MLB Spring Training starts this week, and though we’re all aware that the Pittsburgh Pirates have a strong farm system, GM Ben Cherington still has a lot of work to do in assembling a competent Opening-Day roster. According to a recent report by the Post-Gazette, he has plenty of plans to upgrade the team in Spring Training. Cherington said:
“We’ve been engaged, both with free agency and trade. We’re confident we’ll be able to add to this team, both through free agency and trade throughout spring training, over the course of these next two or three weeks.”
The report goes on to mention starting pitching as a particular need for the Buccos, and that’s an obvious one. With JT Brubaker leading the charge and Mitch Keller another one of the top names in the rotation, you can see it’s a pretty light group.
According to Cherington, he’s also looking for an outfielder. Bryan Reynolds and Ben Gamel are pretty much etched into the starting lineup, but that third spot is wide open, with Anthony Alford, Greg Allen, and Cole Tucker the top names competing. An upgrade there would certainly help matters. Cherington continued in the report:
“If we can find a way to add some offense, that would help. Outfield is an area that, as everyone knows, there’s going to be competition in camp. If we can add to that competition in a way that makes sense, that would be of interest. Pitching, generally. It could be major league deals. It could be minor league deals. It could be a trade at some point. It could be any of those avenues.”
One position that wasn’t mentioned was catcher, which is a surprise to me. Pittsburgh currently only has Roberto Perez and Taylor Davis. Perez played in just 44 games last year, hitting only .149, while Taylor Davis has 41 career Major League at bats. It’s certainly an area of need for the Buccos until top prospect Henry Davis is deemed ready.
I’m looking forward to what Cherington has cooking, as long as its not Bryan Reynolds on his way out. As the days go by, I’m getting more confident that the rumors on Reynolds were just other teams’ speculation and wishful thinking. Fingers crossed.