I’ve been busy as of late and I figured this would not be a problem but the Pirates have been rather active, that being said I am going to recap the moves made since the Pirates gave Nick Evans a minor league contract.
1. The signing of Erik Bedard
2. The trade to get Casey McGehee
1. Signing Jose Morales and Nick Evans to minor league contracts
2. Trading Brooks Pounders for Yamaico Navarro
3. Selecting Aaron Poreda in the minor league Rule V draft
4. Tendering all eligible players
1. Signing Nate McLouth
2. DFAing Jaramillo, Ciriaco and Ohlendorf
The Head Scratcher
1. Selecting Gustavo Nunez in the Rule V draft
1. DFAing Jeremy Hefner
2. Losing Brett Lorin in the Rule V draft
3. Selecting two catchers in the later rounds of the minor league Rule V draft
It goes without saying the best move of the bunch is the signing of Erik Bedard. He is now clearly the best pitcher in the Pirates rotation and if the Pirates can even get half a season from him he will be worth the 4.5 million he is getting paid. The trade for McGehee is not nearly on the level of the Bedard signing but he is good buy low candidate and has a reasonable chance of bouncing back, plus he gives the Pirates some infielder corner depth something they were severely lacking. On the flip side Veras was probably about to be non-tendered so getting something of value for him was a nice bonus.
The next set of moves which I labeled decent are nice moves but probably will have minimal impact. In my opinion Navarro is now the Pirates best option for a backup shortstop and Evans and Morales should provide the Pirates with decent minor league depth. Poreda is an interesting arm and the Pirates get in him in the system basically for free. By tendering all eleigble players the Pirates will keep a fairly good bullpen intact and also have a good hitter in Jones avaialble as a fall back plan for 1st or as a good bench bat.
Not a big fan of the signing of Nate McLouth but he is guy who was popular with the fan base and if there is any chance that Jones will be starting at 1st this year the Pirates desperately needed a left handed hitter off the bench. McLouth is definitely better than Paul and honestly that is who he is replacing. With that being said as long as Jones would be on the bench I would have preferred to go with Gorkys Hernandez as the extra outfielder. Jaramillo, Ciriaco and Ohlendorf were all fine depth players and could have served some purpose next season however the Pirates believe they have their holes filled and in 2 of the 3 instances I agree (Ciriaco is the exception) so I won’t make a fuss about these.
I have no clue why the Pirates selected Nunez. He is quite simply Pedro Ciriaco minus the success above A ball. There is positively no way he should make the major league roster over Navarro and with Navarro on the roster there is no need to keep another backup shortstop. Hopefully he will be returned before the season starts or the Pirates will trade for his rights and option him to AAA.
The last 3 moves I am going to spend no time discussing because I have no opinion on them. Lorin is a somewhat intriguing arm but I would not lose any sleep over losing him and even so I don’t see how the playoff aspiring Diamondbacks are going to manage to keep him in the bullpen all season long.