The Pirates have fixed their 40 Man roster, and it is not a very surprising year. This year I don't think the Pirates will lose anyone in the Rule 5 Draft, although it looks like they could choose someone as the roster is only at 39. If they can't get a free agent, they may take a chance. And they have to make some decisions on tendering offers yet. If they choose not to keep someone like Resop (which would be okay with me) or Karstens (which would upset me), then there are more spots for more signings.
The Pirates added Tony Sanchez and Ramon Cabrera. Both are catchers but only Sanchez has real chance of making a contribution. Cabrera is a sign of our lack of depth at catcher. If we do sign a catcher, he could be dropped from the 40 man without much worry.
They added Vic Black, who is going to be a late inning bullpen guy and maybe one day a closer. I like Black, and I think we see him this year in Pittsburgh. One of the reasons Resop is expendable. They also added Hunter Strickland. This is just the Pirates liking velocity and hoping.
The Pirates added Phil Irwin, who forced them to do it. He is a low 90's pitcher who has done nothing but win at every level. He was their only pitcher when he was at West Virginia, but all assumed he would wash out at Bradenton, a hitters park. He didn't. This past year he showed he could win at AA, and in fact seems to be getting more strikeouts. Irwin would have been taken, so he has to be protected. I am excited to see him at AAA this year.
Those left off are in little danger of going anywhere with one exception. First, this is the end of Jarek Cunningham. He was highly thought of by many people, but was never any good. He had power, but baseball is about a lot more than power, like being able to hit.
The one who could get taken is Kyle Kaminska. He was part of the Gabby Sanchez trade and saw some time with the Pirates. They tried him out in the AFL, but apparently were not pleased enough to give him a slot. He did well in the AFL, but not really anywhere else. We will see if a team takes a runner on Kyle and hides him in the bullpen.
It should also be noted that this is the end of the line for Tim Alderson. He was not added. I don't think he will get picked, but it is basically the Pirates giving up on him. Starter, bullpen, fix his delivery, and whatever else was held out as hope is all gone. Alderson is a bust, and stands as clearly the worst trade the Pirates have made in some time. Just awful.
Winter Meetings are on the horizon. Free agents here we come.
Series Preview: Mets at Pirates
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