September 20, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) runs after he hits a single in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It could go either way
- Pedro Alvarez – if you believe the rumors – and, really, do you have any reason not to? – the Pirates were trying to trade Alvarez in the middle of a 27-home run season in 2015. Pedro actually took very good strides this year offensively in some regards. He lowered his overall K%, and put together a batting line that is acceptable for what he’s asked to be. He also led the club in errors as he still adapted to first base. On one hand, the market may have informed the Pirates of exactly what to expect if they should non-tender him and try to work a deal. Based on that light, Huntington may decide to ride out one more year with a 25-hr guy in his lineup, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
- Jeff Locke – one of the lightning rods for criticism in the Pirates rotation, Locke struggled in posting a 4.49 ERA for 2015. Many wouldn’t feel horrible about it if he were to ply his trade elsewhere. Locke’s fate may be directly tied to J.A. Happ. Should Happ give strong indicators that he will re-sign with the club, the Pirates may cut bait with Locke. He doesn’t profile well as a long reliever, but at a projected $3.5 million, he would be a bargain for a back end starter.
- Chris Stewart – this one may seem like a no-brainer with a projection of only $1.6 million, and it may end up being so. But if the Pirates are looking to cut corners, Elias Diaz is ready to step in and be a regular backup to Cervelli. In a very limited role, Stewart was capable at the plate, with a .289/.320/.340 slash.
What do YOU think? Sound off below in the comments or tweet us. Should the Pittsburgh Pirates offer contracts to everyone on this list? Did we get it wrong with our lists? Let us know! Or you can let me know directly on twitter how wrong I am.
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