There’s no doubting the fact that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ biggest need in the offseason has been a quality left hand hitting first baseman.
All along that target appeared to be James Loney, who signed a three-year, $21-million deal to stay in Tampa.
However, while the Bucs didn’t land their man, at least this wasn’t a case of the Pirates being cheap.
Every time the Bucs don’t land a free agent or don’t make moves, owner Bob Nutting, general manager Neal Huntington and company take a beating from fans for a perceived notion that they aren’t willing to pay for talent, even though that hasn’t been the case at all lately.
According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, the Pirates were among four teams to make a similar offer to Loney.
#Rays Loney said MIL, PIT, HOU, TB made similiar offers. “I felt this was going to be the best option and this is where I wanted to be.”
— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) January 3, 2014
It’s frustrating due to the fact that the Pirates are still without a legit upgrade at first base, but it is a good sign to know that they were bidding competitively on a guy who would have been a good fit for them.
It’s hard to fault Loney for returning to a place where he put up one of his best MLB seasons to date, but at least the Pirates were aggressively pursuing him.
At the end of the day the Bucs still need a first baseman and with not much out there to be had, it will be interesting to see what Huntington has up his sleeve.