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Pirates Offseason Chat
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Darragh McDonald
Greetings, sports fans.
Welcome to the Pirates chat.
This is my first time doing one of these things. So, if I make a small mistake, please mock me relentlessly for your amusement.
It's important to enjoy the little things in life.
Should I buy into the team's claim that Keller's turned a corner? He's still insanely unreliant.
Darragh McDonald
MLBTR's Steve Adams wrote a piece about Keller for Front Office subscribers, highlighting that Keller added a sinker in May which seemed to be leading to better results.
From July 6th to the end of this season, Keller had a 2.71 ERA.
That's still a small sample size, but it's very encouraging. I'm excited to see what he does next year.
Who plays first base next year?
Darragh McDonald
Cherington said they'll look to add at first and behind the plate, so, likely someone not in the system.
Maybe they wait until January or February and sign someone who is lingering on the market. Though it could also just be a waiver claim.
Is Termarr Johnson the highest ceiling prospect in the system?
Darragh McDonald
I don't get a chance to evaluate prospects myself and would just be relying on other sources. Baseball America and FanGraphs both him #1 in the system though.
Would tucker barnhart fit here as a placeholder until a long term solution is found? He hasn't been so hot lately, bucs aren't really in contention and he probably isn't that expensive. If not, what do they do at backstop?
Darragh McDonald
Yeah, I think Barnhart makes enough sense. He won't cost much after a down year. They could also re-sign Roberto Perez.
Austin Hedges make sense as well.
will this team ever compete again?
It seems like the Pirates contending window is 2 years away and possibly could see 75-80 wins for 2022. A rotation of Keller, Contreras, Brubaker, Oviedo/Ortiz and a FA pitcher should be a solid rotation. Cruz, Suwinski, Reynolds,  and a healthy Hayes and Bednar could get this team to 500. Thoughts and also prediction on what names are realistic that the Pirates might sign?
Darragh McDonald
Yeah, I think the Pirates are in a somewhat similar situation to the Orioles a year ago. Baltimore looked terrible until they didn't.
I'm not saying the Bucs will win 83 games next year, but you can start to see a core coming together.
As for free agent targets, I wouldn't get my hopes up.
Cherington was asked about the payroll recently and basically said it's not going up. He used GM speak, of course, but that was the message.
Last offseason, they signed seven guys to one-year deals, none of them higher than $5MM. It'll probably be similar this year. Grab a catcher, a first baseman, a few pitchers.
Is oneil cruz a couple years away from being an all star ?
Darragh McDonald
I don't think it's out of the question for him to be an All-Star in 2023. He has huge power and speed, great arm.
He strikes out a ton, but so did Aaron Judge when he first came up.
Adam J.
Is Miguel Andujar going to get a legit shot as the LF?  Also, does he have the range to handle covering PNC Park's notch or will they try him out in RF?
Darragh McDonald
The fact that they claimed Andujar suggests to me that they at least want to give him a shot. But it might not be in left. There's been some chatter of him also playing some first base.
Ke'Bryan Reynolds
Jameson Taillon would be an interesting reunion candidate for the Pirates. He is coming off an up and down season, I lean towards the Yankees trying to resign him, but what kind of deal would he be looking at? Has he done enough to be out of the Pirates comfort zone (admittedly, that wouldn't take much haha).
Darragh McDonald
Taillon has at least shown an ability to pitch a fairly normal season. 32 starts and 177 1/3 innings with an ERA under 4.00.
He's not an ace but those guys get paid.
DeSclafani, Wood, Matz, all those guys got multiple years. Even Kikuchi got three and he finished pretty bad in 2021.
I'd be surprised if the Pirates made a move at that level.
What do you attribute to Jack Suwinskis road/home splits? Completely unsustainable?
Darragh McDonald
My guess would be that's a statistical fluke which will even out over time. But it's not something I've looked closely at.
cherrington has made several trades to bring in prospects but none of them have been successful—those prospects are duds—why does he still have the GM job?
Darragh McDonald
Most of the prospects he's traded for either haven't yet reached the big leagues or just recently made it. But there are some successes.
Suwinski, Roansy Contreras, David Bednar, etc.
Most teams don't trade their "can't miss" prospects, so teams like the Pirates are usually trying to find hidden gems deeper in the systems of other clubs. It's hard to do that and succeed all the time.
Derek Shelton
Am I the right guy to guide this young group
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