Pittsburgh Pirates Still Searching for their Fourth Outfielder


When the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Travis Snider, it was an interesting move. This was not so much for what the Pirates received back in trade, but for what the trade meant for the Pirates in the present and going forward. Currently, the Pirates would seem to be without a fourth outfielder. While Snider was not likely to be an every day player baring injury, his trade does leave a gap in the Pirates bench, at least for now.

While the Pirates do have former outfielder Corey Hart on the roster, he is primarily expected to be a part of a platoon at first. Hart has not been a primary outfielder since 2011, and with his injuries, playing the outfield may not be the best course of action. Hart has also played all of one game in the outfield away from right since 2007. That does not scream fourth outfielder material.

What about Andrew Lambo? Is this a chance to give the Pirates youngster a major league spot, aside from his learning first? If so, it may be a leap of faith that Lambo will be able to hold down the position. Even if it is a small sample size, Lambo has not exactly inspired confidence that he can produce at the major league level. Now, however, he may get his chance.

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Or what about Jose Tabata? As much as it may seem that the Pittsburgh Pirates would like to see him go away, he does have a knack of finding a way to pop back up. Unlike Lambo, he does have a track record that indicates some success at the major league level. His .275/.336/.379 batting line is decent, and while the speed may be gone, he does have a bit of pop. A team could do much worse than to have Tabata as the fourth outfielder.

Perhaps the Pirates feel that either Jeong-ho Kang or Jordy Mercer could help fill that role. Whichever player does not end up as the starting shortstop will likely still see plenty of time in the field, particularly if Mercer beats out Kang in Spring Training. Maybe Kang will find himself playing five times a week at five different positions.

The Pirates could have their eyes on the free agent market as well. While none of the options would be attractive as a starter, players like Eric Young Jr, Scott Hairston and Ryan Doumit could all fit into that role.

The Pittsburgh Pirates fourth outfield slot still appears to be quite unsettled as we creep closer to Spring Training. Who would you want to see in that role next year? Let us know in the comments!

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