Transaction Analysis

Pirates sign Derek Bell for 2 years, $9.4 million

This signing makes no sense.  The Pirates were smart to grab a guy when his trade value was low (although not as low as last season), but there's a good reason why his trade value is low - Bell is not a very good hitter anymore.  In actuality, Bell was never a particularly good hitter.  Bell is the exact type of player the Pirates should be avoiding most - a "proven veteran" who commands a salary well above what he deserves, because of his experience.  The Pirates could have taken the $7.5 million a year they're spending on Bell and Terry Mulholland and signed a minor league free agent pitcher (for almost nothing), and a good risk like Ismael Valdes.  Valdes would add another question mark to the rotation, but his upside is big.  Bell and Mulholland don't have much of an upside - they're temporary solutions, but the Pirates don't look good in the long term, either.

Triple Steal Rating: Out

Pirates Team Page
More Transactions

TripleSteal Rating Scale:
Grand Slam - A can't miss move; automatically makes the team considerably better.
Home Run -
A great move; will help the team now and down the road.
Triple -
A good move; plugs a temporary hole or will help in the future.
Double -
An average move; team will get what they paid for.
Single -
A head-scratcher; could help, but we definitely don't see how.
Out -
A panic move; tells fans "hey, we're trying..."
Double Play -
A disaster; will make fans angry just thinking about it.

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"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" - Moneyball.