By 11:59 PM tonight, the Pittsburgh Pirates must make a few decisions that could drastically alter the future of the team. They must decide to either keep or get rid of arbitration eligible players, and they have some big names on the list this year that still haven’t been considered.
The first and the one that everyone has been talking about it Pedro Alvarez. The hardest part with Alvarez is that he is regarded as possibly the worst everyday defensive first basemen in the MLB. The Pirates already have picked up Jake Goebbert, who spent all of 2015 in AAA for San Diego. While on the surface Goebbert doesn’t seem like someone who you could realistically platoon with Michael Morse, I could see him earning a bench spot this season, primarily because of his discipline at the plate. Goebbert had a .294 AVG in in AAA, which is okay, but his .392 OBP shows he can work a pitcher in order to get on base. Top prospect Josh Bell may be able to play sooner rather than later as well.
So with Alvarez expect to earn an extra $2 million this year due to arbitration, I see it as a big mistake to pick him up for another year. The team is better off using their money in a more appropriate place, and put faith in Morse to lead the team at first. With Neil Walker apparently on the trade block, maybe our best interest is to dump money into a player that can replace him and outpreform him, and solidify the rest of the arbitration eligible players.
Regardless, tonight will be possibly one of the hardest nights for General Manager Neil Huntington in his career, and fans that are on the fence about his decisions will surely get some clarification on his ideal direction of the team by midnight tonight.
For an update on all the results of the non-tender deadline, check back here tomorrow for a full recap and analysis right here on City of Champions.
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