Pirates Sign Infielder Anderson Feliz

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed free agent infielder Anderson Feliz to a minor league deal. He spent 2015 in independent ball for Lancaster of the Atlantic League. The Barnstormers announced his signing on their website this morning. Feliz was playing winter ball in Nicaragua this year and left his team a week ago to meet for a tryout with the Pirates in the Dominican Republic.

Feliz is 23 years old and has played pro ball since 2009, spending his first six seasons in the Yankees’ organization. He topped out at High-A, spending parts of four seasons in the Florida State League. Last year in indy ball, he hit .275/.344/.415 in 92 games. Feliz has spent most of his time at second base, but he’s played all three outfield spots, as well as shortstop and third base.

He had a .694 OPS in 324 games while with the Yankees, showing some ability to get on base at times. He was pushed to full-season ball at age 19 back in 2011 and struggled that year with a low average and high strikeout rate. Feliz stole a career high 16 bases that year, with six homers and 52 walks. Since then, he has been on the disabled list eight times, though it looks like a few may have been paper moves/phantom injuries due to roster space, possibly to add a pitcher due to a tired bullpen.

He looks to be minor league depth, possibly at either Bradenton or Altoona. He will probably be used as a utility player, much like Andy Vasquez, who the Pirates didn’t resign this off-season after nine years in the system.

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BTW, I agree – Kendick is a good and largely underrated player – but he doesn’t address the Pirates greatest needs (starting pitcher, first baseman, LH reliever) and he isn’t worth the money or the first round pick that would be sacrificed.


The Pirates will never be in the Dodgers league when it comes to payroll and high priced free agent signings. The Dodgers, as do the Red Sox and Cubs, appear to have a payroll budget seemingly without limits. But sometimes, when you have that kind of budget, you make dumb signings and decisions – just because you can.
However, I understand the frustration sentiment…you see the Cubs, Dodgers, DBacks, Giants, etc, really help their teams by signing some high-end free agent talent, while the Pirates big signing is John Jaso (and that is not intended to be a knock on Jaso, just stating the obvious facts). That does not mean the Pirates can’t be successful – look at the Royals.
My frustration with the Pirates is that there doesn’t seem to be an overarching plan or identity that the organization has embraced…I’m sure there is one, its just not apparent to me in some of their moves. The Royals strategy is very clear – focus on pitching and defense – and largely win with great defense, a shutdown bullpen, and timely hitting. The Pirates say they are a good defensive team (but they are not) and that they want to be considered a strong defensive team (but some of their recent moves don’t support this contention). First base was a disaster last year, and catching and the rest of the infield were not exceptional either. Team defense cost this team the division last year – and it wasn’t all Alvarez.
They have a 24/25 year old catcher in AAA who is considered one of the very best defensive catchers in any system – yet, we re-commit to Stewart who was awful defensively last year and leave Diaz in Indy for another year. Guys like Hamilton will run wild on the Pirates again.
After the disaster called Pedro at first base last year, you would think the Pirates would want to get a really strong glove at first base to rectify that disaster. Instead, we trade a very good defensive young outfielder for a an overweight and unproven first baseman/third baseman/left fielder (Rogers) and then signed a catcher in the hopes he can play first base. Jaso may prove to be adequate at first base (when he plays, he will be platooning), but he’s unproven there.
Mercer, Harrison, and Kang are average to slightly above average when it comes to their gloves and their range. None of them are going to ever be Gold Glove candidates. A guy like Hanson could have really improved second base defensively, with his speed and range. Instead, we re-sign Rodriguez to further prevent Hanson from getting that opportunity – and Rodriguez is adequate at best.
So, if defense is another Achilles heel this year, you can blame NH. He made the moves.


“My frustration with the Pirates is that there doesn’t seem to be an overarching plan or identity that the organization has embraced..”: sure there is!
1) Play your top prospects when they are ready. Which implies not blocking them. Ryan Vogelsong’s role is to pitch adequately for two or three months and then step aside for the better of Glasnow or Taillon. Hanson needs to raise his OPS in AAA and when he is ready he’ll be promoted. The Pirates stated philosophy (overarching plan or identity) is to primarily build from within through the draft and the international market. Off seasons like this one where they are clearing space for prospects to bloom is an expected result of such a philosophy, not an absence of one.
2) Extend your young players with All Star potential: Cutch, Marte…
3) Pitch down in the zone with downward break if possible to keep the ball in the park and produce ground ball outs.
4) Throw strikes to reduce pitch counts.
5) Apply defensive shifts when productive.
6) Contend for the playoffs every year (which implies not going “all in” to take advantage of a “window” and then “blowing up” the team to rebuild).
and so forth…

There is an identifiable “Pirate Way”. One needs to understand that the team is still a work in progress. The team really won’t be near a peak until 2018. Yes that will be when Cutch and or Cole will be either ready to leave (or already left) if not extended. But that is when Meadows or Y. Garcia (or whomever) will be ready to take their place.

