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Pirates reportedly pursuing Sean Rodriguez

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

According to Chris Cotillo, the Pirates are one of five teams pursuing free agent Sean Rodriguez.  (H/t P2.)  Rodriguez is coming off a mega-career year in which he put up a 270/349/510 line, good for an OPS+ of 126.  His previous best was 97.  Key to his turnaround was a career-best 9.7% walk rate, a radical change from the microscopic 2.1% rate he managed in 2015.

Exactly how serious the Pirates are about this is hard to judge.  Cotillo notes that the Pirates have "expressed public interest" in bringing Rodriguez back, but they say that about nearly all of their veteran players who become free agents.  Presumably, Cotillo has more to go on than that.  Depending on how seriously teams take Rodriguez' big 2016 season, he should have a very good market.  Apart from the fact that he can play nearly any position, he's plenty good enough defensively to start at second base.  A Rodriguez signing also might use up a good chunk of the apparently very limited resources the team has to address its very pressing pitching needs.

A Rodriguez return wouldn't exactly be a vote of confidence in Alen Hanson, who's out of options.  Adam Frazier should already have a utility role locked down, so there might not be an opening left for Hanson.