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Bucco Breakfast: The Pirates at the 2018 Winter Meetings - Day 1

The 2018 MLB Winter Meetings have have arrived. Will the Pittsburgh Pirates once again sit on the sidelines during the proceedings?

Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has rounded up his posse and headed west, hoping to rope himself a big one.

Okay, maybe not a big one per se, but he is in town looking to fill some of his club’s remaining needs as he sees them. Chief among those is likely a left-handed reliever.

The club has sown some level of interest in southpaws Jerry Blevins and Jake Diekman, and there are other fits out there such as Tony Sipp.

For profiles on these targets and more, take a few moments to revisit our entire 2018-2019 hot stove coverage to this point.

If Huntington is feeling frisky, he might just go after another shortstop. Though many point to the Erik Gonzalez acquisition as a sign that Huntington is content with he and the prospect-du-jour over the past few years in Kevin Newman manning the position, I’m not so sure.

The club could look to go defense-first at the spot with Jose Iglesias, who should be easily affordable. They could go offense first with Asdrubal Cabrera or even Jed Lowrie. Both are aging stars — and Lowrie has not played short consistently since 2015 — with undeniable bats. Freddy Galvis is sitting out there, too, seemingly with a slow-developing market.

Could the Pittsburgh Pirates draw the ire of fans everywhere by trading one of their favorites in Francisco Cervelli? Well, maybe. The club is very open to the deal, even engaging lightly with some teams already. At this point the Pirates are clearly in the driver’s seat, and can wait out a good return. They are under no real impetus to trade him, and the returns might be better at next summer’s trade deadline regardless.

One last thought. Just because the Pirates have a capable fifth-starter in Ivan Nova does not mean the club should not strike at the chance to improve their club by bringing in a starting pitcher. At least, that’s what conventional thinking would say. With Mitch Keller likely to debut later in 2019, let’s label this potential move as a dark horse one. It would utterly surprise many if the Pirates walked away from the meetings with a starter. Then again, this is now the team that paid a hefty prospect price for Chris Archer just five short months ago.

Bucs Dugout’s coverage

We will of course be on top of any substantial Pittsburgh Pirates news and rumors as they develop. Being that it may just be a slow round of meetings for the club, we also will comment heavily on anything the other NL Central teams are involved with as well.

WTM will have Rule 5 coverage on the day of. The Pirates will likely not select anyone with such a crowded 40-man roster as it is; though it is possible they could lose some “name” prospects such as Tyler Eppler or Brandon Waddell.

We hope to be one of your essential reading stops over the next few days!

Baseball Talk on the Web

  • Harold Baines got in the Hall of Fame last night and people are feeling a certain way about it.
  • Required reading: David Laurila’s latest Sunday Notes column.