Last season, in his first year as a true starter at the major league level, Jordy Mercer produced a relatively solid year. His overall numbers, a .255/.305/.387 batting line with twelve home runs were decent enough, but nothing stellar. In fact, his greatest asset may well have been his defense, as Mercer was worth nine defensive runs saved for the Pirates.
However, his place in the lineup is a matter of question. With the Pirates winning the bidding war to negotiate for the services of Jeong-ho Kang, and the expectation that he will receive a multi-year deal worth between $5 and $6 Million per year, it is likely that Mercer could find himself without a set role in the 2015 season.
Of course, the Pirates could keep Jordy Mercer as a low cost option as a backup infielder. Despite playing primarily as a shortstop or second baseman in the majors, he did play 86 games at third in the minors. Mercer has even had the odd appearance at first and in the outfield. Perhaps with some work, he could turn into a super utility player for the Pirates.
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The Pirates could also look to trade Mercer. A player with experience in the middle of the infielder, especially one with a bit of power and a reasonably decent defensive profile, could bring back a solid return on the trade market. Several teams, such as the Yankees and the Astros, still have questions around their infield. A player like Mercer, who would be a low cost option with several more years of team control, could be an attractive piece.
The question the Pirates may face, if they are able to sign Kang, is whether or not Jordy Mercer is more valuable as a potential super utility player or a trade chip. While he would not be likely to bring back a top prospect, he could be used to help shore up the bullpen or as a chip to bring back a larger return.
Jordy Mercer had a solid 2014 season, cementing his place as a major league player. However, his future is cloudy with the possible arrival of Jeong-ho Kang.