Pittsburgh Pirates: MLBTR Predicts an Outfield Signing
Editorial: With the off-season officially underway, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to look for a way to upgrade their team for 2018. Who is someone they could look to sign?
At the start of every off-season, MLB Trade Rumors, or MLBTR, puts out their top 50 free agent list. With the list, they also put their overall predictions of how much money certain players will sign for and to what teams. MLBTR does a great job of keeping up to date on all transactions and rumors, and do a great a job with these predictions.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are not normally well represented in these predictions. This is mainly because they are a small market team, who does not spend a ton of money. They often look for the lower free agent targets with upside, players like Edinson Volquez and Ivan Nova. With that, they are rarely in on the main, most popular, talent that is available. In fact, on MLBTR’s 2017-2018 prediction list, they only have the Pittsburgh Pirates signing one of the notable players who are available.
MLBTR has the Pittsburgh Pirates inking outfielder Jarrod Dyson to a two-year deal worth $12 million. Dyson, the former Royal, and more recently Mariners outfielder, has put together back to back solid seasons. The speedy outfielder really broke out in 2016 when he slashed .278/.340/.388, stole 30 bases and had 19 defensive runs saved. All in all, he accumulated a 3.1 WAR in 2016. This past season, he regressed some after being traded to the Mariners. He still had a really positive season. For Seattle, he slashed .251/.324/.350 in 111 games. Also, he added 28 stolen bases and posted another 15 defensive runs saved, giving him a 2.1 WAR.
Dyson really projects well as a platoon outfield bat. He struggles against lefties, and in his career he has only batted .215 against them. Meanwhile, he has batted .263 against righties. So, he makes the most sense as a really strong bench outfield bat. This is something the Pittsburgh Pirates lacked this past season. When Starling Marte was suspended, the Bucs saw players like Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna letting balls fall in all around them. Dyson would provide not only a solid bat against right-handed pitching, but also much better defense.
How Would he be used?
He would likely platoon with Jordan Luplow, a right handed bat, as the two outfield bench options. The other possibility, of course, is as Andrew McCutchen‘s short-term replacement. While we here at Rum Bunter do not believe Cutch will be traded, there definitely is the possibility. It only takes one team and one right trade. So Dyson and Luplow could serve as the starting platoon, at least until Austin Meadows gets healthy and performs at the Triple-A level.
Next: A Potential Buy-Low Starter
Jarrod Dyson would be a solid pick up for the Pittsburgh Pirates either way. He would be a strong addition to a bench that really struggled in the outfield last year. At two years for $12 million the price would be fair for the production he brings both on offense and defense. Of course, MLBTR is just predicting this and there has not been any real public connections about the two sides joining. Do not worry, there will be plenty of speculation and rumors in the coming weeks!
*All Stats Courtesy of FanGraphs