Pittsburgh Pirates Should Extend their Hitters First

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates need to start retaining some of their talent in order to take the next step forward.  Who should they extend?

Pitching, this is always the biggest need for any Major League Baseball team. This includes the Pittsburgh Pirates who have slowly put together a young pitching staff over the last few years. Still, teams will be seeking to make trades and sign big free-agent pitchers and the Bucs should be one of them.

Another portion of the offseason will focus on teams’ trying to extend players.  Every offseason there are big extensions handed out to deserving players.  Teams are more and more trying to extend players while they are young to try and capitalize before they turn into more established and therefore even more expensive players.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a position to extend some of their players this off-season.  Earlier this year they extended third baseman, Ke’Bryan Hayes.  So who should Ben Cherington and this Front Office extend next?

The obvious answer is Bryan Reynolds, and really that matches what I am going to put out here.  The Bucs should look to continue and extend their players but stay toward their hitters rather than pitchers. Why is this the case?

There are several pitchers who look like they should get an extension to be a part of this team’s future.  Mitch Keller and Roansy Contreras both represent potential extension candidates. So why not extend them?

Well, pitchers are risky to extend.  We have all seen how volatile pitchers can be considering performance and health.  Every pitcher is always one pitch away from Tommy-John Surgery, something that most hitters do not have to worry about.  Tommy-John and even shoulder surgery can completely alter a pitcher’s career.

Giving a lucrative extension to a pitcher would likely blow up in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ face in some capacity.  The Bucs are not able to miss on their extensions.  They have to be sure that the money they are giving out is going to players who will make an impact on this team throughout most of the contract.

Also, position players play significantly more innings than pitchers.  Obviously, pitching is super important, but the team will always consider a budget, and rather that money be tied into everyday players than pitchers.  The team can continue to look at developing pitchers or making trades for them.  As I said earlier, opposing teams are always willing to overpay for pitching, meaning the return on the pitchers they would eventually trade rather than extend could be more impactful.