The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their first big move of the offseason by filling a big need at first base
Thursday evening the Pittsburgh Pirates made their first big move of the offseason. This move saw them address one of their biggest positions of need entering the offseason – first base. In addition, the team also made a flurry of roster moves.
The big move came when they acquired first baseman/designated hitter Ji-Man Choi from the Tampa Bay Rays. In exchange for Choi, the Pittsburgh Pirates are sending relief pitching prospects Jack Hartman to the Rays.
Choi his for a .233/.341/.388 slash line with the Rays last season. He posted a strong 115 wRC+, 114 OPS+, and a 13.8% walk rate to go with 11 home runs. In his seven-year MLB career, the 31-year-old left-handed hitting Choi owns a .239/.345/.429 slash line to go with a 116 wRC+, 115 OPS+, and a 13.4% walk rate.
Adding Choi indicates that the Pirates won’t look to just completely punt on the 2023 season. This is the first “win now” type of acquisition that Cherignton has made as general manager of the Pirates.
As for Hartman, he was selected 108th overall in the 2020 draft by the Pirates. Hartman posted a 6.27 ERA and a 5.61 FIP, while walking 17.2% of batters and striking out 20.4% in 18.2 innings pitched with Low-A Bradenton last season.
In addition to acquiring Choi, the Pirates made a flurry of roster moves. Outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba, and pitchers Colin Holderman, Yerry De Los Santos, Blake Cederlind, and Max Kranick were all reinstated from the 60-day injured list.
Additionally, the Pirates removed Cederlind, fellow pitchers Eric Stout, Peter Solomon, and Beau Sulser, and catchers Jason Delay and Zack Collins from the 40-man roster. Stout and Collins elected free agency, while the rest were outrighted to Triple-A. The Pirate 40-man roster is now full.