The Pirates continue to address the issues they need to correct, position by position, in one form another since the offseason has begun. Two of the major decisions regarding the roster have already been made, as the Bucs have signed Rod Barajas to be their starting catcher and Clint Barmes for the starting shortstop job. Now, most of the attention has been turned, in addition to the pitching rotation, to the vacant spot at first base.
look for a starter at first base on the free agent market? Will they try to acquire a player through a trade, or will they promote from within? Pittsburgh
The Bucs officially offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (announced on Wednesday), guaranteeing that they’ll get a compensatory Draft pick if Lee signs with another team this offseason. Lee has the option of accepting the arbitration offer and agreeing to a one-year deal with the Pirates, although word is that it appears to be highly unlikely he’ll decide to return to
next season. Lee’s decision will come on or before December 7. Pittsburgh
It should be very interesting to see where the Pirates go in terms of a first baseman. As far as regular players from past years, Garrett Jones appears to be the option at this point. Of course, Matt Hague is still a possibility, but based on his play last year, it doesn’t look like he’s ready to be a regular 2012 everyday player at the Major League level.
Pedro Alvarez was originally figured to be migrated over to first base, but given his struggles last season, it appears that the Pirates don’t want to add any more of a transition for him in addition to his difficulties at the plate.
Carlos Pena keeps bleeping up on the radar as far as external options. He was the subject of a number of rumors as the season neared the Trade Deadline this past season, but the deal never developed. Now, with the first base spot wide open at this point, the Bucs may be more willing to pay what they weren’t back in July. Pena, of course, doesn’t hit for average by any means, but would add a considerable amount of power to a team that is desperate need of long-ball help.
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Let’s Go Bucs!