The Pirates are considering keeping Humberto Cota, the Beaver County Times reports. Tomorrow is the deadline for the Pirates to decide whether to offer arbitration to Xavier Nady, Freddy Sanchez, Jose Castillo, Jody Gerut, Mike Gonzalez, John Grabow, Cota and Shawn Chacon.
The first six will get contracts; the BCT reports that Chacon probably won't, although one would think that if the cost of free agents is forcing the Pirates to consider tendering Cota, they'd have to consider tendering Chacon too. Chacon will be more expensive than Cota in arbitration and they both stink about equally, but the market for starting pitching is completely out of control.
Here's the thing, though: Cota is a career .232/.277/.358 hitter. He has a career OPS+ of 64. Neifi Perez's is 63. Cota can't hit at all. Here's a novel idea: have Ryan Doumit catch once a week. Sign a couple catchers who play decent defense to minor league contracts. No matter how crazy the free agent market gets, you shouldn't have to pay $800,000 or something for somebody with a 64 career OPS+. Cota's a waste of money and a waste of roster space.