The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a relatively busy offseason, especially compared to last year. Are there any other moves to make?
Fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates have endured some tough off-seasons under Ben Cherington. To Cherington's credit, he came in with a plan and executed it. He spent the last few off-seasons trading away veterans to replenish the farm system. Furthermore, there were not many moves made by the team to replace those players either.
This offseason has been on the other side of things. The team has been much more active, acquiring actual Big League players who are established and will be on the Team's Opening Day roster. Players like Carlos Santana, Rich Hill, Austin Hedges, and Ji-man Choi. Then of course the team brought back Pittsburgh Pirates legend Andrew McCutchen.
The team has not been messing around this off-season, they are actually making notable moves. They should look to make one more move before Spring Training gets underway. The Pittsburgh Pirates should consider bringing veteran catcher Roberto Perez back.
The questions about Perez are based on his health. Last year he suffered a season-ending leg injury and was only on a 1-year contract. Perez remains unsigned, which could indicate how teams feel about his health.
Thinking about it, Perez is probably looking for a Major League deal. Unfortunately for him, it appears there is no such team willing to give him that as of now. The Pittsburgh Pirates still are in need of a backup catcher.
The Bucs should look to sign Perez on a Minor League deal with a split contract for Major League time. Perez was hailed by teammates for his veteran presence as a catcher. He would be valuable to have at Spring Training, allowing him to prove that he can be the backup. If he still seems to be recovering and needs time, send him to Triple-A.
This of course would mean Tyler Heineman would be the backup to Hedges, which is fine for a short period of time. Meanwhile, Perez could get back to work at Triple-A all the while acting as a mentor for top prospects Endy Rodriguez and maybe Henry Davis (if he is at AAA). Obviously, a veteran catcher's presence would be huge for the young pitching staff at AAA as well.
Now there is a chance that Perez could still land a Major League deal. If a team's catcher goes down during Spring Training they may need to find an external option. Perez might be hoping that is the case. If not, he no doubt should be back in the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization.