Emailer Joe tipped me off to a blog referencing an article from a Dominican news service. The article discusses Pittsburgh’s interest in Sammy Sosa.
Despite my pathetic grasp on the Spanish language, here’s what I’ve pieced together from Rob Rossi’s article.
With Joe Randa in tow as the Pirates’ third baseman, they’d like to make one more free agent acquisition this winter. Now that first choice Eric Byrnes has a tentative agreement with the Diamondbacks, Sammy Sosa is the primary target for right field. Apparently several teams desire Sosa’s services (I must’ve translated that part wrong.)
The Pirates plan to bat Randa sixth, and they’d like Sosa to hit fourth or fifth in the lineup. Pirates’ management has the money available to sign Sosa. As far as I can tell, Rossi thinks the Pirates will be an improved team under the management of Jim Tracy. The reunion of Sean Casey and Joe Randa and improved defense are key components.
If there are any Spanish-speaking readers who’d like to offer corrections to my translation, I welcome it.
In case the Pirates missed it, Sosa hit a woeful .221/.295/.376 in 380 at-bats for the Orioles in 2005. It was his worst year since 1991, when he had a wispy mustache and hit .203/.240/.335 in 316 at-bats for the White Sox. Since I like to point out the hidden positives occasionally, Sosa did manage a .288/.370/.471 line in 104 at-bats against lefties in ’05. Honestly I think he would’ve made an entertaining platoonmate for Jacque Jones. Now that would’ve been humbling.
Anyway, signing Sosa would seem to make Craig Wilson the odd man out in Pittsburgh. The 29 year-old doesn’t deserve this fate, as he boasts a career line of .268/.363/.488 in 1593 at-bats and can play catcher, first base, left field, and right field. Expect some team far more intelligent than the Cubs or Pirates to make a deal for Wilson this winter.