December is halfway over already and the offseason is in full swing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of Major League Baseball. Who will be the team’s shortstop in 2019?
The Pittsburgh Pirates were aggressive at the beginning of this offseason and made some moves early on. The Bucs brought in an outfielder in Lonnie Chisenhall to fill in for Gregory Polanco until he is healthy. Also, they made a five player trade with Cleveland that helped open up a 40 man roster spot and bring in a utility infielder. The deal saw the Bucs trade infielder Max Moroff and outfielder Jordan Luplow for infielder Erik Gonzalez and two prospects. While Gonzalez is a primary shortstop, the belief is that he will serve in a similar role as Adam Frazier has the last few years.
So what will the team do about shortstop next season? The shortstop position for the Pittsburgh Pirates has been the most discussed and rumored position to see a change since the Winter Meetings. There have been plenty of rumors already. So let’s take a look at who all has been connected to the Pittsburgh Pirates so far.
The longest lasting rumor so far has been the potential acquisition of Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed. Ahmed was first linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates during day one of the Winter Meetings. The Arizona Diamondbacks looked to be selling after their Paul Goldschmidt trade and so it stood for reason that they would also consider trading the 2018 National League Gold Glove Award winner. It was later confirmed by MLB.com’s Pittsburgh Pirates beat writer Adam Berry that the team has discussed a potential Ahmed deal. While Ahmed would not command a huge deal, he would likely require a few better-known prospects due to him having two years of control.
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Right after the Ahmed trades talks started to heat up, an interesting name was dropped on the free agent market. The Toronto Blue Jays let go of former All-Star Troy Tulowitzki. The former Blue Jay now is a free agent and is free to sign with any team for a league minimum contract. The reason being is because the Blue Jays still owe him $38 million over the next two years.
Could Tulowitzki look to join a rising Pittsburgh Pirates team with a manager that he had played for during his brilliant years in Colorado? The league minimum salary would be perfect for the cash-strapped Pirates. Furthermore, the Bucs have an obvious need at shortstop and he would have the potential to prove that he is healthy and capable once more. While there has not been a confirmed report that the Bucs are interested in Tulo, the team at MLB Trade Rumors listed the Pirates as a potential destination.
However, the biggest rumor to have come out in regards to the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop position came out this past weekend. George A. King III of the New York Post reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates have “big interest” in former Phillies and Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis. Why is a New York Post writer covering a Pittsburgh Pirates rumor? This is because The New York Yankees are in the market for a shortstop with DiDi Gregorius starting the 2019 season the disabled list. So the Yanks are looking for a shortstop and with King looking into this, it was what he was told.
The only other “rumor” per se is that Neal Huntington and company are comfortable with going into the 2019 season with Erik Gonzalez and Kevin Newman as the primary shortstops. There is also the off chance that the team could acquire another shortstop via trade or free agency. One player on the free agent market that makes a lot of sense in former Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias. Regardless, it seems that the team is definitely trying to upgrade at shortstop for the 2019 season.