Talks between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Diamondback are heating up. Could the Bucs be on the verge of acquiring a shortstop?
MLB.com’s Pittsburgh Pirates beat writer Adam Berry reported this morning that the Pirates are in talks with Arizona about Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed. If the trade goes through, Ahmed would immediately jump into the starting shortstop role ahead of Erik Gonzalez and Kevin Newman.
Jordy Mercer, who has been with the Pirates since 2013, signed with the Tigers on Wednesday, closing the door on any chance that the Pirates could resign him. Ahmed seems to be the top priority for the Pirates for the shortstop position as of now.
Ahmed, a defensive specialist, as stated before. He won the gold glove for the shortstop position in 2018. While his defense shines, his offensive statistics lack behind. Ahmed is a .229 career hitter with his highest batting average recorded coming in 2015 when he hit .251 with the Diamondbacks.
Something that sticks out for Ahmed from last season is that he hit a career-high 16 home runs, beating his previous career high by seven. Ahmed also played in a career-high 153 games last season, marking only the second time in his five year career that he surpassed 100 games played.
Ahmed also recorded 70 RBIs for Arizona last season which was also a career high by far. While he had a lot of positive offensive career high, there is also one that sticks out that may be negative. Ahmed recorded a career-high 109 strikeouts in 2018. As stated before, he played in his most games in a single season last year which means more at-bats. Compare this to 2015 where he had 95 less at bats than last season, Ahmed recorded 81 strikeouts in that season.
Ahmed is not one to take many walks either. It is likely that he will take over the eight spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup next season, his on-base percentage was just .290 last season with 40 walks in 564 plate appearances. While this is still a career high, it will be Ahmed’s job to turn over the lineup in Pittsburgh.
As stated before these talks have been heating up and this would provide a solid veteran presence in the middle infield for the Pittsburgh Pirates next season. We will continue to update you on the shortstop rumors as they come out. Hopefully, if a deal is to happen it will come about sooner rather than later.