Bay’s days numbered and poor Santa

I posted some of this at Bucco Blog’s new Pittsburgh Pirates forum a day or two ago so if you have read the thread, you may already be ahead of the game.

For those that haven’t been around in a few days, the old forum is being shut down in favor of this new one that is very nice.

Be sure to register at the forum because I just turned on a "Member’s Only" area where the latest rumors will be posted as I get them and a few folks in the game will drop by and talk with us, some live.

Plus, that way you don’t have to wait for my midnight post to hear what’s going on. That particular forum is not viewable until you become a member.

Ok – so let’s move on.

Are Pittsburgh Pirates fans experiencing another war of the nerves like we saw in the winter of 2006-2007 between Dave Littlefield and John Schuerholz?

It’s starting to sound like that.

Word on the street is that there are at least three teams with a continuing interest and open communications with the Pirates about Jason Bay – the Mariners, Padres, and Indians. Unfortunately, at least two, and possibly all three clubs, want Ian Snell in the package as well.

Enter stage right, the war of the nerves.

Neal Huntington is having to deal with three veterans of the nerves game – Mark Shapiro, Bill Bavasi, and Kevin Towers. None of the three are backing away yet and in some cases, they are losing potential signing opportunities by playing this game. For instance, the Padres have said Mike Cameron was their fallback but it’s starting to look like he’s going to sign on elsewhere, but they did add the aging Edmonds just in case. The Indians would probably like to take offers on CC Sabathia but are watching teams filling their needs.

Now the trick to this game as we saw last winter is to not budge. So far Huntington hasn’t, at least not that I’ve heard. Perhaps he did talk too much with the Indians until Coonelly et al shut him down. I don’t know.

The first one to sneeze, loses. Here’s what I mean – let’s say one of the San Diego newspapers starts running noise shots. That’s where they say things like they are content with their roster, they don’t plan to make any other additions, they don’t need another starter and will work from farm depth, etc.

When the noise picks up, then they are getting tired of playing the waiting game. The same is true in Cleveland or Seattle. Now we’ve already seen a little bit of noise coming from the Mariners in that they just signed Carlos Silva and the newspapers are abuzz about Brandon Morrow talking the 5th rotation spot. But don’t count on that happening.

Yet, they seem to be wanting to get their house in order a bit quicker than the other two teams. Perhaps there is a bit more heat under Bravasi’s rear?

I’ve heard Huntington has a directive to deal Bay this winter as long as he doesn’t give him away so I assume all three teams have heard this rumor too. As for Snell, he projects as a #4 – #5 starter in the AL but he’s young and still under arb control, plus he misses bats. That’s worth a fortune in this game and Huntington is going to be able to justify getting a king’s ransom for him. Whether he is dealt or not depends on the suitors for Bay it seems.

So mark down January 20th on your calendar. That’s the drop-dead date I’ve put on my system for Bay leaving town. Somewhere between now and then we’re going to see the war of nerves start to heat up and we’ll start hearing a lot of noise which is still in the feeling up stage. And then watch the three masters go after Huntington.

We’ll quickly learn if Coonelly and Tanner are getting paid enough to babysit.

I haven’t a clue where all the traffic is coming from to this site but we’re getting hammered. And I mean hammered.

It’s Christmas people – all the GM’s are home having parties, roasting chestnuts, and have set their Blackberry’s to voice mail. I’m not saying a deal couldn’t get done right now but it isn’t likely.

A little holiday fun (clicking one of the buttons will halt the show):