Last night was the deadline for teams to tender offers to their unsigned players. The Pittsburgh Pirates tendered offers to all of their arbitration eligible players, signed Jason Grilli to a one year deal, and traded Jose Veras to Milwaukee for Casey McGehee. I broke down all of the moves last night after the deadline.
With the arbitration offers tendered, the projected 25-man roster is starting to take shape. It’s far from being finalized, but it’s to the point where we can upload the annual 25-man roster projection. I’ve uploaded a new page this year, which can be found here. The page is updated with my estimated 25-man roster, based solely on the current players on the 40-man roster, plus the non-roster invitees. Some thoughts:
-The Pirates have McGehee and Jones lined up to take first base. I’m fine with McGehee starting, since he’s only a year removed from a .285 average, 23 home run, .801 OPS season. That said, I’d like to see the Pirates try to get a better first base option. Things look much better with Jones serving as an outfielder off the bench and McGehee serving as a backup at first, second, and third, while providing insurance for Alvarez. If Alvarez goes down, you’ve got McGehee and Jones starting at the corners. That’s not ideal.
-Looking at the bench, I wouldn’t put much stock in Nick Evans making the team. He’s a popular non-roster invitee, but there doesn’t seem to be room for him with McGehee and Jones, unless the Pirates carry three first base types. There’s a bigger need for a middle infielder, unless they want to put the backup middle infield duties solely on Rule 5 pick Gustavo Nunez.
-You could make an argument that the Pirates could use another starting pitcher. Morton will miss the first month of the season, although the Pirates can get by with a spot starter until the end of April. You can’t count on Bedard for a full season. Brad Lincoln provides some immediate depth. Chris Leroux is an outside the box option for a spot starter, as he spent the off-season working on his off-speed pitches. Outside of those two the Pirates don’t have anyone who would be ready on Opening Day. Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, and Kyle McPherson could be options at some point in 2012.
-The bullpen looks strong. The Pirates would have Jared Hughes, Daniel Moskos, Bryan Morris, and Duke Welker at the AAA level using this projection. They’ve got some strong depth, and could afford to deal someone if needed.
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.
You always hope a guy like Yamaico Navarro goes into spring training and just blows away all competition for extra infielder, even at the rule 5 guy’s expense. But if they already made the investment by cutting Ciriaco and drafting the rule 5 guy, it looks like this would be the main scenario to start the season. But if Navarro just wows everyone and makes it look like they’d be nuts to go with anyone besides him, I don’t think he Pirates would mind that happening either and would return the rule 5 guy to his old team.
I agree though that Navarro getting daily at bats and playing everyday in triple A would be the best thing for everyone right now, because the extra infielder isnt going to be used much, if you recall how Ciriaco was used.
They know darn well that once the year starts its so hard to keep those rule 5 guys all year unless they are doing really good, which they never are. They almost always cut them loose or work out a trade to keep them and send them to the minors. (Or they get mysterious phantom injuries that keep them on the DL for a long time).
For another starting pitcher, I have to think that they are looking closely at free agent Joe Saunders, who would be a decent addition to the staff….And what ever happened to Jeff Francis?
I dont think I missed him signing with another team, right?
I could really see a potential deal or 2 left trade wise. Something with Garret Jones and maybe something involving some young OFs (not Marte, starting to fall in love with him) and maybe Allie and some of the other upside prep guys. Darnaud could also be in a deal.
With Pujos going to the Angels.. they seem too heavy at 1st base…. any rumors or thoughts on a trade with them now?
Are you forgetting Navarro? I presume he would be a better and more realistic option than Nunez.
My guess is they go with a Rule 5 guy and give Navarro regular playing time at AAA. But I could see either situation happening.