Projecting the 2012 40 Man Roster

The Pirates currently have a full 40 man roster and 5 players on the DL. At the end of the year the contracts of Lee, Ludwick, Maholm, Snyder, Doumit, and Cedeno expire. The Pirates do hold options on Maholm, Snyder, Doumit and Cedeno. In addition to the 39 players the Pirates either have under contract or control rights to the Pirates have 7 players who I could see them potentially adding to the 40 man roster (to protect from Rule V draft). The Pirates also have seven spots in which I think they might look for an external help: C, 1B, SS, 3B, OF, SP, RP. The C, 1B and SS positions would be starters while the OF would be a bench bat and the 3B an insurance policy on Alvarez and/or a bench player. Some of these positions could be filled internally by picking up options/resigning current players or by other players whom are under control.

First lets take a look at the 46 internal options the Pirates have to fill out the 40 man roster, this excludes players whom contracts are up after the season.

Catchers:

Michael McKenry

Eric Fryer

Jason Jaramillo

Matt Pagnozzi

Infielders:

Matt Hague

Steve Pearce

Neil Walker

Pedro Alvarez

Josh Harrison

Chase d’Arnaud

Jordy Mercer

Brandon Wood

Pedro Ciriaco

Outfielders:

Alex Presley

Andrew McCutchen

Jose Tabata

Garrett Jones

Xavier Paul

Gorkys Hernandez

Starling Marte

Andrew Lambo

Starting Pitchers

Charlie Morton

James McDonald

Jeff Karstens

Brad Lincoln

Kevin Correia

Ross Ohlendorf

Jeff Locke

Kyle McPherson

Rudy Owens

Justin Wilson

Aaron Pribanic

Right Handed Relievers:

Joel Hanrahan

Evan Meek

Jose Veras

Chris Resop

Kevin Hart

Daniel McCutchen

Chris Leroux

Jason Grilli

Jared Hughes

Bryan Morris

Left Handed Relievers:

Tony Watson

Daniel Moskos

Brian Burres

Aaron Thompson

Of the above 46 the Pirates have to get rid of 6 to get down to 40 and then obviously get rid of a few more to make room for external additions. The question is how many external additions? Looking at last season the Pirates made 5 in the offseason (Overbay, Diaz, Rodriguez, Correia and Olsen). To finalize the 25 man roster they added two more players (Veras and Beimel). That makes seven in total although Olsen and Rodriguez were only on the roster a short time.  I think C and 1B are guarantees to be addressed. I also think one of 3B or SS will be. I also think a SP and RP will be added. An OF might be too but for now I am going to ignore that possibility. So overall 11 spots need to be cleared up.

So the candidates to be removed are:

C: Jason Jarmillo, Matt Pagnozzi

IF: Steve Pearce, Matt Hague, Brandon Wood, Pedro Ciriaco

OF: Garrett Jones, Xavier Paul, Andrew Lambo

SP: Ross Ohlendorf, Aaron Pribanic

RH: Jose Veras, Chris Resop, Kevin Hart, Daniel McCutchen, Chris Leroux, Jason Grilli, Jared Hughes

LH: Aaron Thompson, Brian Burres

I believe the first 5 spots are easy: Jaramillo, Pearce, Ohlendorf, Hart and Burres.

If as I am predicting the Pirates add another catcher it is possible Matt Pagnozzi could be the odd man out but that may be unlikely seeing as he was just claimed. The Pirates might be planning on trying to sneak him through waivers though. With the uncertainty surrounding 1B I find it hard to believe Hague won’t be kept. Brandon Wood and Pedro Ciriaco are both out of options so I would imagine one becomes the backup SS and the other is released. My preference would be to keep Ciriaco but I think the Pirates will go with Wood.

A good but of the rest will come from the right handed relievers. I think Leroux and Hughes are going to make the team meaning the other 4 are the ones up for debate. Since I have the Pirates adding a reliever I see Veras returning highly unlikely. Due to Resop’s up and down nature I think he too is gone.

So that leaves three spots left. I personally think Pagnozzi goes and one of McCutchen or Grilli. Grilli gives more veteran presences but McCutchen gives the team some options because he has an option left. Right now I think they keep Grilli though. The final spot comes down to Paul, Lambo and Pribanic. I would take Paul off the roster but I think the only way that happens is if another OF is brought in. So it comes down to Lambo and Pribanic and considering the Pirates OF depth I think it is going to be Pribanic.

So what does all that leave:

Catchers

Starter: Free Agent

Bench: Michael McKenry

Minors: Eric Fryer

Infield

1B: Free Agent (I think its going to be D Lee)

2B: Neil Walker

3B: Josh Harrison

SS: Free Agent (I think they pick up Cedeno’s option)

Bench: Brandon Wood, Chase d’Arnaud

Minors: Pedro Alvarez, Matt Hague, Jordy Mercer

Outfield

LF: Alex Presley

CF: Andrew McCutchen

RF: Jose Tabata

Bench: Garrett Jones, Xavier Paul

Minors: Gorkys Hernandez, Starling Marte

Starting Pitcher

Rotation: Charlie Morton, James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, FA, Brad Lincoln

Bullpen: Kevin Correia

Minors: Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Aaron Pribanic

Relief Pitchers

Bullpen: Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Tony Watson, FA, Jason Grilli, Chris Leroux

Minors: Daniel Moskos, Jared Hughes, Bryan Morris, Aaron Thompson

 

Just my shot in the dark but expect the roster to look similar to that. I don’t like that I ended up putting both d’Arnaud and Harrison on the team but unless Alvarez shows he deserves to be in the majors I think that might be what we see.

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