On the surface of things, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a few needs, but shortstop may not be one of them.
That won’t stop Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington from attempting to upgrade at the position, though.
The D’Backs have reportedly made the young Gregorius available after Chris Owings won the team’s starting shortstop job. Rubin wrote that the Diamondbacks seek an MLB-ready starting pitcher to offset the loss of Patrick Corbin.
Rubin also notes that the New York Mets have interest in Gregorius, which makes sense, perhaps a little more sense than the Bucs, who have Jordy Mercer slated to open the season at the position and veteran Clint Barmes as a reliable backup.
There’s also Alen Hanson, who could the shortstop in waiting, although he could project as a second baseman long term.
That alone makes the interest in Gregorius make a little more sense, depending on the return.
Jeff Locke, who is slated to begin the season in Triple-A, would make more sense for the Bucs than parting with any young pitcher of value.
Gregorius has a decent bat, hitting .252 with a .704 OPS in 357 at-bats last season, his first in the big leagues, with seven homers and 28 RBI. However, he was brutal against left-handed pitching, hitting only .200 with a .512 OPS compared to .275 with a .789 OPS against right-handers.
I am not as high on Gregorius but if Mercer were to go down or struggle, it would be nice to have a better option than Barmes offensively.
However, I don’t know if Gregorius is that guy.
He hit .252/.332/.373 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 357 at-bats with the Diamondbacks in 2013. But he hit .319/.374 /.521 with a very high .354 BABIP from his recall on April 18 through the end of May yet only hit .227/.310/.290 from June 1 through the end of the season.
But keep in mind he has just 377 MLB at bats and does have talent.
Aside from the Mets and Pirates, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports lists the Reds, Tigers, and Yankees as teams the D’Backs “have thought of as possibilities” for Gregorius.