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Pirates Interested In Huff

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The Pirates are, again, interested in Aubrey Huff.

There are certainly worse players for the Bucs to spend $20 million on, but Huff isn't the solution to the Pirates' problems any more than Xavier Nady is.

Let's play Player A / Player B:

Player A
Age 28 .264/.387/.421 112 OPS+
Age 29 .251/.314/.446 94 OPS+

Player B
Age 28 .261/.321/.428 98 OPS+
Age 29 .267/.344/.469 104 OPS+

Which player is better? Probably Player B, but not by much. Player B is Huff. Player A is Craig Wilson. I'd rather have Huff at this point - Wilson's struggles with the strike zone were out of control last year and probably don't bode well for his future - but the two players are actually pretty similar. Like Wilson, Huff will play next year at age 30. Neither appears to be out of shape, but neither are especially athletic and both are pretty bad defensively.

Wilson collapsed badly after being traded to the Yankees, but when he was with the Pirates he was decent, hitting .267/.339/.478 and starting a lot for the injured Sean Casey. So we already can approximate pretty closely what a Bucs lineup with Huff in it would be like. During the first half of the year, the Bucs had a .745 OPS, 22nd in baseball during that time.

That's better than they did in the second half, but an offense that's ranked 22nd in baseball still isn't going to get the Pirates anywhere. Signing Huff would be a finger-in-the-dam kind of move, and the Pirates would be paying him until he's 32. Given that Huff had his career year at 26, it doesn't seem likely that he's still going to be good by the time the contract is over. I'd rather see the money spent on scouting and development.