Which off-season loss could hurt the Pirates the most?

Which of the Pirates' off-season losses could come back and hurt them the most?

Mar 6, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA;  Oakland Athletics right fielder Miguel Andujar (22) hits a three
Mar 6, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Miguel Andujar (22) hits a three / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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Andujar was really the only noteworthy loss on the position player side of things. The rest included the likes of Alfonso Rivas, Vinny Capra, Tucupita Marcano, and Cal Mitchell. Of those players, I think only Marcano has a chance to be better than Andujar. The San Diego Padres selected Marcano off waivers in November. He got off to an extremely promising start to the year and was batting .277 with a .812 OPS and 118 wRC+ in early June before falling into a slump and then suffering a severe knee injury that required surgery and kept him out of the rest of the season.

On the pitching side of things, the Pirates lost a few former top prospects, like Cody Bolton, Yerry De Los Santos, and Wil Crowe, but the one that could hurt the most might not even return until 2025, and that's lefty Angel Perdomo. Perdomo looked like a diamond in the rough for the Pirates. A minor league signee by the team in February 2023, Perdomo owned a 3.72 ERA, 3.01 FIP, and 1.10 WHIP in 29 innings.

Perdomo had a tremendous 37.6% K-rate, the 6th best among any other pitcher last year with 20+ innings completed. It also helped he had a respectable 9.4% walk rate and 0.93 HR/9. The southpaw had even better underlying numbers with a 2.92 SIERA and 2.77 xERA. But his season was cut short after an elbow injury in late August.

It initially seemed like Perdomo would be back in action in 2024, which is why many were confused by the Pirates placing Perdomo on waivers in November (the same time they put Andujar on waivers). However, it soon came out that Perdomo had undergone Tommy John surgery after the season and would miss the entirety of 2024 and would be back in '25 at the earliest. The Braves then claimed Perdomo before non-tendering him but re-signing him a few weeks later to a minor league deal.

Perdomo looked great with the Pirates prior to his elbow injury, but who knows what he'll look like in 2025 when he's expected to return. Obviously, if he returns to form, that would be a hard pill for the Pirates to swallow that they let go of what ended up being a decent LHRP for nothing. But that is a big if. That's still over a whole year away, and he is already heading into his age-30 season and does not have a long track record of success.