Pittsburgh Pirates: Bryce Brentz Claimed Off Waivers

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Two days ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates put outfielder Bryce Brentz on waivers.  Well, the power hitting corner outfielder was claimed.

Toward the end of February, the Pittsburgh Pirates were still looking to fill a third outfield spot.  The Bucs decided to make several moves to try to fill the spot.  The first was bringing in Daniel Nava.  They also signed Michael Saunders to a Spring Training invite deal (later released).  Furthermore, they traded for Bryce Brentz, who the Boston Red Sox had designated for assignment.  Of the three players, Brentz appeared to bring the most upside.  He had hit 31 home runs in Triple-A last season and was a former first round pick.  Although he had limited big league experience, the hope was that he would get more of an opportunity playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Well those chances took a big time hit when the team decided to make an impact deal for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Corey Dickerson.  Dickerson, an all-star in 2017, was oddly designated for assignment by the Rays.  The Bucs were able to work a trade by sending reliever Daniel Hudson and infield prospect Tristan Gray over to Tampa Bay.  This move was the Pittsburgh Pirates biggest splash of the off-season, and it shifted Brentz’s attention to a battle for the fourth outfield spot.

Spring Training

Brentz put together a decent Spring Training, but nothing more than that. His slash line this spring was .250/.362/.350 with 10 hits in 17 games.  He had one home run and three RBIs, but struck out 11 times.  This was not enough for the Pittsburgh Pirates to try to keep him on the major league roster.  He was outperformed by numerous players like Jose Osuna and Jordan Luplow, who both were optioned to the minor leagues.  Not to mention, the team is deciding to carry an extra bullpen arm through the first week of the season.

Next: Season Preview

While Brentz seemed like an intriguing pick up, the cards did not fall right for him once again.   Like in Boston, Brentz did not perform enough and saw himself slide below other players on the depth chart.  The New York Mets claimed Brentz off waivers.  In doing so, they will have to keep him on the 25 man roster as well.  Brentz joins a crowded Mets outfield that currently has Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Nimmo, Juan Lagares, Jay Bruce, and eventually Michael Conforto when he comes off the disabled list.  So it does not seem likely that he will last long in New York.