With the 2013 MLB trade deadline just two weeks away, all 30 teams are trying to decide if they want to upgrade their current team or build for the future. For teams that are upgrading the 2013 team, they need to decide where to improve. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, they know they will be buyers, but they need to decide what position to upgrade.
All the rumors surrounding the Pirates involve pitching depth, shortstop and right field. Some people think right field is the biggest need, while others believe another starting pitcher and bullpen help is most important. However, with the way Jose Tabata has been playing in right field recently, do the Pirates really need to upgrade the outfield?
I will admit, for whatever reason, I have been a huge Tabata fan ever since he was a rookie. Unfortunately, he was out of shape last season, and his game struggled because of it. This season, he has lost some weight and he appears to be back to his rookie season form.
In his rookie season, Tabata hit for a .299/.346/.400 slash line in 441 plate appearances with 19 stolen bases. In 140 plate appearances in 2013, Tabata is hitting .286/.348/.421 with three steals.
While Tabata has done a very good job in right field for the Pirates, I do think they need to acquire some help before the trade deadline. Not only would it upgrade the starting outfield, but it would also move Tabata to the bench. The Pirates’ bench has probably been the worst bench in all of MLB this season, so upgrading the bench will be very important for the Pirates to make a potential World Series run. Keeping guys like Brandon Inge, Josh Harrison and Michael McKenry on the bench isn’t a recipe for success.