With the offseason a little over a month away, the Pittsburgh Pirates have some needs to fill. It can’t be another offseason in which Neal Huntington doesn’t sign a single player to a major league contract.
While adding power to the lineup can be considered a huge priority, adding a veteran shortstop to the mix should be pretty high on the list as well.
This much we know. The Pirates will not be involved in discussions to land Manny Machado.
After Machado though, the free agent shortstop class is very weak.
That’s why it would be a good idea for the Bucs to make a play to bring back Jordy Mercer.
The idea looks like it’s for Kevin Newman to be the starter heading into spring training and while the numbers didn’t look great in Newman’s trial run at the end of the season, the game started to slow down for him and he started to look more comfortable by season’s end.
Overall, after a productive Triple-A season, Newman hit just .209/.247/.231 in 97 plate appearances at the MLB level.
The team will need a veteran backup to mentor Newman along the way or even step in as the starter if Newman falters.
Mercer could be the best of the available bunch.
If Huntington can’t acquire a capable veteran shortstop on the trade market, here’s a look at the best of a weak free agent class the Pirates will have to choose from.