With the trade deadline close and quite a few injured players almost ready to return I figured this is a good time to look at the roster and try to figure out who should be trimmed. I am going to rank the players from 1 to 25 (25 meaning the bottom). But first a few disclaimers this is not only about how well a player is doing but also about his roster status such as his number of options and years of control. The list is the order I feel the players should be removed from the roster giving consideration to everything. Obviously position plays a role but so we can compare everyone I am sitting aside that one variable.
First there are essentially two parts to the roster the players who can be removed with no threat of losing them and the ones who would have to go on waivers. For arguments sake I am including Maholm and Correia in the later group, both could technically be optioned down but thier permission would be required so I am assuming they would need to be released.
The Players With Options
McKenry, Fryer, Walker, Harrison, d’Arnaud, Ciriaco, Presley, A McCutchen, Watson, Moskos, D McCutchen, Leroux
In theory since none of these players would be lost by removing them from the roster all of them would seem like legitimate options but in practice two of them, A McCutchen and Walker, are not realistic options so those two top the list. All of the remaining players (and Walker for that matter) are withing thier 1st year of control. Leroux, D McCutchen, A McCutchen and Walker are the only 4 who are not rookies. So essentially roster status can be thrown out the window here as almost everyone has 5+ years of control left. All that leaves is performance. So the rankings I have decided upon for these 12 are as followed:
1. A McCutchen
6. D McCutchen
Essentially this list was made purely on performance so there is very little to discuss here.
The Players Without Options
Overbay, Wood, Jones, Diaz, Paul, Correia, Maholm, Karstens, Morton, McDonald, Hanrahan, Veras, Resop
When making decisions here I tried to consider the likelyhood that these players would clear waivers. So the likelyhood of retaining the player, his years of control left and his perfromance were the three areas I focused one. Breaking down the starting rotation was possibly the hardest thing to do. Anyway on to the rankings.
A little more explanation is needed here. To me it is rather obvious that the 6 most important players here are Hanrahan and the 5 starters. Hanrahan is in an elite class of closers and none of the starters are in the elite class of starters so he gets the nod for #1. Of the 5 starters Morton and McDonald have the highest upsudes and are also under control for the longest amount of time so in my mind they are obviously the top 2 starters. Of the remaining three I chose Maholm because he had the best track record, then I selected Karstens over Correia because of years of control. Making Correia the 5th of all the starters was not an easy decision but I believe it was the right one. Of the remaining 7 players the 3 that appear to be the most solid contributors are Jones, Resop and Veras. Resop is the only one of those 3 who may figure into the long term plans so he gets the nod. Jones gets the nod over Veras because of years of control. Of the final four player I ranked Overbay last because he will not be with the team after this season. The other 3 I ranked by value they bring to the team and ease of replacement. The Pirates have a good number of speedy OF who can play defense so Paul was an obvious choice for 12th. The remaining decision between iaz and Wood came down to the fact that I like Diaz’s bat on the bench more than Wood’s, plus the Pirates have Cedeno and d’Arnaud who can play SS but really do not have another right handed OF bench option.
Basically in making this list I looked at the top player remaining on the options list and made the call if keeping him on the roster was worth losing the top player on the no options list. Obviously the bottom of the list is going to feature mostly players who can be optioned.
1. A McCutchen
15. D McCutchen