Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading The Bucs' Offseason Moves To Date

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Coming off their first winning season in two decades, it hasn’t been an exciting offseason to this point for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

General manager Neal Huntington has filled some needs so far but the Pirates are still lacking power in right field and first base and could possibly use another arm in the starting rotation in the process.

Oct 3, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) waits for a new baseball after giving up a three-run home run to St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran during the third inning in game one of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

However, while some Pirates fans want to see big moves, that’s not entirely possible at this point.

Signing a competent right fielder isn’t really an option with prized prospect Gregory Polanco coming to Pittsburgh in the near future. It makes very little sense to tie up both money and years in right field when Polanco could arrive this season. That being said, it makes sense to start the year with a platoon of Jose Tabata and Travis Snider, with Andrew Lambo possibly in the mix as well.

The same goes for the starting rotation.

If A.J. Burnett decides he wants to return for cheap, the offseason looks a lot better. But Huntington is wise not to invest dollars in an arm, when Jameson Taillon could be in Pittsburgh in June or July.

Also keep in mind that most of the Pirates’ core is already in place, so a lot of major moves were not needed.

Here’s a recap of what the Bucs have done so far.

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Tags: A.J. Burnett Clint Barmes Edinson Volquez Pirates Offseason Grades Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Joe Nastasi

    Lambo has a 50/50 chance of giving you the same results as Davis or any other 1b out there. I wasn’t thrilled with Volquez signing either. I’d prefer Wilson getting shot at rotation. Also hated Barmes signing. You said take his offense out of the equation. But you can’t its apart of it & he sucks really bad. He gives 0 position flexibility. Can’t pinch hit. Can’t pinch run. Chase D’Arnaud would have given you the defense with more range & been an option to be a key pinch runner late in games for league minimum. They gave him $2 million with him having no other options. I guess it pays to be Hurdle’s boy.

    • Matt Gajtka

      I’m on board with Lambo, too. Rather ride with someone developed in the system than someone else’s garbage. As far as Barmes goes, I bet he plays about 30-40 percent of the time, and in late-game situations. If you’re behind, you pinch-hit for him. I don’t see it as a huge issue, especially for a team that relies on the grounder like the Pirates.

      • Joe Nastasi

        Hurdle will give him 350 AB’s at the very least & that is a problem. 6 playoff games 5 starts. Offense struggled in all 5. He shortens your lineup putting undue pressure on a staff to win to many low scoring 1-0/2-1 games. They got away with it last year. I’d prefer not to roll the dice again. When you have to search hard to find something he adds to the team, he’s not adding. IMO his d is over ratted on top of that. He’s slow & anything to his right that he can’t charge he doesn’t make.

        • Matt Gajtka

          Barmes’ D is legit, but if he gets 350 ABs, the Bucs are in trouble.