Pirates Hot Stove Action Must Heat Up In December


Sep 25, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) celebrates his run with teammates after an RBI single by Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez (not pictured) in the sixth inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a few deals in the first month of MLB’s offseason Hot Stove by trading for catcher Francisco Cervelli and acquiring right-handed starting pitcher A.J. Burnett with a reasonable contract.

The Pirates move with Cervelli protected the club from losing some offense at catcher after the team came to terms that Russell Martin would not resign. Martin left and Pirates have definite platoon at backstop. Signing Burnett gave the team few options in their starting rotation. The Pirates most likely have their rotation set with Gerrit Cole, Jeff Locke, Vance Worley and Charlie Morton joining Burnett.

Still, with the St. Louis Cardinals making a big move by trading away Shelby Miller to the Atlanta Braves for Jason Heyward, there is room to improve in Pittsburgh.

Baseball’s Hot Stove always heard up as the weather cools down with Winter Meetings usually the spot for the biggest deals. This gives the Pirates time to make one or two moves in effort to have the team improve.

Luckily for the Pirates, none of their other N.L. Central rivals have done anything all that exciting. Given that, the Pirates have probably had the second-best offseason after the Cardinals. That, however, should slow any attempt at making a trade or signing someone. There are still many players on the market. The Pirates could still make a play for big-time arm in trade (Jeff Samardzija) or sign a pitcher looking to bounce back (Justin Masterson).

No matter what, it is too early for Pirates fans to panic over any of the offseason moves – or lack thereof. Most teams have not made a big dent, sans the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

The Pirates should make at least one more headline catching move if they are going to be true National League pennant contenders in 2015.