First Base Options For The Pirates

Pirates GM Neal Huntington recently expressed interest in finding a platoon partner for Garrett Jones at first base next year, specifically a right-handed hitter who performs well against southpaws.  MLBTR has eleven names to kick around; here they are with their work against lefties since 2008:

  • Mike Napoli – .321 batting average/.415 on-base percentage/.608 slugging percentage.  Napoli would be an expensive platoon bat, as he'll be getting a raise on this year's $3.6MM salary.  He could help out behind the dish as well, but the Bucs already have Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit under contract and may try to move the latter. 
  • Garrett Atkins – .297/.375/.468.  Atkins struggled against righties and lefties this year with the Orioles, but he'd only be a minor league signing. 
  • Ryan Garko – .294/.373/.443.  Same story as Atkins. 
  • Fernando Tatis – .286/.367/.435.  He's in line for a minor league deal as well, but will be battling back from July labrum surgery. 
  • Ty Wigginton – .273/.353/.425.  The Mets traded Wiggy, Jose Bautista, and Matt Peterson to the Pirates in '04 for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger.  Pirates GM Dave Littlefield released Wigginton in advance of the '05 Rule 5 draft so he could take Victor Santos from the Royals. 
  • Melvin Mora – .283/.351/.471.  He's had a resurgent year; perhaps the Rockies will look to re-sign him.  Mora would be a viable candidate for the Pirates, though most of his first base experience is limited to this year.
  • Andruw Jones - .215/.350/.427.  He's logged only eight career games at first base. 
  • Troy Glaus – .222/.350/.405.  Glaus could be signed on the cheap with the hope that his power returns. 
  • Jorge Cantu – .286/.349/.464.  Cantu's stock is down, but he could be a buy-low opportunity. 
  • Juan Rivera – .285/.335/.514.  Rivera's a trade candidate, but the Angels would have to pick up much of his $5.25MM salary for 2011.  Doumit will earn a similar amount, but he's not a great fit for the Halos. 
  • Marcus Thames – .264/.332/.504.  He doesn't have a ton of first base experience (44 games), but he will be coming off a fine season for the Yankees. 


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19 Comments on "First Base Options For The Pirates"


The_Porcupine
4 years 11 months ago

Well, the names that would be of some value are Glaus, Wigginton, and Napoli. The others just offer too little upside. Wigginton will probably find a better deal than the Pirates are willing to offer. He might be the ideal signing, considering his ability to move around the infield and spell different youngsters, but I think he’ll go elsewhere to play for a contender that gives him more playing time and job security. Napoli is a bit underrated for me and I’m not sure why the Angels are so quick to dump on him. However, I’d expect the Angels to want something of significance back on the pitching side (like one of the Pirates good relievers) and I doubt the Pirates will do that. Which leads Glaus as a free agent. He didn’t price himself out of their budget and didn’t perform well enough to expect a full time job to be given to him. His has power upside if he re-discovers his stroke. Not an earth shattering signing, but it does give the Pirates a good veteran mentor, someone that can have a bit of pop, and someone who is more than just roster filler. No he’s not an allstar and perhaps not an everyday player, but his strengths do compliment some of the Pirates weaknesses.

Rich
4 years 11 months ago

I’d much rather them sign, or especially, trade for a real first baseman and just Platoon Jones in rightfield. Besides if Pearce comes back strong we already have the other half of a the platoon.

Bucs666
4 years 11 months ago

Napoli, although as stated above, I don’t know what the price would be. Otherwise, I vote “None of the above”. If the Pirates really want a platoon, Steve Pearce will be back next year and though he isn’t the best answer, at least he wouldn’t cost anything through a signing or trade. And if worse comes to worst, move Alvarez over there. They are going to do it eventually, anyway. Play (OMFG) Andy LaRoche at third. At least he will bring you decent defense at third, and I can’t believe that he is really as bad as he has shown this year. Come on, Anthony Rendon!

4 years 11 months ago

these guys suck

i want pena or lee or berkman or trade for billy butler

brstreet9
4 years 11 months ago

I don’t think KC is giving up Butler.

derekbellstutu
4 years 11 months ago

Do I smell a Jeromy Burnitz comeback?!

arthur3
4 years 11 months ago

The Pirates need to avoid making the same mistakes of the past 18 years. Signing any of these guys will be taking valuable experience from the younger players. Their money would be much better spent on a starting pitcher with some upside.

Smrtbusnisman04
4 years 11 months ago

While I agree with you, the SPs on the market this year don’t impress me much.

The only ones i would consider are Brandon Webb or maybe, Javier Vasquez (buy low who pitches better in the N.L.).

derekbellstutu
4 years 11 months ago

I think for the Pirates to land Brandon Webb, they would have to give him a contract similar to Ben Sheets. Should the Bucs spend that kind of money (1 yr, $10M) on someone who hasn’t pitched much in the last two years?

4 years 11 months ago

trade for
prince

4 years 11 months ago

trade for
prince

NCBirdfan
4 years 11 months ago

How and where did you get Atkins’s batting average @ .297. NOT EVEN CLOSE!

NCBirdfan
4 years 11 months ago

How and where did you get Atkins’s batting average @ .297. NOT EVEN CLOSE!

4 years 11 months ago

any player with any skill set that appeals to any other team will not be interested in joining the pirates

—life-long pirate fan

inkstainedscribe
4 years 11 months ago

Wonder if the Braves will try to re-sign Glaus on the cheap and make him the RH part of a 1B platoon (and an emergency backup for Chipper). Before Troy’s knee gave out, he was carrying the offense.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 11 months ago

Wonder if the Braves will try to re-sign Glaus on the cheap and make him the RH part of a 1B platoon (and an emergency backup for Chipper). Before Troy’s knee gave out, he was carrying the offense.

Ian_Smell
4 years 11 months ago

I would love for the Pirates to bring back Nady. He could play at either first or right with one of Jones, Doumit, and possibly Bowker or Pearce at the other spot.

4 years 11 months ago

“Atkins struggled against righties and lefties this year with the Orioles, but he’d only be a minor league signing.”

Did he at least shine against ambidextrous pitchers?

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 11 months ago

getting a chance to watch the yankees everyynight here in ct, it’s hard to imagine the yankees NOT re-upping Thames for another year or two