The Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of Major League Baseball wrapped up their 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Here is a recap of the what the Bucs did.
Some would say the Pittsburgh Pirates had a relatively quiet and slow Winter Meetings this year in Las Vegas, only making minor moves. Across the league, there was not really any big headline-making moves like there has been in year’s past. The moves made include former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen signing with the Phillies, Jordy Mercer with the Tigers, and JA Happ going back to the Yankees. The biggest trade (a three team deal) came on the last day which saw Carlos Santana head to the Indians, Edwin Encarnacion to the Mariners, and Yandy Diaz is going to the Tampa Bay Rays.
With that being said, only a handful of teams were active and the Pittsburgh Pirates were one of them. They had a couple of moves and some rumors swirling around them, which is more than a lot of teams can say. This included a rumor about a player currently on their roster, a trade, and a signing.
The Winter Meetings started off with a potential trade rumor. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that a market was starting to take shape for Francisco Cervelli‘s services. It was believed that the Pittsburgh Pirates had the New York Mets, Houston Astros, and the Los Angeles Dodgers contact them about Cervelli. That rumor came on Monday morning and turned out to be the only real action for Pittsburgh Pirates fans on day one.
Then Tuesday saw a lot more action go on for the club. It started with a trade. The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt right-handed pitcher and number five starter Ivan Nova to the Chicago White Sox. By doing so, they dumped around $9 million in salary. As per usual, some were critical of the team dumping Nova, however, the trade made sense. Nova was the team’s highest-paid pitcher on the staff and was the team’s worst starter last season. In return, the team acquired $500,000 in International Bonus Slot Money and 19-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Yordi Rosario.
Within the next hour or so, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a free agent signing. It was reported by multiple insiders that the team had come to an agreement with right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles. Lyles spent the 2018 season with the San Deigo Padres and then the Milwaukee Brewers. He struggled as a starter with an ERA north of 4.00, but saw really good results as a reliever throwing to a 3.30 ERA. The team is giving him $2.05 million for the 2019 season. On Wednesday it was reported that the deal is expected to be announced today.
Wednesday went along without any real rumors to report on. However, Thursday morning Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers beat writer, reported that LA had interest in Francisco Cervelli, showing that there still is a possibility that he could be dealt. The Rule five draft also took place on Thursday and the Pittsburgh Pirates did not claim any players or lose any players in the Major League portion of the draft. The team did take a few players in the minor league portion.
While the Winter Meetings are normally one of the biggest and most active events of the offseason, there is still plenty of time for teams to make moves. Just look at the Pittsburgh Pirates for instance. Last year the team traded away Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole after the meetings. They also brought in Corey Dickerson during the first week of Spring Training. So do not be surprised if there is still plenty of action left for the Pittsburgh Pirates.