Examining The Pittsburgh Pirates 40 Man Roster As The Offseason Begins
By Marty Leap
Examining the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 40 man roster as free agency and the MLB offseason looms
40 man roster turnover is commonplace during the MLB offseason. As the 2018-2019 MLB offseason prepares to rev up, the Pittsburgh Pirates currently have 37 players on their 40 man roster. This gives the team some flexibility as the offseason begins.
When looking at the 40 man roster, the team will face some decisions this offseason. Furthermore, there are some east DFA candidates if they need to create room on the roster. So, let’s dive into examining the Pirates’ 40 man roster as the offseason begins.
First and foremost, we will begin with two players that are out of minor league options. These players are catcher Jacob Stallings and pitcher Nick Kingham.
The Pirates can not options either of these players to the minor leagues to begin the 2019 season without them clearing waivers. This means the team would have to risk losing them on waivers in order to get them to the minors.
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The safe bet may be on the team carrying three catchers to begin the 2019 season. On top of Stallings being out of options, this frees Clint Hurdle up to use backup catcher Elias Diaz, who was one of the team’s best hitters in 2018, as a pinch hitter more easily. Additionally, it can allow Hurdle to get Francisco Cervelli some starts at first base to give him more days off from behind the plate.
As for Kingham, we will have more on him and what the team can do with him on the site tomorrow. Make sure to check back then for more on the right-handed pitcher.
As for those easy DFA candidates, it starts with reliever Tanner Anderson. Anderson was up and down with the Pirates in 2018 and was awful out of the bullpen. Pitchers Alex McRae and Jesus Liranzo, who was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers in April, as well as infielder Max Moroff are DFA candidates as well. However, with the team have three open spots on the 40 man roster they may not need to clear any roster space this offseason.
There is also the matter of the 60-day disabled list. Pitchers Chad Kuhl and Edgar Santana will both miss the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John Surgery. Due to this, both will spend the season on the 60-day DL and not count against the 40 man roster. However, they can not be placed on the 60-day DL until the regular season begins on March 28th.