Three Goals for Ben Cherington at the Winter Meetings

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Find a Catcher…or Two…or Three

The Pirates currently have one catcher on their 40-man roster, Jacob Stallings. Stallings is a solid player, but he will not be able to catch all 162 games in 2020 for the Pirates. Catcher is notoriously an injury-prone position, and most teams have two catchers that they can rely on. So, first and foremost, the Pirates need a major-league ready catcher to either back-up or split time with Stallings. Marty wrote a great article on some of the remaining catchers that the Pirates could grab off of free agency. While the pickings may seem slim, the Pirates should not be looking to sign a catcher long-term since they will be rebuilding and many of these names would fit nicely.

The second half of the catcher problem exists in the current farm system for the Pirates. Not only are the Pirates lacking in major-league ready catching depth, they are also lacking in farm-system catching depth. The Pirates currently have zero catchers on their top-30 prospect list. Cherington must address this in either the Marte trade, another trade, or in the draft. By far the best solution would be through a trade. The Pirates still have a good, young core that could compete within a few years. A high-end catching prospect that ended 2019 in high-A or AA, acquired through a trade, would fit into this timeline nicely.

But, trades can go poorly, there is always risk. Ahem, Chris Archer and Neil Huntington. That is where goal number three comes into play.