Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading Each 2020 Free Agent Signing

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 23: JT Riddle #15 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 23: JT Riddle #15 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 28: Guillermo Heredia #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on July 28, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 28: Guillermo Heredia #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on July 28, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Jarrod Dyson

On paper, Dyson was one of the better moves this off-season. The Pittsburgh Pirates have lacked a stellar defender in center field for a long while. Marte was an apt defender, but never played the position as well as he did in left field. Dyson was brought in to make up for the loss of speed with the trade of Marte, as well as bring exceptional defense to the outfield.

Did it work out? No, not really.

Dyson has never been a strong hitter. This year has been even worse for the aging veteran. In 55 plate appearances with the Pirates, Dyson had a .375 OPS, good for a 5 OPS+, with his only upside being the 4 bases he snagged. While it has been a short sample size, his batting with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who he played for in the previous two seasons, wasn’t much better, sporting just a .601 OPS.

His defense has been adequate, but not stellar. All of this has brought him down to -0.8 bWAR to begin the season, and had forced new manager Derek Shelton to try and use shortstop Cole Tucker in the outfield, a decision that has hardly paid much dividends. Now Dyson will play for the Chicago White Sox, who are in the playoff mix this season, and the Pittsburgh Pirates can spend some money on an international free agent.

Well, it looked good on paper. We’ll give him a D rating.

Guillermo Heredia

Heredia is the younger, less experienced version of Dyson. In his 5th season, Heredia has proven to be a quality defender in any position in the outfield, but has yet to develop a bat that can keep him in a lineup. While his bWAR this season is better than Dyson, that can be chalked up to his lack of play after the Pirates DFA’d him after just 18 plate appearances.

His defense was solid when he played, turning a double play and earning +1 DRS in both right field and center field, but his .465 OPS proved to be his downfall. With the use of Tucker in the outfield and the fact that Dyson, despite his struggles, is a veteran in his late 30s, it will be hard for Heredia to make his way back on the team’s roster.

Now he’s a member of the New York Mets. Give the Heredia signing a D- rating.

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