A slow offseason to this point is expected to pick up for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the 2013 Winter Meetings in Orlando.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington is expected to aggressively target a first baseman and apparently Toronto’s Adam Lind and Miami’s Logan Morrison are at the top of Huntington’s wish list. Both players have been linked to the Pirates in recent weeks as my colleague Matt Gajtka looked at Morrison in a recent piece and touched on the Lind rumors as well.
James Loney continues to be the ideal fit to upgrade the position for the Pirates but coming off a big year, Loney’s three-year, $30 million salary request may make him too pricey for the Bucs.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports echoes that fact and has reported the Pirates’ likely course of action is through the trade market.
Pirates discussing multiple trade options for first base vacancy, including Adam Lind and Logan Morrison, sources say. @FOXSports1
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 9, 2013
Given the choice of the two I would prefer a deal for Lind.
Lind struggles tremendously against left-handed pitching, but Gaby Sanchez performs quite well against southpaws and the combination should give the Pirates a pretty solid platoon.
Lind’s left-handed power should play well at PNC Park, as we could see an increase of his career .286/.343/.508 line against right-handed pitching.
Now that the Marlins have inked former Pirate Garrett Jones to a deal, Morrison could be had in a trade as well. The Bucs should tread with caution, though, as Morrison has struggled the past two seasons.
Morrison has posted just .236/.321/.387 over his past two big league seasons after slashing .259/.351/.460 through his first two MLB campaigns. He has fought injuries the past two seasons and hit just 17 combined homers the past two years while driving in only 36 runs each season.
Lind has legitimate MLB power, hitting 23 or more homers in four of the past five seasons.
He may prove to be pricier as the Bucs would likely have to give up more to get him, but his power bat would look nice in the middle of the Pirates lineup. He is scheduled to make $7 million this season with team options of $7.5 million next year and $8 million in 2016.
In other Pirates news, the Bucs are looking at shortstop Clint Barmes as they seek to add a solid glove guy up the middle.
Keep checking back to City of Champions often for updates on the Pirates’ wheelings and dealings throughout the Winter Meetings.