I always enjoy looking at the first free agent prediction, especially how they pertain to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tim Dierkes at MLBTR unveiled his list of the Top 50 free agents on the market and where they will end up. These things are way too difficult to project, but if Dierkes is anything close to right, it’s going to be another bad offseason for the Bucs.
The list is headed by the likes of Zach Greinke, Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn, but it is way down on the list before anyone with ties to the Pirates comes into play.
At No. 33 is Jason Grilli and Dierkes predicts him to go to the Milwaukee Brewers.
That hurts the Bucs for two reasons. One, Grilli is coming off a great season and secondly you don’t want to see him go to a division rival. Grilli is certainly in for a pay increase, it’s all a matter of whether or not the Bucs will allow him to walk because of money. My prediction is we have seen the last of Grilli in a Pirates’ uniform and that’s sad.
That’s the only player in the Top 50 that he has the Pirates losing, but he does have them signing one- starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who was horrendous in Colorado (6.35 ERA) last season before somewhat putting things together in Kansas City (3.16 ERA) at the end of the season.
Sadly Guthrie represents exactly the type of player the Pirates target in free agency; a journeyman that they hope can put things together. Basically they throw darts and hope to hit a bullseye every once in a while.
In his nine year career, Guthrie has compiled a 55-77 record with a 4.28 ERA.
That’s not to say the Pirates will target Guthrie or if he would even have interest in the Pirates. I just find it interesting that Dierkes has him going to Pittsburgh as Neal Huntington has signed plenty of Guthrie’s over the years.
Of note, the guy I would most like to see the Pirates target, catcher Mike Napoli, Dierkes has ranked as the 14th best free agent and going to the Houston Astros. Of course Napoli is likely way out of the Pirates’ price range.
MLBTR runs a contest where you can correctly pick the destination for the Top 50 free agents.