One realistic remaining free agent at each position for the Pirates to pursue

The free agent market still has some realistic remaining options for the Pirates to pursue.

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Designated Hitter - Daniel Vogelbach

The Pirates signed Daniel Vogelbach in the 2021-2022 off-season to serve as their designated hitter. He was then traded to the New York Mets at the trade deadline for now right-handed set-up man Colin Holderman. After a strong 2022 season, Vogelbach’s production took a step back in 2023, and he was let go by the Mets after last season.

While he may not have been able to match his 2022 peak, Vogelbach was not an awful hitter last year. In 319 plate appearances, the designated hitter batted .233/.339/.404. His .171 isolated slugging percentage was above average, and he walked in 13.1% of his plate appearances. His 25.4% K-rate wasn’t great, but it’s manageable. Overall, he had a .327 wOBA and 109 wRC+, making him a safely above-average batter in the 2023 season.

Vogey also had a great second half. Through his final 122 plate appearances of the season, he slashed .245/.344/.481 with a .381 wOBA and 129 wRC+. He had a hard hit rate at 50% and a 14.9% barrel rate. Vogelbach hit for a decent amount of pop, as he had a .236 isolated slugging percentage. His ISO was higher than Freddie Freeman and Rafael Devers in the second half, and he ranked 26th among all batters with 120+ plate appearances in barrel rate.

I think if the Pirates hadn’t signed Rowdy Tellez, they would have considered bringing Vogelbach back into the fold. But the former Pirate would probably sign a relatively cheap deal. He only made $1.5 million last season, and I doubt he’d get any sort of raise from that. The only thing is that Vogelbach would have to play more first base again, which he hasn’t done semi-regularly since 2021.