grittier at the trade deadline. They traded Cullen and some other people and they got [INAUDIBLE] and Ron Francis and that put him over the top to win the Stanley Cup. There's going to be another major trade. Malkin and Letang is going to be out of there at the deadline. We're going to get grittier and we're going to win the cup again.

JOSH TAYLOR: Can you find a guy that's Hall of Fame caliber like Ron Francis to bring him back in the-- in a trade for Malkin and Letang. That's the question you have to ask yourself. Because that's what we're talking about. If you're trying to compare things that happened in the past to now, if you can find a guy like Ron Francis, who, first of all, was that good of a setup guy to have that many assists over his career and was that good of a face off guy is a number two center. If you can find that deal, I'm all ears. I don't think you will. It's really hard to believe that that's possible. I'm not really sure, but Paul, I don't know what you're thinking about this. But a-- a Malkin and Letang trade to bring in a Ron Francis type guy. I can't really see that. It just-- I don't know a team that would be willing to give up somebody else that big of a name because if you're talking about the magnitude of guys already in this league, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Letang are already pretty big names. So you're going to have to go like, Connor McDavid level. You're going to have to go a Steven Stamkos level, and those guys aren't getting traded to a team like the Penguins. No one's going to let this team, especially if it's an Eastern Conference team Paul, they're not going to let the Penguins load up on guys like that of a Ron Francis caliber midseason.

PAUL ZEISE: Well no, not at all. And especially, when you consider the other part of that is, you know, I guess if you move Letang and you move Malkin, you've got some money to spend underneath of the salary cap. But you know, these kind of big blockbuster kind of deals, you have to make sure the money fits and the money works between the two teams. And I don't know that they can work something like that out. I mean, I just feel like there isn't going to be one of those kind of deals this year for the Penguins. It's just not in the cards.

JOSH TAYLOR: I don't feel that way either especially midseason. I think that's one of those things I think they'd have to really sit down and try to map out during the off season and find a trade partner that's willing to do something that involves that much money and have a piece that they'd be willing to give back to kind of create that trade equity. And when you have-- when you have guys that are making that much money and have the resumes that Malkin and Letang have that's just really-- really hard to do.

Let's go to our tweet of the night brought to you by Tri-state Office Furniture. Paul, we talked about this earlier one of our colleagues Chris Mackey agrees with us. Although he says, 2016 Pirates fans are really excited about this. He's talking about signing Todd Frazier. But in all seriousness, Chris says, if they flip him for anything at the deadline, it's worth it. Really no risk at all. Paul, you and I agree on this. This is a team that's not looking to win right now. I think you mentioned it perfectly, if you can get a low end prospect or two, just try to bring more talent in and see what-- what rises to the top, siphon that part off for yourself, the guys you can't use and trade them off, and maybe bring in more pieces also. This is how you build from the bottom up.

PAUL ZEISE: And that's exactly right. I mean Chris Mack hit it. If they get anything at all for him at the trade deadline it's a very good deal for them. You know because at that point they've probably spent about 700,000 on him and if you get a prospect that can help you down the road that's a good thing.

JOSH TAYLOR: We're going to take a break. When we come back when loss totals the over-under for the Pirates. We'll get Paul's thoughts what that number could be. See you-- see you when we come back in a few.