DK: Top Priority is a Starting Pitcher

Dejan Kovacevic has a small update on the off-season plans for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He mentions that there’s money to spend, and that he hears the top priority is a starting pitcher. Last week I pointed out that the Pirates have $7-10 M to spend. I also mentioned that the Pirates need another starting pitcher, due to the injury concerns that surround Erik Bedard, plus the general uncertainty with pitchers.

The ideal player would be Edwin Jackson, assuming he was affordable. There hasn’t been much of a market for him this off-season, which is kind of consistent with the interest shown towards the right hander throughout his career. Other available options include Paul Maholm, Jeff Francis, and Wei-Yin Chen from the Japanese league. The Pirates have shown interest in those three pitchers this off-season, although no interest in Jackson has been reported.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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John Lease

They will sign whoever insists on a ML contract and doesn’t get a chair when the music stops.  Of course, they could have had Maholm all along, but guys making that much money are poison to the Pirates.


With the Reds and Padres big trade with Latos, and Alonso 1B and others, that
should block Anthony Rizzo 1B why wouldn’t the Pirates take a look. Would the Pirates be interested in Rizzo for 1B?

Robert S. Myers

To me Rizzo would make more sense then Trumbo.  I like Trumbo, but they do not have to get rid of him.  Them can play him at DH, 3rd, and OF.  Rizzo can only play 1b and he would be a big liability at Petko in the OF.  Still.  He would not come cheap….

Matt Beam

Sign Jackson (3-4 years), Kuroda (2 years), or Vazquez (2 years to put off retirement) or IMO you have to go after Carlos Pena with a 2 year contract offer… the 2013 FA 1B are pathetic so even though I’d prefer the quality SP you have to address one of these two areas this off-season for $10-12 million/year.

BTW, the average NL Central payroll is $90 million/year so no excuses spending $60 million/year when you’re going to draw 2 million fans while increasing ticket prices.

The only way I give the FO a pass is if none of these guys will sign with Pittsburgh no matter the offer or if this $10-12 million/year goes towards long term deals with Cutch and Walker that tie up some of their free agent years.


Why not look for a trade for a Mike Trumbo which has a Team friendly salary and young
enough to lock in for several years. This would leave ample money for a Edwin Jackson
or a trade for a Jair Jurrjens or a Shields from the Rays which are also cap friendly.
We have too much in the minors we will never use.


Agree. Quite the upgrade from seasons past. Correia in the pen, unless someone else takes him off our hands.

Robert S. Myers

I would really make a push for Jackson.  He would be a very nice add with a chance to p/u a prospect or two at the deadline.  If we could get him for a multi year deal all the better.  That would give us Bedard, Jackson, McDonald, Morton, and Karstens.  I would go with Lincoln as the  fifth starter until Morton comes back and have Correia as the long reliever.  That is a pretty good starting rotation.

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