The Pittsburgh Pirates had one of the youngest rosters in all of Major League Baseball. So, who are they losing to free agency?
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Free Agency do not mix. The team rarely has prominent players reach free agency, typically trading them beforehand. On the flip side, the team also is rarely involved in the talks for potential impact free agents. Instead, looking for bounce-back candidates and veterans toward the end of their careers.
For this upcoming offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates will only lose two veterans to free agency. The Bucs will allow catcher Roberto Perez and outfielder Ben Gamel to go to the open market. Perez, who is coming off a ruptured hamstring, was not a trade candidate at the Trade Deadline.
More surprising was that the Pittsburgh Pirates did not trade away Ben Gamel. Gamel put together a nice season with the Bucs. The veteran outfielder was as average as could be posting a 0.0 WAR. The thought was a team looking for a 4th or 5th outfield option would look at the left-handed Gamel as a playoff push piece. Instead, it seems to team deemed him valuable enough to add.
The Pittsburgh Pirates did trade away some of their veterans at this year’s deadline. The team dealt Daniel Vogelbach who is expected to have his option declined and thus making him a free agent. Also, they traded away veteran starter Jose Quintana to the Cardinals who will now be a free agent. The trade also saw the Pittsburgh Pirates include reliever, Chris Stratton. Stratton was more along the traditional sense of trading him away before his walk year.
It will be interesting to see if the Pittsburgh Pirates operate similarly this off-season. The team is in a position to spend some money, but yet they likely are at least another season away from truly competing. Will they look to add low-end veterans to trade at this year’s deadline, or sign more prominent ones to gain a better return at the Deadline? Or will they hand out some deals to players they would like to keep around?