Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington spoke to assembled Pittsburgh media at the Winter Meetings yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates were pretty quiet on day one of the 2018 Winter Meetings. It just so happened that Neal Huntington also used the first day to talk to assembled Pittsburgh media. Adam Berry of MLB.com had a thorough write up, but let’s hit the high points:
Huntington reinforced the belief that his club is under no real impetus to swing a deal for Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova, Corey Dickerson or, really, anyone.
“We don’t look to trade players just because they’re in their last year [of their contracts]. But if it makes sense to us to continue the chain and be able to reallocate some of those dollars, we’ll always listen,”
Chalk this up as a bit of GM Speak with a dash of truth sprinkled in. While I am firmly of the belief that the Pirates are not actively shopping any of these players, Huntington let it be known that he, too, might realize that if he were to jettison some of this salary, the slashed salary would amount to wasted opportunity if not reallocated.
My kingdom for a lefty
Huntington said the club would “continue to look” for a left-handed reliever. The market is a little thin, but there are enough options out there that Huntington could seemingly close his eyes, randomly point to one and find a good one. We’ve been through this ad-nauseam before so no need to rehash it here. Things move slowly at Winter Meetings, and I would be surprised if Huntington left Vegas without a southpaw in tow
Despite reports that the club was interested in Diamondbacks SS Nick Ahmed, Huntington’s comments as relayed by Bill Brink of the PG paint a different picture:
Huntington: "If something better comes along, we’ll entertain it. But between [Kevin Newman and Erik Gonzalez], we like where we’re going at shortstop."— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 11, 2018
Chalk this one up to classic GM speak. Huntington can’t feel good about a player not quite ready to hit at the major league level and what amounts to a great unknown in Gonzalez. There has been too much smoke to believe otherwise. I would be surprised if the Pirates haven’t been linked to at least one more shortstop target before the meetings are over.