Pittsburgh Pirates: Next Step in the Rebuild

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been in a rebuild since last off season. With Spring Training around the corner, what is the next step of the rebuild?

Ever since Ben Cherington became the team’s general manager in November of 2019 the Pittsburgh Pirates have been rebuilding. They took ]big step this offseason trading away their biggest pieces, that being Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon.

This rebuild, however, is far from over. So, what is the next step for Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates in this rebuild?

One thing the Pittsburgh Pirates could do right now is to scoop up some of the free agents left on the market to fill out the depth chart. Even after the addition of Tyler Anderson the team could still go out and grab a veteran innings eater-type pitcher to slot into the back of the rotation, or a bench bat to help fill out depth for the corner infield.

However, for now, the draft should be the team’s primary focus. The Bucs have the #1 overall pick with Vanderbilt ace Kumar Rocker in their sights. They’ll also get good picks in rounds 2 and 3. On the latest episode of Rum Bunter Radio, Trey Yanity, Marty Leap and Nick Caparoso talked about some prospects that could be on the Pirates’ radar after the #1 overall pick, which you can listen to here.

After the draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking ahead at the trade deadline.

The Pirates still have some pieces that aren’t going to be part of the long term. That mainly being Adam Frazier, Richard Rodriguez and Chris Stratton. The Pirates have an overabundance of middle infielders with Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker, Erik Gonzalez and Phillip Evans all capable of playing second base and shortstop. They also have middle infield capable prospects Oneil Cruz and Rodolfo Castro on the 40-man roster. Frazier only has two years of control remaining, which doesn’t fit all that well with the team’s next window of contention.

Rodriguez and Stratton will likely be kept around until the trade deadline. Both Rodriguez and Stratton could boost their value if they are able to prove themselves in late inning, higher leverage situations over a longer period of time than the short 2020 season.

Plus, many teams will be on the lookout for bullpen reinforcements at the deadline and will be willing to pay a premium for it. The Pirates do have a lot of young, talented arms as well, like Blake Weiman, David Bednar, Luis Oviedo, Blake Cederlind and Nick Mears that could eventually take over high leverage roles.

The deadline will also be a time for the team to shop any free agents they picked up on low risk deals. Right now, lefties Tyler Anderson and Chasen Shreve could come up in rumors if they are healthy. If they signed any sort of rotation depth for corner infield depth, then that may also be on the trading block, even if there is as little as minimal interest. Afterall, the team was able to get back something of value for Jarrod Dyson last trade deadline despite only having eight hits in 55 plate appearances.

This upcoming season will be a big year for the rebuild. They could trade a handful of their players that are currently on their roster while bringing up many of their young players who are looking to become part of their long term future. But the light at the end of the rebuild isn’t that far away and this team could start seeing the fruits of their rebuild in the next few seasons.