Weekly Pirates Discussion: Ben Cherington Has Made Some Minimal Moves

Over the last week, Ben Cherington has been slowly turning over the roster. The impact of the moves thus far is likely to be very minimal.

Things were kicked off when Kevin Newman was traded to division rival, the Cincinnati Reds, for RHP Dauri Moreta. Tim Williams detailed the new Pittsburgh Pirates acquisition in his article The Mystery of Dauri Moreta’s Sinker.

My personal feelings about the trade are that it’s a bit of a head scratcher. It isn’t that I have a personal attachment to Newman. My issue is with the trading of a player with value — even if minimal in relation to rest of league — for the equivalent of another waiver wire pickup. I have a hard time calling middle infield a position of depth for the Pirates until it’s true. Until there are surefire starters, with an excelling prospect banging on the door, I personally can’t call it a position of depth. They have a lot of middle infield capable players, but none that have risen above everyone else yet.

A couple days later the Pirates added a right-handed reliever Nate Webb, who touches 100, but has battled injuries and control. It was a Minor League Deal, so it doesn’t have any implications on the 40-Man roster.

Then another couple days later, the Pirates added Lewin Diaz who had been placed on waivers by the Miami Marlins. This was then followed by Hoy Park being designated for assignment, who was subsequently traded to the Boston Red Sox for LHP Inmer Lobo — an 18 year old left-handed pitcher out of Venezuela.

So, the Pirates have made some moves, but none of them could be considered needle movers. There is still a strong possibility that the Front Office will roll into the 2023 season without any ground shaking moves, in which case some of the prospects picked for Thursday’s Second Half Surge Roundtable could be some names to keep an eye on for next year.

It has been strenuous following the Pirates, and we really have no other choice than to trust the process and hope it all pans out. The Prospect’s also need to trust the process, as Anthony Murphy writes about Jared Jones’ development.

Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has recovered from their food coma. We’re only a couple weeks away now from the draft lottery, as well as the Rule 5 draft.

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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robertkasperski

Apparently Carlos Santana is in da house.

is it ://media

blob:https://piratesprospects.com/25cecd55-7e21-446a-a004-6e4b50b7e2a5

or is it
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blob:https://piratesprospects.com/f1fd4b19-d6f7-4ffa-a3ab-398334a2056f

Last edited 2 months ago by robertkasperski
slider1971

Absolutely hate this move!!!!
6.7 million for this guy??? 37 year old who was terrible last year. Makes no sense to me

Iowasteel

Almost 7 million for one year. The “Nutting won’t spend a dime” crew are going to be confused for a bit. Good signing. Bit of risk, but addresses a position of need

Last edited 2 months ago by Iowasteel
Wilbur Miller

It’s only confusing if you’re operating under the delusion that this FO has an ounce of competence. Otherwise, you’d expect them to suck even at being cheap.

And signing a firstbaseman whose OPS has been under .700 the last three years isn’t “a bit of risk.” It’s nothing but risk. It also doesn’t “address” a position of need. It simply puts a body there. Like maybe we won’t realize they don’t have a major league firstbaseman because he blocks our view of the first base bag.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
EightMenOut

Given the bat, Newman’s main value is as a shortstop, so if the Pirates don’t play him there, because they want to stick with Cruz, then I don’t see the rationale to keep him. A team with a strong lineup could have the luxury of using Newman as a backup shortstop and late inning defensive replacement in the infield. Assuming the Reds plan to use him as their starting shortstop then it is good for him and good for the Reds. If Newman hits and plays well for them he could even get traded at the deadline to a contending team that has a hole at shortstop to fill. All in all, I think the trade is likely a positive for him, and not a negative for the Pirates.

EightMenOut

Significant trades will be very hard to pull off for the Pirates. First, we should not be trading players of value for prospects, finally. Second, our three players of value are Reynolds, Cruz and Hayes.  Cruz and Hayes would seem to be untouchable for different reasons. Third, If we trade Reynolds we would need to get back at least two good major league players in return on good contracts.  So like two good starting pitchers, or a good starting pitcher and a good first baseman, on decent contracts. Doesn’t seem likely. And if we trade Reynolds we now have 3 spots in the outfield to fill with prospects or with free agents, so outfield is not a position of strength for us right now, so why trade your best outfielder?  

We should spend all our money to acquire a couple of starting pitchers via free agency, assume that a few of our prospects will work out well, and pick up some players doing the “small ball” stuff we are doing now in hopes that one of these pick ups works out well. Not optimal, but anything else carries more risk than reward.

RAS TN

The Pirates are trying to build a team from trades of actual major league players to obtain prospects, FA’s that are over the hill or who have bounced around and will come cheap, and from the draft and that’s it Plain and Simple and spend all the free money he gets but not his own that being Nutting.

Cocktailsfor2

Newman is the embodiment of “fungible.”

Let the kids play!

RAS TN

Just curious since the kids are playing and have been…what is your plan if they fail…Castro, Cruz as there is no actual major leaguer or really anyone other than more so-called prospects to fill the void if they fail…

Cocktailsfor2

Cruz is going to get the whole season at SS, come hell or high water. So unless he’s injured, there’s really no point in keeping ol’ Kev.

