After some time off from updating I will be posting a little more than once a year. We wills start that off with a early look to the 2023 team. The biggest news is of course Andrew McCutchen is back. That of course isn’t the best news. The best news is that the Pirates seem to be setting up for a run to not be bad in 2023.
The Pirates made a few other signings that are instant upgrades. Assuming of course they do not regress. So we will start there.
Cutch brings back some huge public relations good will. That is desperately needed in Pittsburgh. Outside of that, it is more of a side grade than much of an upgrade. A weak spot for the Pirates is the outfield. Cutch is not a center fielder really, but he can still play there if pressed. He will likely fit better in right field or at the DH. Cutch will be in the line up against lefties somewhere with little doubt and probably anytime the Pirates are home. Expect near average play from him but it could go either way. Age setting him back or playing from his home town giving him a boost.
Rich Hill to round out what should be a starting rotation that is better out of the gate than in 2022. He won’t be headlining the rotation but even if he is a back end pitcher he should provide some stability and provide valuable lessons for the younger pitchers.
Jarlín García is an instant boost the the bullpen he has had some success. Along with David Bednar they should have a quality back end pen. Even better they got a 2024 option on his contract.
Austin Hedges is a quality defense first catcher. His bat will hurt the line up there is no doubt there. His defense though may even out his contributions on the field. He may not make it with the team through the year given prospects are looking for their way to hit the MLB team.
Connor Joe (via trade) has made his way back to the Pirates Organization. He has had some great success at AAA and some limited success at the MLB level. He is an interesting option for first and the outfield. He may not stick but he is a fair addition.
Vince Velasquez most “experts” see him as a Starter. He isn’t a starter any more. Consider him a sixth man, long relief type. Of course the Pirates have to give him a fair amount of innings as a starter in spring and maybe early 2023 but I don’t see him staying there. However, he could be one of those who turns out to be a decent back end guy that might bring a bit back in trade at the deadline. In my opinion, this signing wasn’t very good.
Wei-Chieh Huang a under the radar waiver claim from the giants. He might not even make it to spring but he has some quality stuff that could be quality out of the pen. Great pickup that costs nothing.
Carlos Santana at first base and DH is huge. First base has long been a weak spot for the Pirates. Even average defense will be a huge upgrade.
Ji-Man Choi another first base and outfield player who has had some middling success.
So far the Pirates have spent a fair amount on free agents and made some cheap trades that should upgrade the 25man roster going into 2023
Next up we will look at the starting pitcher options for 2023