Vogelsong returns to the Pirates at 38-years-old


The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 38-year-old right-hander Ryan Vogelsong to flesh out their rotation.

38-year-old Ryan Vogelsong will be wearing the black and gold of the Pittsburgh Pirates once again this upcoming season.

The former Giants right-hander was signed to a one-year free agent contract on Friday as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Vogelsong last played for the Pirates in 2006 before a stint in Japan. He returned to the Giants in 2011. MLB.com’s Adam Berry reported the terms.

Vogelsong had a successful return to the Majors in 2011 as he was voted an NL All-Star and won a World Series with the Giants in 2012 and 2014. However, he went 9-11 in 22 starts with the giants and had a 4.67 ERA.

Although the 2016 Pirates rotation looks like a rag-tag bunch, GM Neil Huntington told the Post-Gazette on Friday that he still feels confident with the group of pitchers he will send to the mound on a daily basis.

“As you look back at where our rotation was going into in 2015, with Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett coming off a down year, Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke,” Huntington added. “I don’t think anybody would have projected that rotation was going to put us in a position to win 98 games.”

Hunting also added that swapping Charlie Morton for Vogelsong gives the Pirates more financial flexibility.

“We feel like we’ve been able to reallocate dollars accordingly,” Huntington said, “and put together a club we feel will fight, compete and be in a position to potentially make a fourth run into the postseason.”

The Pirates seemed to have plateaued of late. The team has had two straight seasons falling behind the St. Louis Cardinals. In order to guarantee themselves a decent position in the postseason, the Pirates are going to have to win baseball’s toughest division. It’s not enough to make it to the one-game playoff and lose anymore.

More from Pittsburgh Pirates

Things are only getting harder for the Pirates moving forward. The Chicago Cubs are not going anywhere particularly with the recent signing of Jason Heyward to give them more of a defensive presense. Heyward is arguably the best defensive outfielder in the MLB. They also picked up pitcher John Lackey and utility player Ben Zobrist.

Let’s be real, how much of an impact will Ryan Vogelsong be able to make for the Bucs this season? Is the money that will be saved worth the cost of talented pitching? It seems that these are still your older brother’s Pirates, willing to skimp on talented players in order to save some green for a rainy day.

Next: Sean Rodriguez returns to the Pirates

The problem is, the days are running short for the Pirates as we know them.