SOUTH HILLS – As GM Neal Huntington has said many times, as any baseball realist appreciates, for the Pirates to be successful they must build their core – and the outer core, too – from within. The free agent market has only become more expensive and less efficient so there’s even less incentive for small market teams to seek out mid- and top-prices free agent assets. We’ve been over this before.
Still, Huntington has also noted that it’s impossible for every team to fill every void internally. For the Pirates to try and replicate their 2013 success it seems a quality left-handed, right-side corner bat, a starting pitcher, and at least a backup middle infielder, if not a platoon option, must be found externally. (I actually think Rafael Furcal makes sense because he can play both short and second and as a switch-hitter he could perhaps form a double platoon with Jordy Mercer and Neil Walker).
Look, few were expecting the Pirates to start throwing out mega dollars this offseason, that’s not smart business or realistic. But I did think it made a lot of sense to make AJ Burnett a qualifying offer, and it seems surprising – at least to me – the Pirates aren’t willing to pay closer to market rate on a one-year deal for Burnett. After all, Burnett did lead the NL in strikeout rate and groudnball rate last season.
Continue reading Market prices and the Pirates, Mikolas is a foodie, and what’s next on defense?