PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Tuesday March 3 2015
Leave this field empty.

In The Dugout with Frank Coonelly

PSR Logo
PSR's David Golebiewski caught up with Pirates president Frank Coonelly to discuss Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement.

David Golebiewski: How will the restrictions and taxes on draft spending in the new CBA affect the Pirates' recent strategy of paying well above-slot for top talents who fall due to signability concerns?
Frank Coonelly: We implemented our draft strategy with a clear understanding that these changes were likely coming in 2011-12. Going forward, signability should not be a driving force on selections; it was not for us at least since 2008. Rather, players will be selected on the basis of talent rather than a concern over who the club can afford. This is good for the game in the long term as the best talent should get to the teams that are drafting high. The new system will reward the best scouting departments because now decisions are made on talent rather than signability. This is a positive development for the Pirates because while we do not have as much revenue as other clubs, we have, in my judgment, one of the best group of scouts in the game. We will use superior scouting to find the best players without concern that such players can be bought by a large market club promising large signing bonus dollars. We will continue to find ways to creatively employ our scouts and allocate our resources to add premier talent to the system.

David G: Do you believe that prospects like Josh Bell, Stetson Allie and Robbie Grossman would be in the Pirates' system had the new CBA been in place when those players were draft eligible?
Coonelly: It is very hard to speculate on who would have been available, how our selections would have been different and the decisions regarding signing or going to college that these young men would have made under the current rules. Each may or may not have been drafted higher and each may or may not have decided to attend college. We may have had access to other players. It is likely that more high school players who are not drafted in the first round may decide to go to college in an effort to improve their draft status. This is not necessarily a bad thing as some draft mistakes will be avoided and the young men will be in a position where they can secure a quality education. We also may see more college juniors returning to school for their senior years in an effort to move up in the draft. Again, this is not a bad thing as the player will have an opportunity to secure his degree.

David G: What impact do you think the new CBA's draft changes have on competitive balance?
Coonelly: I believe that they will make incremental improvement to competitive balance. The teams with the worst records will have better access to the best players and clubs in low revenue markets will receive a sandwich selection between the first and second or the second and third rounds and potentially lottery selections from clubs that lost first or second round selections by being over the spending cap. In addition, the new rules will severely limit if not eliminate the large market clubs ability to use its large resources to buy the best talent in the draft despite drafting at or towards the bottom of the draft. Indeed, clubs selecting at the bottom of the draft will only have $4 million to spend without incurring severe penalties making it very difficult for these clubs to bring premier talent into their systems through the draft. Finally, the additional selections that low revenue clubs receive are the only draft selections that may be traded, giving low revenue clubs additional assets that they can use to secure prospects or major league talent.

Share
This has been a rough basketball season for fans of Division 1 hoops in this part of the state. Usually tough Robert Morris is struggling to stay at .500. Big Ten losses continue to pile up in State College. Even NCAA tourney staple Pitt is under .500 in the ACC.
Editor's DeskFeature One
When you come across Beau Bennett’s name in a story, it’s typically preceded by compound modifiers like “oft-injured” or “injury-plagued.” Or lately, "healthy scratch."
Blue LineFeature Two
With the offseason coming to a close and the Pirates’ spending seemingly ceased, there are two facts that can be gleaned:
Feature ThreeNorth Shore Notes
It has been four years since the Pittsburgh Steelers won a playoff game. Fourteen other NFL teams have won in the postseason since the Steelers defeated the Jets for the 2010 AFC Championship.
Feature FourPure SteelTop Story
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3College Sports TV Channel
The Penguins have become an older team in recent years, as stars like Sidney Crosby (27), Evgeni Malkin (28), and Marc-Andre Fleury (30) are no longer the youthful group that hoisted the Stanley Cup six years ago.
Blue LineCustom 1Top Story
The Nats, Cubs and White Sox went out and added aces to their rotations, the Marlins opened the bank for Giancarlo Stanton, the Red Sox bolstered their infield and the Padres created an outfield: Reviewing the offseason moves.
Custom 2North Shore NotesTop Story
The 2015 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock. There are many important needs the Bucs are facing this offseason, but their main priority is quarterback.
Custom 3Pure SteelTop Story
When describing Woodland Hills junior running back Miles Sanders, recruiting pundits, WPIAL coaches and high school football writers typically use superlatives like “fast,” “talented,” and “explosive,” or descriptive phrases such as “big-playmaker” and “player to lose sleep over.”
Custom 4High SchoolPenn State