The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings are a few weeks away and rumors will be swirling. There may be a name for the Pittsburgh Pirates to pay attention to.
With the Winter Meetings quickly approaching, the hot stove is already starting to heat up. The Pittsburgh Pirates, along with the other 29 baseball teams, will find themselves most active over the next three weeks. Teams are going to sign free agents, make trades, and of course, rumors will be aplenty.
However, even before the Winter Meetings, things happen. The Pittsburgh Pirates have already made two significant moves this offseason acquiring Erik Gonzalez from the Cleveland Indians and signing former Indian Lonnie Chisenhall. Both these moves came out of nowhere, they were not rumored beforehand, they just happened.
In fact, the Pittsburgh Pirates have not even had any real rumors this offseason. This is not really surprising, the team usually likes to keep everything under wraps. It is rare for information to be leaked on what the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking into. Nonetheless, there is a rumor regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it is likely one to keep close attention to during the upcoming weeks and Winter Meetings. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that one of the Bucs catchers is available. Passan tweeted:
"“An already-crowded catching market is growing even more saturated, as the Toronto Blue Jays have discussed trading Russell Martin and the Pittsburgh Pirates are open to dealing Francisco Cervelli, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Both are drawing interest from a number of teams.”"
This is interesting to see not only Francisco Cervelli is available, but also another former Pittsburgh Pirates catcher in Russell Martin. Passan notes that while the catching market is deep, plenty of teams are still interested in Cervelli. This is most likely because of multiple reasons. The first reason would be because of his relatively friendly salary at $11.5 million. Reason number two is because he has just one more year remaining on his contract, meaning there is not a long-term commitment. Of course, the last reason is that he is a solid catcher who can be effective both behind the dish and at the plate.
This would make sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates also. While $11.5 million would lead the Pittsburgh Pirates team in salary, that salary would be middle of the road for a lot of other teams. Meanwhile, the Bucs saw backup catcher Elias Diaz breakout last season and be one of the teams best hitters when he played.
Diaz is younger and cheaper and at this point has a higher upside. If the Bucs can save $11.5 million and reinvest it elsewhere on the roster, then they should. While Cervelli would be nice to have with Diaz, it also makes sense that the team would not want to pay Cervelli their highest salary with a potential better and cheaper option.
Teams that need catcher help: Los Angles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, and Houston Astros