Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
After a busy week where the team acquired Jon Niese from the Mets and sent Charlie Morton to the Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Monday they signed outfielder Antoan Richardson to a minor league deal.
Richardson has had two cups of coffee in the majors; once in 2011 with the Braves and again in 2014 with the Yankees, where he was a part of one of the most memorable moments in recent seasons:
Richardson has been around the game since 2001 when he was drafted for the first time – but did not sign – and since 2005, has been a career journeyman. Realistically, the only thing he has to offer at the major league level is his speed.
He has stolen bases at every level of the minors, even reaching 65 steals in one season, and has stolen 6 bases in the 8 times he’s been on base in the majors. The outfield is the hardest part of the Pirates roster to break into and I don’t think Richardson will end up in the conversation unless he lights it up in spring training.
Therefore, this signing obviously doesn’t have much of an effect on the major league level and heading into this season at age 32, Richardson likely knows his place in the organization. However, in case of an injury or when rosters expand, his speed would be an enormous weapon to have in close games.