The Pirates have set their 40 Man Roster for the Winter Meetings. And to do so today they did a lot. Some expected, some unexpected.
The Pirates made sure Evan Meek and Jose Ascino were covered and did add Brad Lincoln and Gorky Hernandez. This filled up the current spots. But the Pirates then also went and made more room by cutting by cutting Robinson Diaz, Jeff Karstens, and Justin Thomas. These three new spots on the 40 Man Roster were then filled by adding Bryan Morris and Ramon Aguero from the farm system. They then claimed Chris Jakubauskas off of waivers from the Mariners.
I guess I am not too surprised by the Pirates opening up room for Bryan Morris. I really hoped they would not bother, as I think he is not going to live up to potential, but I understand. Robinson Diaz being removed to make that room, I can also understand. The Pirates had clearly decided to go in another direction at back-up catcher. Jason Jarmillo is their guy and Diaz had to be on the 25 man roster this year or they lost him. I was hoping a trade was in the works, but I guess this means nothing was available. I expect Diaz will be with another major league team next year at the big league level.
Jeff Karstens being cut, I guess I can see. Karstens was not going to be part of the rotation mix, and he is a natural starter. But, I still think he was a good addition to the Pirates. He was a decent long guy, and was impressive in his spot starts for the Pirates. Still, being allowed to go to another team is the best thing for Jeff's career where he can try to crack the rotation. I don't know much about Ramon Aguero. He played at multiple levels this past year showing some sign of hope for his future, I guess.
The one that I do not understand is the releasing of Justin Thomas. He is the only left handed bullpen guy on the team, and I do not see the Pirates adding another by free agency and with no free spots, I do not think they will get on in Rule 5, which is unreliable anyway. The Pirate pen is back to an all righty affair (unless Dumatrait moves to the pen for good), and adding this Jakubauskas guy is crazy. He has not shown major league stuff. Too few strike outs. This guy is already 30 and will give up homeruns left and right in Wrigley and just about every place the Pirates play.
One can only hope a left handed reliever will be signed and Jakubauskas gets reassigned off of the 40 Man Roster.
Searching for the True Upside in Erik Gonzalez
7 hours ago