Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their second free agent signing of the offseason

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a free agent signing.

The 30-year-old Lonnie Chisenhall has spent his entire eighty-year MLB career with the Cleveland Indians. Chisenhall has played both the outfield and third base for the Tribe, and the left-handed hitter would now appear to be the front runner to start in right field for the Pirates until Gregory Polanco returns from his shoulder surgery. He can also provide the Pirates with a much needed bench bat.

Chisnehall is the second free agent signing this offseason by the Pirates. After not making a signing a single MLB free agent last offseason, the Pirates have now re-signed Jung Ho Kang as well as adding Chisenhall this offseason.

Due to injuries, Chisenhall played in just 29 games last season. However, he slashed .321/.394/.452 in these 29 games with a .366 wOBA and a wRC+ of 129. 2017 was also an injury riddled year for Chisnehall, but, when healthy, he again was a plus offensive player with a .288/.360/.521 slash line, .369 wOBA, and a 127 wRC+.

Health has been the story of Chisenhall’s career. Since the start of the 2014 season Chisenhall owns a .278/.334/.434 slash line, a .331 wOBA, and a 107 wRC+. He has also had sneaky power with a .156 ISO, and an 11.5% extra-base hit rate. He also spent time at the Triple-A level in 2015 due to poor offensive performance.

It was during 2015 that he transitioned from third base to right field. This transition has been a successful one as he’s been responsible for +9 defensive runs saved in right field the past three and a half seasons.

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Injuries are a big reason why Chisenhall contract has just a base salary of $2.75 million. However, according to Rosenthal, he can earn and additional $2.75 million based on plate appearance bonuses. That is broken down here. If Chisenhall is healthy, this could prove to be a signing of great value for the Pittsburgh Pirates.