With the departure of Matt Joyce to the Oakland A’s, the Pittsburgh Pirates should be in the market to add a fourth outfielder this offseason.
The Pittsburgh Pirates do have a lot of flexibility with their current roster, as guys like Adam Frazier, Josh Harrison and Josh Bell have all seen time in the outfield. Throw in the fact that John Jaso is expected to get some work in the outfield in spring training and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle should have a lot of options.
But it typically would be nice to have a legitimate fourth outfielder to turn to.
Particularly a left-handed hitting one.
While it will be very hard to replace the .886 OPS, 13 homers and 42 RBI that Joyce delivered a season ago for cheap, there are a few guys still on the market that could be decent bench options for the 2017 season.
The veteran Blanco won’t offer much pop, having only hit one homer in 2016 and posting a .620 OPS, but the 33-year old has always proven to be a good glove guy and is accustomed to coming off the bench.
It’s highly doubtful that Blanco gets a deal approaching the $3.9 million he made a season ago with the San Francisco Giants and would certainly be the type of veteran Hurdle would like to have in his dugout.
Once a highly thought of prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, Asche was recently non-tendered by the Phillies.
The 26-year old made the switch from third base to the outfield in 2015 to make from for Maikel Franco, but Asche wasn’t able to find a permanent home.
Asche offers up a little bit of power from the left side, having hit double-digit homers in both 2014 and 2015. He hasn’t been able to put it all together offensively to be an everyday player, but he could be a guy with a little bit of upside coming off the bench.
The 37-year old Crisp would be a nice addition to the Pirates’ bench. A switch hitter, Crisp still has some pop in his bat, having hit 13 homers in 2016. At this point in his career Crisp is likely a bench guy, the only question is whether or not he would be out of the Pirates price range.
That’s likely the case, but the longer he remains unsigned, he becomes a bit better option for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The left-handed hitting Rasmus can play all three outfield positions and would offer a little pop off the bench.
There isn’t much of a market for the 30-year old right now and he certainly won’t be receiving a contract anywhere near the $15.8 million he made last season.
While I have never been much of a fan of Rasmus, he could be the type of guy that the Pirates could look at one a one-year deal to give him an opportunity to get his value back up. It worked for Joyce. You would like to see the Pirates bench have a little more power and Rasmus may be a guy worth targeting.
Public enemy number one, the thought of Coghlan in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform is almost laughable. But considering there isn’t much out there at the moment, he could be an intriguing option.
Coghlan put up .391 OBP last season for the World Series champs and is used to coming off the bench and spot starting.
You have to wonder how Jung-Ho Kang would feel about this, but in a very thin outfield market at the moment, Coghlan could at least warrant a look as he should come cheap. As you can see, the market for left-handed hitting outfielders isn’t a very strong one.
If the Pittsbugh Pirates want to add a veteran fourth outfielder to their roster, there really isn’t much available.
What Neal Huntington must figure out is whether or not he is comfortable running guys like Jaso and Frazier out there to spell the three regulars or if it worth taking a shot on a veteran that may not offer up a whole heck of a lot of upside.
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Featured image credit – Arturo Pardavila – Flickr Creative Commons