Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Outlook

Free Agents: None

Arbitration Eligible: Matt Capps, RP; Zach Duke, SP; Tyler Yates, RP; Ronny Cedeno, INF; Denny Bautista, RP; Lastings Milledge, OF.

Needs: 1B, SS, SP, RP, Depth

Likely Outcome: First, due to popular demand the Pirates make an early appearance on my offseason thoughts. Looking at this team, there is very little to hope for except for a miracle in player development. They have a good core of young talent, but for the Pirates to experience a winning season for the first time since 1992, they are going to need a miracle. Their offense is loaded with young potential in Ryan Doumit (C), Steve Pearce (1B), Delwyn Young (2B), Andy LaRoche (3B), Lastings Milledge (LF), Andrew McCutchen (CF) and Garrett Jones (RF). All of whom will be 29 or younger on Opening Day next season.

What I would do this offseason is add as many veteran players that will sign to add depth to the Pirates bench and to help develop this group of young talent. They have done this in the past couple of years in the form of Doug Mientkiewicz, Eric Hinske and Ramon Vazquez most prominently. If they bring in several of these type of players this offseason to help this team improve as a whole. Examples of players that I would seek would be: Chad Tracy, David Eckstein, Geoff Blum, Bobby Crosby, Reed Johnson, Endy Chavez. These guys do not make anyone's eyeballs pop, but they all have the ability to help make the Pirates bench deeper than in recent memory.

What will happen is the Pirates will likely play with the roster they currently have and bank their revenue sharing dollars for a season when they have the potential to compete. I would expect to see the Pirates activity limited to the low-end free agent market, spending $10M or less to bring in bullpen help, perhaps a starting pitcher and some bench depth.

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