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Ask BD: Would Trevor Cahill be a good under-the-radar pitching addition?

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Ralph Freso

Thanks for the questions, all. I'll probably do one more of these if you want to keep asking. There are some good questions I haven't gotten to yet.

Dr. Dng: Ok, remember, I am an amateur at this. I’m going out on a limb here. If the Pirates are looking for a possible reclamation project, any chance Kevin Correia might be in the mix, or are there too many burned bridges there?

I doubt it. There's nothing to reclaim. Correia was never very good to begin with, and now he's 34. The Pirates can do better.

Guapo: Ryan Doumit is available? Semi-serious ...

Doumit played all of two games at catcher last year and hit .197/.235/.318. He'll be 34 in April, and his value as a catcher dropped precipitously even before he stopped hitting, when we learned that, in addition to his awful defense, he is to pitch framing as Guy Fieri is to healthy eating. The 2011 Pirates don't need a reunion.

CocktailsFor2: El Toro - One more shot at third base, or will he be strictly at first from here on out?

I'd be surprised if he didn't just play first. I said this somewhere already -- I can't remember where. But look at Pedro Alvarez's 2013 season. Remember how alert and confident he was at third base? Remember how we all praised his throwing and his agility, particularly when he moved in on balls in front of him? Even in that season, which probably represented the peak of what he can do defensively, Alvarez rated as slightly below average, according to UZR.

Now, we can pick apart single-season UZR numbers, but Alvarez has literally never had a season in which UZR marked him as an above-average third baseman. So what's the point of keeping him there? Even if he stays and reverts to his 2013 form, which seems unlikely, he's significantly worse than Josh Harrison. And that's assuming he makes a full recovery from his throwing issues. The throwing problems only hastened a position switch that Alvarez would likely have had to make at some point anyway. The Pirates will continue to say Alvarez is a third baseman for the next few months, perhaps hoping that some potential trading partner still sees him that way, but I'd be surprised if he logged significant time at third next year.

WHYG Zane Smith: Is Trevor Cahill worth considering as a buy-low trade acquisition?

I like this idea. Cahill will be 27 in March, he has a long history of getting ground balls, and he had some recent success as a starting pitcher. It also doesn't appear his stuff has diminished, and his xFIP ran almost two runs lower than his ERA. He has some mechanical issues that prevent him from throwing strikes, but Ray Searage might help with that. Cahill is owed $12 million next year, which is too much to pay, but he has two club options at prices that might not be ridiculous if the Pirates were able to fix him. If the Diamondbacks were willing to eat a bit of salary, I'd like to see the Bucs acquire Cahill -- not as their key offseason move, but as a secondary one.