Take the longer view. Things are actually going really well.


So NH should sign Kendrick to 2/20 AND give up a draft pick? Yeah, Kendrick played 1B. But his OPS+ the last 3 years have been 118, 116, and 107 – not great (Jaso has been 118, 114, and 132), and he’s ANOTHER RH bat.

I realize you don’t think NH is half as smart as you are, but you should try to wait until you can pick a battle that might convince somebody with a double digit IQ that you might be right.


I heard he’s the next Anderson Hernandez.


Actually theyd be happy if he’s the next Anderson Hernandez.

dr dng

Tim is now checking to see if he needs to reorder his top 20 prospects.

William Hritz

And yet we finish 2015 with more wins than the Dodgers. Go figure?


this is true- we can’t have prospects on the bench in A ball- just doesn’t make sense



I can’t help but laugh at this off season ๐Ÿ™‚ The Dodgers sign Howie Kendricks, we sign Anderson Feliz.

You just can’t make this stuff up ๐Ÿ™‚

Harvey M

I don’t really know if you are a Pirates fan. I’m certain that the Dodgers also signed players worse than Anderson Feliz. The Pirates are an excellently run business/ baseball club. And we’re better than the Dodgers.
That’s a fact.
SinceTeam with the worst minor league system, we have improved the most since 2000 and 8.

Bruce Humbert

I guess that is the difference between you “Settlers” and those of us who want to win. The last three years who has won more Division titles – the Dodgers or Pirates?
Who has appeared in more post season games?
36 year losing streak – and not looking good to end it there this year.

Scott K

Nice apples and oranges comparison. No place or need for Howie Kendrick in Pittsburgh.


Seriously??? No place or need?? A proven 2nd baseman and first baseman to boot? You are smarter then that Scott!

My point is, as some have picked up on, is that its hard to watch signings like that, and we, as Pirate fans, see signings like we get. I sure would have liked to see that the Dodgers signed Feliz, and we signed Kendricks.

Scott Kliesen

With Hanson and Bell knocking on the door, and the need to add one more SP, Pirates don’t have any business spending money on a declining player like Kendrick.

Now Hanson and/or Bell may wash out, but small market teams must give prospects like them the opportunity to succeed or fail. Blocking them as you suggest is shortsighted.

Adam Y

Jaso has been hearalded as a good signing. Did you want to give up our 1st round pick for Kendricks, or have him block Hansen? Hansen may not pan out, but I’d rather give him the chance than give the money to Kendricks.

Maybe your point is that you want the Pirates to sign SOMEBODY besides Vogelsong, S Rod, etc. I don’t disagree, but we have opened the wallet at least a little! Guys like Kendricks, Fister, Kennedy, etc aren’t right for our team.

Tell me who you’d sign!


Would have given you an up vote if the player was Sean Hurdle instead of Feliz. I know what your trying to say.


Wasn’t he a first baseman in the Rays system?


John, give me a break. You knew where I was going with that. Save the “boy are you dumb” statements for when I am being dumb. I have been known to do that at times ๐Ÿ™‚

This off season has not been endearing so far, and you know it.


you make a great point john- one thing- noone can say with a straight face that this team was put together in the hopes of being better or more succesful than the 2015 season with the roster as it stands today

Blaine Huff

Was sorta shocked about the Kendrick signing…2/20?

Kinda guessing he wish he took the QO.


I really think the players are going to work hard to get rid of or change that next CBA. Teams where scared off with that pick for sure.

Freaking Dodgers. Top system, 3 of the top 36 picks. Nothings guaranteed, but that’s the right way to do it. George Steinbrenner must be up in heaven, wishing he would’ve bought the DR in the 70s.


It is more the draft slot money than the pick. If the strict limits were done away with, I don’t think the QO would have such the impact.

But that is unlikely.


Never looked at it that way, but sounds right.

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