It’s that time again here at Rum Bunter – Pittsburgh Pirates mailbag time!
As always, thank you to everyone who submitted questions this week and participated in the mailbag. Now, let’s dive in!
We’ll tackle these two together.
First and foremost, Melky Cabrera does indeed seem to love being in Pittsburgh. He was quickly become a clubhouse leader and a fan favorite. He certainly has not hid how much fun he has had playing the game of baseball this season.
That said, without a contract extension, he is not part of the Pirates long term plans. Could they sign Cabrera to an extension? It’s possible, but not likely. It would be great to have Cabrera still with the team in 2020 in a bench/leadership role. However, with him having one of the best seasons of his career thus far, odds are, he would be able to find a starting job this offseason. Even if it’s just primarily as a designated hitter for an American League team.
For this reason, with free agency looming, trading Cabrera before the July 31st trade deadline is 100% the right move to make. The same goes for fellow free agent to be Corey Dickerson. Even if the Pirates claw their way back into contention by the end of July, they should still trade one of the two for pitching help due to their outfield logjam.
As for trading Gregory Polanco, well, this would be dumb. Polanco is under contract through 2023 and is coming off the best season of his career. He is off to a bit of a slow start this season, but he is still playing with a shoulder that is not quite 100% yet. Plus, if you trade Polanco all you do is create a hole for 2020 and beyond.
The main reason the Pirates are not contending this season is due to injuries. Assuming the team does not suffer 1,347 injuries again next season, they will have a core that is more than talented enough to compete for a postseason berth. Trading away from that core makes absolutely no sense unless you do a full scale rebuild.
Well, after another poor start from Mitch Keller on Wednesday night this may become a moot point. Keller allowed 6 runs in just 3 innings of work. In two career starts, he has allowed 12 runs in 7 innings.
Odds are, Keller will be on his way back to Triple-A Indianapolis. Possibly as soon as later today. Keep in mind, with the upcoming off days the Pirates will not need five starters until they go to Houston for a series that begins on June 25th.
With Trevor Williams making a rehab start on Thursday, he will be in line to return to the rotation next week. The team also believes Jordan Lyles will miss the minimum 10 days with his current IL stint.
I hope so. I want to see Bryan Reynolds rocking a mean stache. Like, Bob Walk in the 80s quality stache.
Few things in the world is quite as respectable as a nice mustache. Especially when it comes to baseball players. Just think of Rollie Fingers for example.
You know who else had a mustache as a young left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates? Barry Bonds. And Barry only turned into the greatest baseball player of all-time. What more reason does Reynolds need to go full blown stache?
Well, first off, Josh Bell does not hit free agency for three more seasons. The Pirates still control his rights through the 2022 season. That said, the odds of Bell signing a long term contract with the Pirates are slim.
Before anyone starts, no, it is not due to the Pirates being cheap. Typically, the Pirates sign core players to contract extensions when they are around Bell’s current service time. Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Jose Tabata, Josh Harrison, and Starling Marte are all examples of this.
But rather, it is due to who Bell’s agent is. Bell is represented by super agent Scott Boras. Boras clients almost never sign contract extensions before testing the free agent waters. For this reason, you can expect Bell to test free agency after the 2022 season.
That will do it for this week. If you ever have a question for the mailbag look for our Tweet each week asking for questions. Also, do not be afraid to ever ask a question on Twitter or Facebook.