Another Tuesday, another Pirates Offseason Update. Catch up on what went down in the past seven days as Winter Meetings came to a close and the Pirates coaching staff and roster slowly come to form.
Oscar Marin Hired As Pitching Coach
Yesterday, the Pirates answered the biggest remaining question about their coaching staff by hiring Oscar Marin. The new pitching coach will replace Ray Searage who was in the role since 2011.
Last year, Marin was the bullpen coach for the Rangers and before that served as the Mariner’s minor-league pitching coordinator. Marin, 37, is on the younger side as he breaks into the biggest role of his career. Hopefully he brings a more analytical approach to the Bucs pitching staff.
Also announced was former Assistant Pitching Coach Justin Meccage being named the bullpen coach. Meccage was interviewing for the Pitching Coach role, but will stay on the Pirates staff for the upcoming season.
Pirates Make First Free Agent Signing Of Offseason
Catcher Luke Maile has been signed by the Pirates. Maile has played in the MLB since 2015 and spent the last three seasons with the Blue Jays. GM Cherington is quite familiar with Maile as they both spent time in Toronto.
Maile’s career offense numbers are cringeworthy (.198 / .252 / .304), but it appears that he is an improvement defensively compared to Elias Diaz. Maile will be paired alongside Jacob Stallings who also brings more defensive value to the table than value with the bat.
Overall, this acquisition is not one that will appease the majority of fans. The team has a gigantic roster hole at catcher and they sign a guy with a lifetime batting average under .200. This move points to a full commitment to a rebuild so brace yourself.
I do think Cherington is still working hard to get a young high-level catching prospect in an inevitable Starling Marte trade.
Get Ready For A Teardown
As mentioned above, I think the Maile signing is a clear indication of the team’s plans for 2020. Rebuild, rebuild, rebuild, and rebuild. Expect to see Marte, Frazier, Kela and potentially others to be on the move in the coming months.
I am fine with this. In fact, I like it. At least a decision is being made to blow things up and start over. No more ridiculously optimistic and naive statements from the organization about where the team is at and the 10,000 simulations that are made.
Glad to see the front office is getting more realistic.
Here’s to hoping Santa brings us some nice prospect this holiday season.