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.

Gregor Blanco

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.

Cody Asche

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.

Coco Crisp

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.

Colby Rasmus

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.

Chris Coghlan

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.

Featured image credit – Arturo Pardavila – Flickr Creative Commons

Matt Shetler

Matt is a life long Pirates fan with both a newspaper and radio background. Before coming to Pirates Breakdown he was most recently the co-owner and lead columnist for Pittsburgh Sporting News. He has been a credentialed writer for all four major sports and also has written for plenty of other sports and fantasy sports websites.

  • i really don’t see the need. On the bench already you have Adam, Alen and John. When a 4/5th is needed, Bell or Harrison can go into the OF and and a combo of David, John or Adam can fill the infield. Whoever they sign, hopefully it is a near league minimum deal…. Meadows should be here shortly after super-2 to take the 4th spot and maybe force someone else into that role.

    I think Jose Tabata is available 😉 (/s)

    • Bobby Ewing

      Redrage normally I’d agree but it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a fourth outfielder

      • I’d hate to see meadows get blocked by a 4th OF

        • Lee Foo Young

          When AM is ready, nobody is blocking him!

          • Pirates Breakdown

            That’s the truth.

          • well don’t want to give a coach a reason to put in Bobby Bo over meadows 😉

        • Bobby Ewing

          good point

    • Groat2Maz2Strangeglove

      Meadows hit .214 in his 1/2 season of AAA. He is in no way ready to play in the Major Leagues; maybe not until September.

      • in 145 plate appearances.. in the minor leagues, still hit 6HR and reasonable (yet not spetacular) OBPS

        He’ll be here this summer unless Cutch, Polanco and Marte are all having MVP years… and doesn’t get traded of course.

        • Groat2Maz2Strangeglove

          Do you not realize this is the Pirates? The BMTIB?

          McCutch, Marte, Polanco, Cole——all spent significant time in Minors and especially in AAA.

          You are commenting from your heart and not your head or your eyes.
          Meadows is a year away.

          • Marte and Polanco where international free agent signings and started pro ball at the age of 17..both where in the mlb by age 23. Their different animals than Cutch and Meadows. around the time of super-2.. austin will have spent about as much time as Cutch did in the minors. If Austin does well in AAA (no reason to think he won’t) he has a good shot of being here.

          • Groat2Maz2Strangeglove

            McCutch spent parts of 3 seasons in AAA.
            His first season was a promotion from AA and he spent about the length of Meadows’ last season at AAA.
            Then he spent a full season of 600 plate appearances the next season.
            Finally, he was brought up after the Super 2 projected date in June of the following, third season of AAA.
            According to McCutch’s schedule, Meadows is 1 1/2 years away. Are you saying Meadows is more advanced than the 4-time Top 5 MVP candidate (and 1-time MVP)? Listen to yourself.

          • Most places who say they are experts say if it wasn’t for the loaded outfield he’d be here this summer. I tend to agree. If you don’t.. take it up with them.

  • I bleed pinstripes

    Trade for Gardner as a stop gap until Hearn is ready and able. I’m sure the Yankees would cover a good amount of the salary for a Legit prospect. Something like Hayes or Hearn