The Pittsburgh Pirates are working on shoring up some of the weakest parts of their roster, and there have been several rumors circling this years early free agency period. The Buccos have already signed veteran first baseman Carlos Santana to a one-year deal, helping to insure that position as well as add leadership in the dugout, and they are reportedly interested in making several other moves before the start of the season.
The biggest name on Pittsburgh’s list of possible signings is right handed pitcher Kyle Gibson. The two sides most recently were in communication and talked on a video call. Gibson is coming off a season in Philadelphia where he was second on the staff with 31 starts, a 5.05 ERA and a 10-8 record.
Per source, Pirates have "genuine interest" in free-agent RHP Kyle Gibson and the two sides recently talked via a video call.— RobBiertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) November 28, 2022
Last season, Gibson was second on the Phillies’ staff with 31 starts and went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA.
Gibson’s finest days are behind him no doubt, but did have his lone all star appearance just a season ago. Over 10 seasons of Major League ball, Gibson averages a 4.52 ERA, 7.2 strikeouts per 9 innings, and has made at least 25 starts in every season he’s played in.
The biggest upside is also in turn a downside for the possible acquisition of Gibson, as he is undoubtedly an inexpensive signing that brings veteran leadership to a struggling bullpen, but also has shown signs of slowing down, especially late in the season. If the Pirates can limit his pitches, Kyle Gibson could be a very capable starter in Pittsburgh.
A name fans should be familiar with is also one the Pirates are trying to resign, as there are talks of bringing back Jose Quintana on a multi-year deal.
Quintana played for both the Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals in 2022, seeing some post season reps with the Cards, and is now another name the Pirates would love to add to their bullpen. The 33 year old will certainly be looking for a loftier contract this time around (lofty in the eyes of owner Bob Nutting), but if the Pirates can come to terms on a deal, Quintana would be another excellent addition to the Pirates’ pitching group.
The Pirates are also open to further bolstering the middle of the infield, particularly at second base.
While Pittsburgh is likely not in the market for the biggest free agents in baseball, some of the lower tier players that available may be good bridge players in the meantime. A second baseman like Hanser Alberto makes sense, as while he wasn’t a standout hitter, he was solid defensively, and should be someone the Pirates can afford.
Obviously, the Pirates are in another rebuilding season, but early on in free agency the club has made notable signings in a team culture where money isn’t often spread around. The acquisition of Kyle Gibson, Jose Quintana, or both would be major talking points as the team looks to turn around their recent pitching nightmares. As for the middle of the field, the Pirates certainly have a question mark at second base, and are still open to bringing in another player at that position.