Pirates Rumors: Thoughts on Francisco Cervelli

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

There have not been a lot of Pirates rumors this offseason or of late.  However, there has been one that could come up again.

Right now, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the lowest payroll in the National League Central and close to, if not the, lowest in the National League.  Yet, for some reason, the team has yet to add a shortstop or significant payroll at all.  Really, there have not been any real Pirates rumors of late to even have optimism about.  Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates fans are starting to get restless and irritated with the organization before a pitch is even thrown this season.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the team still could make another move.  One off and on Pirates rumor that has been around all offseason is what could happen with Francisco Cervelli.  During the Winter Meetings, it was reported that teams like the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Houston Astros were interested in the veteran backstop.

After that report, the Mets signed catcher Wilson Ramos and the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for former Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin.  The Mets now seem to be out of the catching market.  Meanwhile, Cervelli has still be connected to the Dodgers.  Ken Rosenthal did report that the Dodgers were interested in Cervelli in early January.  After that report broke, the Dodgers traded for Martin.

However, even with the catcher movement for the Dodgers, they still seemed to be looking to upgrade at catcher.  The Dodgers, along with the Astros, are still in the market for a catcher, both are in on prized trade piece J.T. Realmuto.  Those two, along with the Reds, Rays, Padres, and Braves have supposed interest in the Marlins all-star.

Since early January, there have not been much in rumors about Francisco Cervelli or the Pittsburgh Pirates in general.  Could Cervelli still be traded away?  It makes sense as catcher Elias Diaz showed last year he is more than capable of taking over the everyday duties.  Along with Cervelli being in the final year of his contract, which is worth a team high of $11.5 million.  The team could open up a significant chunk of payroll for other moves.  Although it does not really seem they are really being all that aggressive in spending money that they have saved with other subtractions.

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One thing that will be interesting to see is if there are more Pirates rumors about Cervelli once the Marlins deal Realmuto.  With so many teams in need of catching help, and the Bucs having two potential starting catchers, with one having a sizeable contract, a trade still could be facilitated.  However, until J.T. Realmuto is traded, there may not be much movement on Cervelli.  It will be interesting to see what happens, as it seems a Realmuto trade is close to happening.