It’s time… it’s time… it’s, Pittsburgh Pirates mailbag time!
As always, thank you to everyone who submitted questions and participated in this week’s mailbag. Now let’s dive in!
When the Pirates traded Adeiny Hechavarria to the New York Yankees for cash considerations on August 31st neither he nor Jordy Mercer had much trade value. Neither brings much offensively, both are set to hit free agency after the season, and Mercer is also a below average defender.
So the answer is likely a simple one – they were able to get something for Hechavarria while they did not receive any offers for Mercer. With how much we have seen Kevin Newman this month, odds are, the team would have gladly moved Mercer had any offers been on the table.
This one is a lot of fun.
First and foremost sign Jameson Taillon to a long term contract.
In 29 starts this season Taillon owns a 3.37 ERA, 3.54 FIP, he’s thrown two complete games, and he possesses a fWAR over 3.0. He has now made 19 consecutive starts in which he has allowed three earned runs or less, and he is rounding into the top of the rotation starting pitcher the Pirates were hoping for when they drafted him #2 overall in 2010.
The second thing I would do is sign Patrick Corbin in free agency.
Right now, the Bucs project to have a strong starting rotation in 2019 with Taillon, Chris Archer, Joe Musgrove, and Trevor Williams. The team, however, does not have a left-handed starting pitcher. Corbin not only fills this void but also gives you three legitimate top of the rotation arms along with Taillon and Archer.
The third move I would make is to swing a trade for an impact bat to help the lineup.
Outside of Corey Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli, Gregory Polanco, Josh Bell, and Starling Marte the Pirate lineup lacks hitters that have proven they can be above league average hitters while playing every day. And both Dickerson and Bell have been very inconsistent the past two seasons.
The number one reason the Pirates will not make the postseason this season is due to the offense being inconsistent. The team has a pitching staff that is more than capable of getting to October, but the lineup needs help to reach that level.
100% yes. If nothing else, Watt would be an intimidating presence on the mound. Let him throw a few pitches inside, get hitters off the plate and uncomfortable, and who knows what might happen.
These two questions are similar so they’ll get tackled together.
Neal Huntington will be active. Josh Harrison not getting traded would be the shocker of the century. Not only is he not producing at a level anywhere near the $10.5 million he is owed next season, both Adam Frazier and Kevin Kramer have emerged in a big way at second base.
This team is also in dire need of offense. Adding Archer and Keone Kela at the trade deadline were both win now and win in 2019 moves. This team seems committed to making a run at the postseason in 2019, and they should be with the pitching staff they have assembled, so look for them to add multiple bats this offseason.
Personally, I would target help at shortstop, third base, and a fourth outfielder. Add more offense at even two of these spots, and the Bucs should score more runs in 2019 than they did in 2018 and be better suited to backup their postseason caliber pitching staff.
That will do it for this week. As always, if you ever have a question for the mailbag look for our Tweet each week asking for your questions.