Pedro Alvarez Released By Pirates


Without the ability to find a team willing to pick him up, the Pittsburgh Pirates have released Pedro Alvarez due to the non-tender deadline.

Alvarez was expected to earn an extra 2 million dollars on his contract if offered, and the team now heads forward-looking inside their team for a replacement. For most it wasn’t a huge surprise, as Alvarez was not in the starting lineup for the National League wild card game.

The Pirates have a few options inside of the organization for a solution, but fans should expect the team to at least attempt to pull in a better starter this offseason. There are currently three first basemen on the 40-man roster. The first being Michael Morse, who could have a breakout year in 2016 based upon his statistics since joining the Pirates this season.

The problem is his sample size of plate appearances, which is only 82. The Pirates have to decide if that’s a risk they’re willing to take, which will be arguably the first big risk since signing Francisco Cervelli to replace Russell Martin last offseason.

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Their other options are out of the question, as Jake Goebbert is a last spot bench player at best, and Josh Bell is not ready to emerge quite yet. The direction the team could go is to use Morse and start to rush Bell’s promotion, which could hurt his long-term progress but might give the team a boost mid-2016. The other option is to seek a pickup from free agency, but the pool of available players is pretty weak this offseason.

The only major starting first baseman on the market is Chris Davis, who’s power bat, would be a tremendous pickup, but with the Moneyball strategy General Manager Neal Huntington has implemented, it is doubtful the team picks up a big name.

That’s alright, though, as Davis’ performance has changed time and time again throughout his career, and the last thing the Pirates need right now is another major investment turning into a flop.

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The best move for outside talent is Justin Morneau, who held a .379 OBP when with the Pirates in the later half of 2013.