The Pittsburgh Pirates and all of Major League Baseball are currently in a slow-moving offseason. Here are some recent reports on the team and what they are doing.
In an offseason that has had little to no Pittsburgh Pirates rumors, there have been two things that have remained constant but have yet to happen. One constant is the team’s need at shortstop. There have been plenty of rumors around the position, including players like Troy Tulowitzki, Freddy Galvis, and Nick Ahmed. One thing has been made apparent, the Pittsburgh Pirates want to bring in an external player.
The other consistent rumor that has not been acted upon surrounds Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli. There have been multiple reports linking several teams to the catcher, including the Dodgers, Astros, and the Mets. The Mets are seemingly out with their signing of Wilson Ramos. Meanwhile, the Astros and Dodgers are two of the main teams in on Marlins superstar J.T. Realmuto.
However, there has been the report that the Marlins will not come down from their very steep asking price. With that, team’s may decide to move on, meaning that there is still a chance that Francisco Cervelli could be dealt still. For the first time, Ken Rosenthal has reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates animated backstop is available for trade. Here is what Rosenthal said in a recent article with The Athletic:
"“Martin Maldonado remains a free agent, and the Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto, the Pirates’ Francisco Cervelli and the Blue Jays’ Russell Martin are available in trade.”"
If the Pittsburgh Pirates do decide to trade Francisco Cervelli, then the Pittsburgh Pirates will save another $11.5 million dollars on their 2019 payroll. However, according to Eno Sarris of The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Pirates should be one of the more likely teams in the league looking to spend some money.
Sarris shows in his article payroll spending over the last three years and the difference in the spending. In 2016-2017, the team had a payroll of $94 million, then in 2018, the team is listed at $86.3 million. As of now, Sarris has the Bucs payroll at $66.8 million. With all that, he comes to the determination that the Bucs should have anywhere of up to $30 million more to spend to a team that could go from competitive to a legitimate playoff threat. He ends the article stating that the team has money to spend, but asks if they will.
The last note of interest is that Jon Morosi of MLB.com has reported that the Brewers and Giants have had extensive talks regarding left-handed starter Madison Bumgarner. The Giants ace has one year left on his contract at $12 million. While he has not been as durable over the last few years, he still is one of the best lefty starters in baseball. At $12 million and only one year left, chances are Bumgarner will not cost too much in terms of top prospects. With a reasonable price tag and a low asking price, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who could use a lefty in the rotation, should be in on him.