RAS TN

Damn the torpedos full steam ahead…

emjayinTN

It’s nobody’s fault that the depth of this team is more kids. Ji-Hwan Bae is a solid prospect at 2B, as is Nick Gonzales who will be at AAA to start 2023. Liover Peguero is maturing as a MI, and will also be at AAA in 2023. Just read an article regarding Ke’Bryan Hayes coming off a league leading number of Outs Above Average at 3B. That’s our infield leader! These young kids can play.

This team does not have the benefit of an Owner who will spend to add a strong defender who also has a solid bat. Therefore, our only option is to load up with prospects, be patient with them, and provide the opportunities they need to develop.

juniorkrz

It would be real nice for the team to make a move that moves the needle, even slightly. Give the fans a reason to start getting excited for 2023 and beyond. Give me a lefty in the pen (Will Smith), a RH hitting OF/1B (Wil Myers) and Zach Eflin-type signings.

leefieux

This should not be surprising. Cherington, other than trading ways good players, has done nothing but minimal moves. This is why we suck right now!

leefieux

Loehr22 disliked a third of my comments. Maybe he needs to post so that can dislike all of his? 🙂 🙂

Did he dislike my saying BC has done nothing? Is he disagreeing that we suck right now? If so, tell me why you disagree. Downvoting is so impersonal it’s personal. Don’t do a drive by. Speak up, man!

Last edited 2 months ago by leefieux
roberto

I’m not getting into disputes between bloggers. But BC was hired to do a rebuild. That involves losing a lot, because the best players get traded away. Are the minors better and deeper than they were in September of 2019? Yes. Will BC succeed? He might.

leefieux

Oh, I don’t mind the different opinions, I just dislike downvotes. TELL me why you downvoted me, like you just did.

Btw, I have NO idea who he is or why he’s taken a dislike to me. As the kids say….”whatever”.

Last edited 2 months ago by leefieux
leefieux

Jeff….wasn’t it kicked off when we traded for Choi?

leefieux

I’ll let it go THIS time. 🙂

Wilbur Miller

I had to laugh at the title of Stumpf’s article on Diaz: Pirates Claim Light-Hitting Firstbaseman.

b mcferren

2023 BUCS

SS Cruz
LF Reynolds
2B Castro / Tucupito / Diego Castillo
RF Suwinski / Canaan / Swaggerty
DH *Cutch / Mitchell
1B *Choi / Andujar
3B Hayes
C Sabol / Ali
CF Bae

——————————————————

ROTATION

Keller
Contreras
Oviedo
*Cantina
Brubaker
Ortiz
Burrows
Mlodzinski

——————————————————

BULLPEN

Bednar
*Chapman
Yerry
De Jong
Crowe
Holderman
Stephenson
Moreta
Kranick
Tanaj
Bolten
Samiego
Flowers
Cederlind
Jaques

——————————————————

June 15th

tank
nicky stix
endy
priester
peguero
malcolm
gorski
triolo

Last edited 2 months ago by b mcferren
leefieux

Who is this ‘Cantina’ guy? No way, Cutch is coming back. In the Twilight of his career, he wants to play for a contender. Chapman?? Another dream pickup. I doubt that Sabol is our starting catcher. They prefer defensively good catchers. I would put Burrows in the June 15 category, also. I predict that, at least half of those June 15 candidates are in the minors all year, barring injury.

There will be no splash FAs. How long have you been a Bucco fan? 🙂 ::) Other than those, I would have to agree with most of the rest.

b mcferren

I have doubts that Cutch gets an offer from a contender and he is as much as a bounce back right handed bat as Cantina was a bounce back last year

I do think that Travis Williams pushes the two year Cantina contract over the line for us

leefieux

Again, I ask: Who is this Cantina? I did a BRef search on that name….nothing. Are we OPENING a cantina at PNC?

As for Cutch, we’ll have to agree to disagree,

leefieux

Wow. Loehr22 doesn’t like anything I’m posting. Did I kick his dog or something?

kellea01

Quintana

RAS TN

Quintana…and I will leave it at that…

b mcferren

those two moves do actually move the needle at the box office

leefieux

Lol. We might draw an extra 5,000 on Fireworks Nights. 🙂 🙂 🙂

juniorkrz

Please say no to Chapman.

GlypheNotes

Right now no team has made any needle moving acquisition. Maybe the Angels. So it’s too soon to characterize the entirety of the winter, or to project the strategy of the organization going forward, by just what they have done this far.

So far every team is processing their roster in preparation of all their real moves. Maybe the pirates will just continue to scoop up scraps all winter. I haven’t heard them say anything that convinces me they will do that. Or maybe they will jettison these recently picked up scraps once better alternatives are signed/dealt to them. No reason to feel defeated just yet.

MB21

Hope springs eternal. It is still early but all of us are rationally skeptical.

leefieux

I predict: Ben will NOT make any needle moving moves to improve our team. It isn’t Benny’s modus operandi. Nor Nutting’s. These WERE our needle moving deals.

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