The first day of the Winter Meetings has come and gone for the Pittsburgh Pirates. What should fans expect on day two of the meetings?
Entering the offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a relatively small agenda to take care of for the 2019 season. The team got a jump on their roster earlier this offseason when they signed Lonnie Chisenhall to be the team’s right fielder and traded for utilityman/shortstop Erik Gonzalez. So when they came into the Winter Meetings the team had a relatively short list of priorities.
There are two glaring holes on the Pittsburgh Pirates that could be filled at the Winter Meetings. One of the biggest needs is a more effective left-handed reliever. The other obvious need would be an improvement at short over the current options in Kevin Newman and Erik Gonzalez. Newman did not show enough last year for a team trying to compete to have confidence in. Gonzalez has been a career utility man who could not bump a declining Jason Kipnis from the starting second base spot.
Through day 1 of the Winter Meetings, there was not a whole lot in way of Pittsburgh Pirates rumors. The biggest one was that the Pittsburgh Pirates could be looking to bring in Diamondback Shortstop Nick Ahmed. The other one was in regards to the Pittsburgh Pirates backstop. Buster Olney reported that there was a market beginning to form for Francisco Cervelli. However, Bill Brink stated that the team was not getting as much interest as they had hoped for him.
So other than those two, what rumors should fans hope to hear today? The biggest need would be to bring in a legitimate lefty reliever. Steven Brault is a fine depth option, but the team needs to get a lockdown lefty pitcher who can tie up all the impressive lefty bats in the NL Central. Some options on the free agent market are Jacob Diekman, Tony Sipp, Matt Belisle, or a reunion with Tony Watson. There has yet to be any reports on if the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the lefty market, but it is assumed that they will be.
The other rumors to pay attention to as day 2 start are a lot from day 1. Will the market for Francisco Cervelli start to pick up? Will the Bucs trade Ivan Nova? Or can the team bring in a legitimate shortstop upgrade for next season? Day 1 started to set the foundation for the rest of the Winter Meetings, expect Day 2 to be much more active.