5 First Base Opportunities Pittsburgh Pirates Missed Out On
5 First Basemen Pittsburgh Pirates Should Have Acquired
The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to begin the 2014 MLB season with a platoon of Gaby Sanchez and Andrew Lambo. The Sanchez side of the platoon would be fine, he crushes left-handed pitching, but the Pirates should not be comfortable giving a player with 33 career plate appearances the first base job. Not only does Lambo have just 33 plate appearances, but they haven’t been productive either. Lambo also hasn’t played much first base in his career – he is normally an outfielder.
After having their most productive season since 1992, the Pirates told their fans that they would try to increase payroll significantly if it made sense. With all the extra revenue flowing in because of their playoff appearance, great attendance and the $30 million in national television money that they received, the Pirates have no reason to not spend money this offseason.
To this point, the Pirates have spent around $8 million -- $1 million for Chris Stewart, $2 million for Clint Barmes and $5 million for Edinson Volquez. This means that they should have money left to spend if they feel comfortable doing so. With a huge hole at first base, the Pirates have no good excuse to enter the season without a better option.
The free-agent market isn’t great for first basemen at this point; in fact, it wasn’t very good to begin with. Luckily, there are still some scraps left over and there are still some options on the trade market. Unfortunately, I’m in a negative mood tonight so we will take a look at the five options the Pirates missed out on this offseason.
5. Justin Morneau
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Justin Morneau in August to provide a boost to a lineup that really needed a boost. He didn't provide any power, but he did give the Bucs very good plate appearances. The Colorado Rockies were able to sign Morneau to a two-year, $12.5 million deal.
4. James Loney
The Tampa Bay Rays got a bit of a steal by signing James Loney to a three-year, $21 million deal. They probably didn't want to go three years, but getting Loney at just $7 million annually is very good value.
2. Corey Hart
On the surface, the one-year, $6 million deal for Corey Hart looks like a huge steal for the Seattle Mariners. However, they did add up to $7 million in incentives that could allow Hart to make $13 million in 2014. Still, the Pittsburgh Pirates should have been connected to Hart more often than they were.