Are The Pittsburgh Pirates Still Looking For Catching Help?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Jacob Stallings #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated at home plate after scoring on a solo home run during the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 9, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Jacob Stallings #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated at home plate after scoring on a solo home run during the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 9, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images) /
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Are the Pittsburgh Pirates still searching for catching help? According to general manager Ben Cherington the answer is yes.

In 16 days, Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers and catchers will report to Bradenton. With that, the 2020 Pirates’ season will be underway. A 2020 season that will see many changes for the Pittsburgh Baseball Club.

2020 will be a year of change for the Pirates. The team has an all new front office led by new general manager Ben Cherington. They also have a brand new coaching staff led by new manager Derek Shelton.

Another spot that is shaping up to be a position of change in 2020 is catcher. After Francisco Cervelli and Elias Diaz were the team’s primary catcher the past two seasons, neither will be with the Pirates in 2020. Currently leading the way for 2020 are Jacob Stallings and free agent addition Luke Maile.

Stallings burst onto the scene for the Pirates in 2019 with an excellent defensive season. Maile spent the 2019 season with Cherington in Toronto, and, like Stallings, he is a defensive wizard. However, neither player appears to be an every day MLB level caliber hitter.

On Friday, the Pirates kicked off their Pirate Fest fan fest this weekend. This including Cherington meeting with the media. During his time with the media, Cherington reiterated that the Pirates are still searching for catching help.

Since signing Maile to a two-way MLB contract, the Bucs have also added veteran John Ryan Murphy on a minor league contract. This points toward Ryan Murphy starting the 2020 season as the starting catcher for Triple-A Indianapolis. So, where else could the Pirates look for catching help?

The best remaining free agent option may be former Pirates, and Pittsburgh fan favorite, Russell Martin. In 83 games with the Dodgers, Martin slashed .220/.237/.330 with a 83 wRC+ and a 1.2 fWAR in 2019.

While Martin’s offense has slipped, he remains one of the best defensive catchphrase in baseball. He remains a great game caller/pitch framer with a plus throwing arm.

Next. Marte Trade Talks Picking Up. dark

While it remains to be seen if the Pirates will add more catching help before the start of Spring Training, the team has expressed interest in doing so. We are now in wait and see mode to see if they add more catching help or not.

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