As promised, here is this week’s Pirates Offseason Update. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s update headlined by the Derek Shelton hire and Starling Marte trade rumors.
With Winter Meetings kicking off this past Sunday evening, expect this week to be huge for potential trades and moves. So stay tuned as everything unfolds, but review what happened in the last week below:
Pittsburgh Local Hired As Bench Coach
On Saturday, the Pirates announced the hiring of Don Kelly as their new Bench Coach. This name may come as familiar to Pittsburgh as he not only made his MLB debut for the Pirates in 2007, but he went to Mount Lebanon High School and Point Park College.
Kelly played nine seasons of Major League Ball for the Pirates, Tigers, and Marlins. Last season, he served as the First Base Coach for the Houston Astros. Kelly is replacing Tom Prince who was the Pirates Bench Coach from 2017-2019.
Some people had Kelly pegged as a potential replacement for Clint Hurdle as Manager so I am happy to have a young resource like him (39 years old) in the Pirates system.
Other Coaching Staff Decisions
One of the big buzzes since Shelton joined the team was which coaches would be staying and which would be leaving. The Pirates answered some of those questions as they announced that Joey Cora (Third Base Coach), Rick Eckstein (Hitting Coach), and Justin Meccage (TBD) will all be returning to the team in 2020. I absolutely love keeping Eckstein.
The biggest question is who will replace Ray Searage as the new Pitching Coach? Meccage was the assistant pitching coach last year so this is something to keep your eyes on.
Names Rumored To Be Traded
Based on statements made by Ben Cherington, it appears as if any player on the Pirates roster is on the table to be moved in a trade. Starling Marte is probably the biggest (realistic) chip that could be moved, but I expect more names to be heard in rumors in the coming days.
Yesterday, Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette reported this about teams being interested in Adam Frazier:
Frazier sneakily had a strong season as an everyday second baseman. His offensive numbers were average (improvement compared to his past seasons) and he was a Gold Glove finalist at second base. He had a 2.7 WAR (Baseball Reference) and most importantly, he is under team control through 2022.
The Pirates should absolutely look to move Frazier as their infield is deep with Newman, Tucker, Gonzalez, and Ke’Bryan Hayes who is quickly moving through the minors.
If Frazier is traded, I will miss his walk-up song…
Pirates Awarded Competitive Balance Draft Pick
Every year, the MLB gives teams toward the bottom of revenue, winning percentage, and market score an extra draft pick as a way to balance competition. This pick is either after the first round (Round A) or the second round (Round B). This year, the Pirates were awarded a Round A competitive balance pick which equates to the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft. So the Buccos will get two early selections (7th and 32nd) in the upcoming June draft.
Woohoo! That’s what I am talking about. Who cares about a respectable payroll when you get an additional early draft pick? Things are turning around, baby!
^^This is obvious sarcasm, but I will take whatever we can get to bolster our farm system.^^
Tune in next week! Maybe there will be actual moves to report on…