The Pittsburgh Pirates are honing in on reinforcing their outfield, as confirmed by General Manager Ben Cherington in a recent MLB Network interview. While pitching remains a priority, Cherington acknowledged the team's intent to bring in another outfielder. This makes sense on a lot of levels, as the Bucs struggled with an outfield rotation toward the end of the 2023 season.
The current outfield roster includes Jack Suwinski, Bryan Reynolds, Henry Davis, Josh Palacious, and Ji-Hwan Bae. Reynolds stands out as the best of the group with Suwinksi locking down another spot pretty permanently. So This does leave right-field a little open-ended. Yes, Henry Davis played a lot of rightfield last season, but maybe instead they are going in a different direction.
The pursuit of an additional outfielder immediately made me wonder about Andrew McCutchen's potential future with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is a free agent on the open market right now. Cutch himself said he would like to play outfield still. However, given his age and durability at this point, Cutch seems a better fit for a designated hitter role. So how will these comments by Cherington shake out in terms of the team's approach to Cutch this offseason?
For Pittsburgh Pirates fans, this news stirs anticipation and optimism for the team to actually do something.
The potential addition of a new outfielder would allow Henry Davis to go back to catcher and designated hitter, which should help his offense. So with that being said, is the team looking for a starting-caliber outfielder or a simple platoon piece? Maybe a right-handed option to spell Suwinski and/or platoon with Palacios.
Fans hope they can look forward to an exciting period as the team shapes its roster this offseason. With a focus on strengthening the rotation, the team has other needs. Cherington's insights provide a glimpse into another position the team is likely aggressively pursuing.