The Pittsburgh Pirates offseason is already off to a very busy start. However, could things get even busier once the true offseason kicks off?
The biggest news this summer for the Pittsburgh Pirates has been the managerial shakeup, along with a few other coaching changes. The team has let go of veteran manager Clint Hurdle, pitching coach Ray Searage and bench coach Tom Prince. The beginning of the offseason will be dominated by the coaching search.
However, do not forget about the actual offseason. The Pittsburgh Pirates had a miserable season and a lot of it can be blamed on the coaching staff and front office. Still, the talent on the field was just not good enough compared to the other teams in the National League Central. The Bucs are going to have to make some moves to try to improve this young team. This may include trading some veterans and/or prospects this offseason.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates being such a young team, there is a lot of reason to be optimistic. The team however needs to find some more young pieces to put around their current core of Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, and Kevin Newman. With the team unlikely to go after any proven upside free agents, they likely will move to the trade market for improvements.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates having such a young roster, the team could look to trade centerfielder Starling Marte. Marte has proven to one of the best all-around outfielders in baseball with the ability to hit for power and average, have plus speed, and play elite defense. Meanwhile, he is entering the last two years of team control with relatively expensive options – for the Pirates – of $11.5 and $12.5 million over the next two years.
As the Pittsburgh Pirates start to ramp up their search for a new manager we will take a look at potential targets that have ties to the organization
As the Pittsburgh Pirates enter the second week of their off-season, general manager Neal Huntington’s search for a new manager will continue to intensify. This search, of course, comes after the Pirates dismissed former manager Clint Hurdle of his duties just a few hours prior to the 2019 season finale on September 29th.
Now, odds are, the team will not announce a new manager for at least a few more weeks. As a note of reference, Hurdle was hired as a manager on November 14, 2010.
A reason the Hurdle hire took as a long as it did was due to Hurdle serving as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers prior to coming to Pittsburgh to be manager. In 2010, the Rangers reached the World Series which limited Hurdle’s opportunities to interview with the Pirates.
If the Pirates look to hire a manager from a team still competing in the postseason, then there could be a delay in this hire happening. However, for the first part of our look at potential managerial candidates we will look at three men not participating in the MLB postseason in any way. We are going to start with three men that have ties to the Pirate organization that could be potential managerial candidates.
Furthermore, it may make sense as the Pittsburgh Pirates are in a different spot with their roster. The team is young and Marte is going on 31; he likely is not going to be a part of the next wave. He is also coming off a big year at the plate that saw him post a career high .295 batting average along with a career high in home runs with 23. If there was ever a time to trade Marte, now might be that time.
The Bucs have plenty of young pieces going forward on the offensive side of things. Players like Bell, Reynolds, Newman, Cole Tucker, and eventually Ke’Bryan Hayes. The biggest area of need is the pitching rotation. The Bucs rotation was one of the worst in recent baseball history in 2019. They need to look to improve the rotation and not just hope for players to bounce back.
There are plenty of teams that have young pitching that could help this team at the start of next season. Teams like the Mets, Padres, Braves, and others always seem to be in the market for outfielders. Furthermore, the free agent class does not have any impact free agents in the outfield. So, could the Bucs look to make a move with one of those teams? We should find out sooner than later.