Pittsburgh Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington has added a couple pieces this offseason that he is hoping can impact the 2013 club in a positive way, by hoping for bounceback seasons from both Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano.
However, even though it is not the Pirates style, is there a rule saying the Pirates have to be done?
I know it is doubtful that Bucs add any major pieces that can contribute to a winning season, but taking a look at free agent starter Kyle Lohse wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Sure the former St. Louis Cardinals‘ starter would command some money, but we have heard time and time again that the payroll would increase and while they have added some money for next year already, adding a little bit more won’t hurt the Pirates chances of winning.
Adding a guy such as Lohse wouldn’t be such a bad idea, even though there would be a few drawbacks.
First let’s look at the positives.
He’s a veteran who can eat innings and is coming off the best two years in his career, especially last season which was his best when he went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 211 innings pitched. In addition he throws strikes, striking out 143 batters while walking only 38. The guy knows how to pitch and adding the 34 year old to a rotation that already features A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald and Liriano would give the Pirates the best starting rotation they have had in years and would give the team a chance of winning on a nightly basis.
Now for the drawbacks.
The biggest one is the fact that signing Lohse would cost the Pirates a draft pick because the Cardinals made him a qualifying offer. That’s not the Pirates style as they need to build through the draft, but they haven’t exactly done the best job at it so far in terms of evaluating young talent. Lohse hasn’t received an offer yet because teams don’t want to surrender that draft pick, but that also means there should be less competition for him.
Maybe rolling the dice on a proven commodity could be the way to go for a change instead of hoping for a bounceback season from the usual free agent signings.
There’s also the fact that he is 34 years old and that’s not the Pirates style either. But adding a veteran arm that is pitching as well as Lohse has been wouldn’t be the worst thing for the next couple of years, providing they could sign him to a two-year deal.
But the biggest drawback for the Pirates in targeting a guy like Lohse is money.
He made $11.8 million last season and it is doubtful he could be had cheap.
But another quality arm would make this team better.
While it is doubtful they target a guy like Lohse, a guy like Shaun Marcum could also be worth taking a shot on.
However all of that is smoke and mirrors as it is doubtful the Pirates will look to spend much more money.
But sometimes a guy that can make a difference can be sitting right in front of them. All that means is the Pirates have to be willing and judging by past history, they have never shown the willingness to make such a move.