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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Shortstop - Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario was once considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball with the New York Mets. Although Rosario never matched his expectations, he still had some solid seasons with the Mets and in Cleveland. A down season in his contract year has left him mostly forgotten about on the free-agent market.

Rosario batted a meager .263/.305/.378 with a .297 wOBA and 88 wRC+ for the Guardians and the LA Dodgers, to whom he was traded to at the deadline. Rosario has never walked much in any season of his career, and his 5.3% walk rate is pretty good for him. His 18.8% strikeout rate also falls in line with his expectations. But compared to what he did in 2019 through 2022, this was a massive downturn in production with the bat.

During that four-season stretch, Rosario turned in a .282/.315/.412 triple-slash, .312 wOBA, and 101 wRC+. He had a lowly 4.4% walk rate but a quality 18.9% strikeout rate. His .130 isolated slugging percentage may not have been good, but significantly better than his .116 mark in 2023. He provided both a little bit of power and base running prowess as he reached double-digit marks in home runs and stolen bases each full season (not counting 2020).

At the very least, Rosario was still productive against left-handed pitching last season. He batted 282/.326/.442 with a 112 wRC+ when facing opposite-handed opponents. He hit for a lot more power as he had a .160 isolated slugging percentage against lefties. Rosario has always been better when facing a lefty.

If Rosario was a more competent defensive shortstop, he would likely have signed with a team by now. Over the last three seasons, he has -19 defensive runs saved and -25 outs above average. 2023 was a horrible year for him up the middle with -16 DRS and -11 OAA. After Rosario was traded to the Dodgers, he played a decent amount of second base, where he looked better with +3 DRS and zero OAA, but it was in just under 200 innings at the keystone.

Rosario is still only 28 but will likely have to settle for a low-cost contract. He can provide some defense at second base, occasionally play some shortstop, and still hit left-handed pitching to a good degree. He could give some depth to the bench, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Pirates considered bringing him in on a one-year deal of around $2-5 million if they traded Nick Gonzales or Liover Peguero.