Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day Roster Prediction: New Year Edition

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles
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Catcher - Austin Hedges, Tyler Heineman

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Austin Hedges to a one-year, $5 million deal it became clear that he will be the team's primary catcher in 2023. His catching partner remains a bit of a mystery though, as highly touted prospect Endy Rodriguez is the only other catcher currently on the 40-man roster.

During the Winter Meetings manager Derek Shelton stated that Rodriguez will start the season in the minor leagues. While this did not come as a surprise, it confirmed that someone who was not on the 40-man roster at the time would be making the Opening Day roster.

Prior to signing Hedges the Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed the defensive minded Tyler Heinemanto a minor league deal. Heineman spent last season with the Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays. Right now, it appears likely that the Pirates will add Heineman to their 40-man roster and carry him as their second catcher when the regular season begins.

The Pirates could add another catcher to go with Hedges. However, with Heineman being more than serviceable as a backup catcher and the Bucs having two top 100 catching prospects in the upper minors who should graduate to the majors in 2023, odds are Heineman will be the guy.