The Pirates are next in our arbitration eligibles series…
- First time: Joel Hanrahan, Lastings Milledge, Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf
- Second time: Wil Ledezma
- Third time: Zach Duke, Ronny Cedeno
Position players Milledge, LaRoche, and Young are on the bubble. Milledge probably doesn't have an everyday role on next year's club, but he's cheap enough to keep around as a fourth outfielder. LaRoche and Young would fill less prominent bench roles, but it's possible the Pirates could trade or non-tender one or both.
Karstens was designated for assignment in November of last year and went unclaimed. He's probably still expendable. Despite a 6.86 ERA in 19.6 innings (inflated by one outing), there was a lot to like about Ledezma's stint with the club. He averaged almost 94 mph on his fastball, his peripherals were strong, and the team is light on lefty relievers. He may still be non-tendered, but I expect the Pirates to try to retain him.
Duke, 28 in April, is likely to be non-tendered if there's no trade interest. A month ago, 88% of MLBTR readers predicted the lefty will be cut loose. Duke needs a good defense behind him, but if healthy he has his moments.