3 Players the Pirates Need to Sign Once Freeze is Lifted
By Joe Birdsall
The Pittsburgh Pirates finished a disappointing 69-93 in the 2019 MLB season, and appear to have regressed even further heading into 2020. However, with the upcoming season reduced to a mere 60 games, Pittsburgh may have a chance to compete for a playoff spot if it adds talented players to an already low payroll. If the Pirates hope to be competitive in 2020, they should seriously consider signing these three players.
3. Scooter Gennett
While second baseman Scooter Gennett's last two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants have been mostly disappointing, the 30-year-old has shown an ability to be a reliable hitter in the past. Sporting a .286 career batting average, Gennett could bring a reliable veteran bat to a Pirates team which desperately needs one. He could likely be signed to a cheap, short-term deal, which seems to align which the organization's long-term rebuilding plans.
2. Aaron Sanchez
The Pirates would be wise to add 27-year-old right hander Aaron Sanchez, as most pitchers still on the market are in their mid-to-late thirties. While he struggled mightily in 2019, posting a 5-14 record and 5.89 ERA, Pittsburgh is in desperate need of pitching talent, and taking on Sanchez as a project could pay dividends in the long term. His 2016 season with Toronto was spectacular, and recapturing that kind of ability could help him become a consistent piece of the Pirates' rotation.
1. Yasiel Puig
It is somewhat surprising that Yasiel Puig is still a free agent, as he has been a fairly consistent hitter throughout his MLB career. Coming off of a season in which he had 24 home runs and 84 RBI, the outfielder is worth a look for most teams, but could be one of Pittsburgh's best players in 2020 -- and a sellable player at the Aug. 31 deadline. If the front office is willing to make a strong offer, Puig could be a key contributor for the Pirates in 2020, especially with the adoption of a universal DH.