Thursday, November 02, 2006

Herrera update

Dave Littlefield has finally commented on the Yuslan Herrera situation by talking to Paul Meyer and it's probably not what people expected to hear.

We're aware of the player and we've been scouting him [for a while]. We're still scouting him and hope to attract him [to the Pirates]. Right now, that's basically it.
The rest of Meyer's column is pretty much a rehash of everything else we've heard, though it doesn't say he pitched in the 2004 Olympics (Olympic baseball stats are incredibly hard to find, I've been trying for a couple days now, and Herrera seems to appear on some lists of that Cuban team's roster and not on others). There's also one other thing that I haven't seen anywhere else. Meyer says,
It's unlikely Herrera, assuming the Pirates sign him, would be with the major-league team next season.
Hmm, that's interesting, though there's a good chance that Meyer knows as much about this guy as we do and he's just speculating. Littlefield's comments do bring to mind another recent situation though, the Bill Mueller situation. Mueller, if you'll recall, dragged out a decision between the Pirates, Giants, and Dodgers until almost Christmas last year. It was rumored for about a week that the Pirates had offered Mueller a third guaranteed year and $13 million while the Giants and Dodgers were offering 2 years each. Mueller ended up signing with the Dodgers for something like 2 years and $9 million, then he, his agent, and Dave Littlefield all expressed surprise at the rumor that the Pirates had offered a third year (a rumor that was being reported as fact in some places). It seemed to me (and to others), that someone inside of Mueller's camp passed around a story to the right places that the Bucs had offered that third year to squeeze an extra million or two out of the West Coast teams that he wanted to play for. Is it possible that Herrera's agent is using Johnny P at the BCT like Bill Beane uses Peter Gammons in Moneyball? We all know Perrotto loves his rumors. All he had to do was drop Herrera's name in a short little blurb and three of the top four Google matches for "Yuslan Herrera" are Pirate blogs. If a team, say the Diamondbacks (who were mentioned in one of the original BA columns), were dragging their feet in getting a deal for Herrera, they suddenly have more motivation to hurry things up. I'm interested to see how this all plays out.

UPDATE (1:23)- Then again, this article just appeared on the dot com in which Ed Eagle repeats the "completed pending physical" meme from the Trib and quote Herrera's agent as saying that once Herrera gets a visa that this will be a done deal.