Monday, August 20, 2007

Ask the GM: Dave Littlefield

Every so often, Pirates General Manager Dave Littlefield will answer a question from one lucky Pirates' fan. Here is today's question:

Steve (Davidsville, PA): There were reports that you could have unloaded Jack Wilson on the Tigers for two of their top 6 prospects, but the sticking point was your demand for Craig Monroe as well. Monroe was just sent down to the minors. Do you regret not taking the deal without Monroe?

Littlefield: Of course not, Steve. What the fans need to realize is that everything you hear in the media is not the whole truth. What was not mentioned was that the Tigers were ready to assume the entirety of Wilson's contract. This was unacceptable. If anything, I like to view myself as a progressive GM. I try to listen to the fan base and take into account what they want. For instance, when we passed on Mark Wieters because of our depth at catcher with Ronny Paulino, Neil Walker, and J.R. House, I was surprised to see people complaining about the choice. Apparently, this Wieters kid would have demanded a lot of money and people assumed we didn't want to pay it. That couldn't be farther from the truth. So when it came to the trade deadline the next move was obvious: add payroll to appease the fans.

So we went out and acquired a pitcher in Matt Morris who would immediately contribute to our payroll. When the Tigers offered that outrageous deal for Wilson, I did the math in my head and realized that if we traded the $15 million that Jack was owed for the end of this year and the next two years after assuming the $14 million of Morris' contract, we would still be saving $2 million dollars! That's why I asked for Monroe and his $4.775 million dollar contract. Unable to pry him away, I did what anyone would have done and did not pull the trigger. Shrewdness is a quality any respectable GM needs to have.

End of Post

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