NL Notes: Zimmerman, Morales, Pirates

As the clock ticks down to the start of a new year across North America, here's hoping that all of MLBTR's readers have a safe and happy end to 2013. Here are a few notes from the National League to round out the 2013 hot stove season:

  • Though Ryan Zimmerman will begin to see some time at first base in Spring Training, he remains entrenched at the hot corner, writes's Pete Kerzel. But Anthony Rendon is the organization's only other current big league option with a real track record at third, and he is widely expected to serve as the club's regular second baseman. In the immediate term, Kerzel says that the Nats may look to trade or claim a player who can back up at third. But looking into the future, the expiration of first baseman Adam LaRoche's deal after 2014 (assuming his mutual option is not exercised) will likely require Washington to make more definitive moves towards settling its infield alignment.
  • Kendrys Morales could make some "theoretical" sense for the Pirates on a "very team-friendly contract," writes's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required). But, says Olney, the club would be loath to part with its first round pick and the slot money that comes with it. I recently took a look at the market for Morales, assuming that an NL team would not be willing to sign him without a DH slot to park his bat. If clubs believe that he could handle a substantial workload at first, however, he may find additional suitors.
  • Olney ranks the Bucs as the tenth best team in baseball entering the new year. With a solid roster already in place, Olney posits that the club may wait until next year to make significant new additions. Of course, one major unresolved situation in Pittsburgh is the status of starter A.J. Burnett, who could still be brought back to provide a major boost to the club's rotation in 2014.

15 Responses to NL Notes: Zimmerman, Morales, Pirates Leave a Reply

  1. Drazthegr8 2 years ago

    Shouldn’t Morales wait to sign until after the Rule 4 draft and therefore not have his value weighed down by the draft pick compensation? He would then be marketing himself to contenders who can sign him vs have to trade prospects for a comparable bat?

    • John Donovan 2 years ago

      Wouldn’t the compensation just forward to the next draft? And would it be worth it to miss 3-4 months of salary for this endeavor?

      Someone will eventually figure out that 3 years of Morales is worth more value than MOST late first rounders will ever provide.

      • Drazthegr8 2 years ago

        If I read the CBA correctly, the draft pick is only for the current season. Would suck to lose 3 months of salary, but these guys would probably be worth far more in June than they are worth today (bc of the pick).

  2. Gothapotamus 2 years ago

    LaRoche is guaranteed $14M on his current deal. Trade him and $7m to the Bucs, then move Zimmerman to 1B and Rendon to 3B. This even works if the Bucs want to keep Gaby Sanchez around for the right / left platoon. Problem solved.

    • Natsfan89 2 years ago

      The only issue is then the Nats have to move Espinosa to 2nd. Espinosa on the bench is bad enough, him in the starting lineup is worse, him in the starting lineup with no reliable middle infield utility guy on the bench is even worse than the last.

    • GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

      We really do not want him back, assuming he hits like he did with us

      • David 2 years ago

        2007: .272/.345/.458
        2008: .270/.341/.500
        2009: .247/.329/.441.

        Apart from 2009, those numbers are pretty good. Not elite numbers, but certainly nothing to act like he was awful in his tenure with the Buccos.

        • unfurious 2 years ago

          You have to understand that LaRoche originally came to the Pirates with the front office hope/promise that he was the middle-of-the-order bat that we needed to rally around. Before he ever stepped to the plate, I hear all about his pretty swing. In a division with Pujols, Fielder, Derrek Lee, etc, he just didn’t stack up. He also had an annoying habit of under-performing until PIT was well out of the pennant race (aka May), and then he’d smash the ball when it didn’t matter anymore. I would give Adam another shot. I think he fits what we need now. I just wouldn’t give up a ton for him.

  3. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    Morales fits perfectly. Right behind Pedro batting 5th. Marte/Polanco/McCutchen/Alvarez/Morales/Walker/Martin/Mercer. I also think Stephen Drew fits good also. But it’s doubtful they’d give up 2 picks let alone one. Marte/Polanco/McCutchen/Alvarez/Morales/Drew/Martin/Walker is very good, with Mercer resting all of the lefty hitting infielders

  4. wadesawko 2 years ago

    Would Seattle take the Pirates spot in the draft?

    • Stevil 2 years ago

      No, they’d receive a compensatory at the end of the first round (if the Pirates haven’t already signed someone else tied to compensation). The Pirates simply lose their spot; everyone else moves up one.

  5. LetsGoBucs92122 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t want the Pirates to lose their 1st round pick for a year of Morales. Not worth it IMO.

    Very happy to see the Pirates ranked 10th!! They have come a long, long way under the current regime.

  6. Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 2 years ago

    Likewise. Thanks to everyone who read and commented on this super-exciting night of MLB transactional news!

  7. Gothapotamus 2 years ago

    It’s cheaper and more intellectually stimulating than celebrating a superfluous “holiday”.

  8. Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 2 years ago


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