A Front Office Zoom Call: What’s Your Agenda?

Kevin Goldstein has an interesting pair of pieces up at FanGraphs.  He constructs hypothetical agendas for front office Zoom calls, which apparently has become a practice during the Plague.  He did the AL a couple days ago and the NL yesterday.  The Pirates’ part of it wasn’t as interesting as I hoped, but it’s a good exercise if you want to speculate about the broader view of a front office.

I’ll just run through a quick summary of Goldstein’s Pirate agenda and then try my own:

— The top draft pick is the team’s top priority.  They need to get out and scout the top talents.

Well, I guess so.  I can imagine the staffers texting each other privately.  “Does he think he’s talking to Littlefield’s staff?”

— Mitch Keller is a puzzle, but he’s throwing harder than ever.

Keller is certainly a major priority for the Pirates, but it doesn’t seem like a FO issue, unless they’re thinking of sending him down.  After his last start — in which he dialed it down a bit — that’s not likely.

— Gregory Polanco is going nowhere.  Should we eat the money and try to get a prospect?

I’d like to think the FO has some items above this on the agenda . . . like maybe 50 or so.  It’d make more sense to me to wait, hope Polanco hits a few dingerz, and see if somebody decides they really need a bench bat for the stretch drive.

— Should we market Spin Monster Chris Stratton to analytics-heavy teams?

Another item I’d hope to see lower on the list.  Anyway, sure, if there’s a decent return.  Stratton is useful to the Pirates, but unlikely to be a long-term piece.

Generally speaking, I’d prefer the FO to be looking at more profound topics, even at this stage of the season.  Here’s my agenda:

  • Nobody has stepped up and demanded to be the first pick in the draft.  Should we consider taking somebody just past the top 3-4, such as the Louisville catcher, in order to accumulate pool money for later use?  Are there any potential high-upside prospects likely to slide?
  • We’re paying actual Nuttbucks for Todd Frazier to bat .045 and Trevor Cahill to put us in a hole at the beginning of very fifth game.  More importantly, we’re wasting playing time on them.  Should we start looking in the immediate future at guys like De Jong, Swaggerty, Oliva (once he’s healthy), Yajure, etc?
  • As a related point, we need to be planning a path forward for AA guys who aren’t yet on the “next up” list, like Contreras and Cruz.
  • Richard Rodriguez and Kyle Crick are making a mockery of BABIP.  We have a lot of interesting relievers in AAA, including Geoff Hartlieb and Jandel Gustave, both of whom looked good in the opener.  Should we sell high now?
  • Is there some way Endy Rodriguez can catch for all of our full-season affiliates?

So feel free to add your own agenda items in the comments.

Analysis, No Quarter

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