Roster changes: Tike Redman, Bobby Hill, Mike Restovich and Jeff Miller are off the 40-man roster; Josh Sharpless, Javier Guzman, Craig Stansberry and Yurendell DeCaster are on. These aren't exactly the moves I would have made as Pirates GM, but they're not bad.
-It's the right move baseball-wise, but getting Tike Redman off the roster also just feels good.
-As a player with some on-base skills and the ability to fake a couple of infield positions, Bobby Hill should have value for someone. Not so much that the Pirates could have gotten anything in a trade for him, but some. He'll likely be in the big leagues at some point next year, and he'll deserve to be there, but the Pirates had no use for him.
-Mike Restovich is an odd case. Pirates officials spent all year talking about how intriguing his power was, but then didn't let him play much at all (although, admittedly, he didn't show much when he did play). Then he went to Venezuela and hit like crazy, but the Pirates dumped him anyway. I might have kept him around for another year, but I won't lose sleep about him.
-Jeff Miller is a minor league reliever without much to recommend him at this point.
Now for the additions:
-Josh Sharpless was probably the easiest pick of the four. He's not particularly young, but he has an outstanding performance record in the minors. He's just the sort of player many teams try to grab in the Rule 5 draft, since there's a pretty good chance he could be a productive member of a big-league bullpen next year.
-My impression was that Yurendell DeCaster was a minor-league free agent, but apparently that's not the case. Whatever - he's a reasonable addition, particuarly if the Pirates don't end up keeping Rob Mackowiak. It's not that DeCaster has a lot of any one skill or that he's young, but that he's versatile. He plays a number of positions and has a bit of power. He could wind up on the big-league team next year at some point, probably playing the outfield but also possibly as a utility infielder. Which brings us to
-Craig Stansberry and Javier Guzman. Stansberry had a really weird season - he hit very well at Class A+ Lynchburg, then continued to hit for power after being promoted to Altoona. He didn't, however, make contact there. As an infielder with a bit of power and plate discipline, though, there's something to like about him.
I find the Guzman choice a bit more odd. This is a guy was eligible for the draft last year and didn't get picked, and this season he utterly failed to hit at Altoona, again made a ton of errors in the field, and was found to be two years older than reported. He apparently has the ability to be a plus defender, but he isn't going to realize that potential next year. So it would have been very difficult for a team to pick him in the Rule 5 draft and then hide his no-hitting, no-fielding act on their 25-man roster the whole year. And, based on the fact that no team picked him last year, it's likely no one would have tried that anyway.
In the meantime, the Pirates currently have a major glut of middle-infield and third base types on their roster, even with the subtraction of Hill. There's presumed starters Jose Castillo, Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, along with Wigginton, DeCaster, Stansberry, Guzman, Mackowiak, Jose Bautista and J.J. Furmaniak. That's more than they need, and it wouldn't surprise me if it means that Wigginton is going to get booted off the island, too. (WTM reports that Wigginton is eligible for arbitration, which makes the Pirates very likely to dump him.)
Meanwhile, the Bucs left a potential power source, Adam Boeve, off the roster. This was a defensible move, especially in light of Boeve's mediocre performance in the Arizona Fall League, but I probably would have kept him instead of, say, Guzman, on the off-chance that Boeve continues to improve next year.