Will Pirates Pitching Depth Produce Bat?
By Gary Wallace
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
With the start of the season a week away, the Pirates rotation seems set with Fransisco Liriano, Wandy Rodriguez, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton and Edinson Volquez. Liriano, Rodriguez and Volquez all are on the last year of their contracts and it is unlikely that any of them will be signed going forward (Liriano will command too much money, Rodriguez is too old (35), and Volquez has a lot yet to prove). This will open up 3 rotations spots next year that will likely be filled by Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton, Jameson Tallion, Nick Kingham, Phil Irwin, Tyler Glasnow, or Luis Heredia. The Pirates are flush with starting pitching, and will be for some time.
The Pirates also have too many pitchers for their bullpen, and the most likely candidates (Brian Morris, Vin Mazzaro, Jeanmar Gomez and Stolmy Pimentel) to be sent down to the minors are all out of options. So, the Pirates should be looking to actively trade one of these pitchers. But none of these pitchers are going to bring in what the Pirates really need — a big bat.
Rather than deal a relief pitcher for more prospects, it would be wise for the Pirates to lump in one or two starting pitchers. It is clear that a deal involving, for example, Tyler Glasnow, Wandy Rodriguez and Brian Morris would attract many suitable trade partners for an every day first baseman. This would be a fair trade for Chris Parmelee from the Twins, Matt Adams from the Cardinals, or Ike Davis from the Mets. If the Pirates wanted to make a run at someone like Eric Hosmer, they could sweeten the pot with Jameson Tallion.
A solid acquisition at first base is sorely needed, as there is no help coming from the minors. Gregory Polanco is slated to fill their hole in right field. Now is the time to act to get a first baseman, even if they have to over pay a bit, the Pirates have the currency that every team is looking for: Young Pitching. An acquisition of a good young first baseman will set this team up for the next 5 years. The Pirates need to go for it!!