Pittsburgh Pirates: An Insight On The Team's Off-Season Plans

Robert Murray gives an insight on the Pittsburgh Pirates' off-season plans.
Aug 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom
Aug 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

FanSided MLB Insider Robert Murray gives a brief insight of what the Pittsburgh Pirates off-season plans may end up looking like

A few days ago, on November 21st, Robert Murray published an article detailing what he had heard from inside sources. His report includes details from multiple teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, stating the following:

""The Pirates have explored a plethora of options. One source said that "(Ben) Cherington is on everything." But realistically, the Pirates will not be signing a star in free agency. Rather, they will be in the mid-tier markets and could be signing more veteran players to put in their young clubhouse.""

Robert Murray

Let's break it down piece by piece. It should give fans some hope, with Murray stating that Ben Cherington is "on everything." At the very least, that means he's exploring all avenues: who's on the trade market, who is on the free agent market, and some of the top international guys as well. The Pirates have more than enough solid opportunities to reinforce the roster this winter. Cherington just needs to go for it.

The second part of his statement probably doesn't shock most. I, along with many other Pirates fans, would have loved for the Bucs to be in on the top free agents. But deep in my mind, and everyone else's, I knew that it wasn't very likely, and that's putting an overly optimistic spin on it. However, just because the Pirates may not go after the upper echelon of free agents doesn't mean that there are no good free agents at all.

I doubt there would be many opposed to pursuing Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Nick Martinez, Wade Miley, Kenta Maeda, Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, or Sean Manaea. This might not be Yoshinobu Yamamoto or Jordan Montgomery, but all could post above-average numbers as a starting pitcher in 2024.

That doesn't mean I would want the Pirates not to go after at least someone like Shota Imanaga or Eduardo Rodriguez because I believe both will still be in the Pirate price range, but I wouldn't be entirely upset with some of the other options. If the Pirates give out $35 million to three different, mid-tier pitchers, they should just consolidate their resources into just two good starters.

The same could be said for first base. While Rhys Hoskins may be off the table based on Murray's statements, I would welcome back Carlos Santana with open arms, and Justin Turner or Brandon Belt would be good mid-tier fits for the Pirates as well. They're all solid players, and while they may not be on the same tier as Hoskins, they do give the Pirates decent production at first base.

One thing to note is that he doesn't state that the Pirates won't go after some of the top trade options. He only says that they "won't be signing a star in free agency" and not that they won't be aggressive toward a top trade option. I would love to see the Pirates look into Ha-Seong Kim, Jorge Polanco, or Max Kepler and see what teams want for Shane Bieber, Dylan Cease, Tyler Glasnow, or one of the many Seattle Mariners' young pitchers.

From my point of view, nothing here really is all that out of the ordinary or anything unexpected. This is how rumors and leaks from the Pirates' front office have sounded since Cherington has taken over: pretty broad and general, and nothing shocking. Of course, no front office is going to lay out their off-season plans in detail for all the public to see, but it feels like there's a "loose lips sink ships" sort of detail with this front office. Either way, I just hope to see some improvements to the roster. That's all any of us can hope for.

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