J.A. Happ will be a free agent for the first time this winter and the Pirates have indicated they will try to re-sign him. For his part, Happ says that he wouldn’t mind staying in Pittsburgh, as Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes.
“It’s a team I would definitely consider, absolutely,” Happ said. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m happy with where I’m at right now, and we’ll see what’s down the road.”
Happ pitched to a 4.64 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 21 starts for the Mariners. However, after being traded to the Pirates this summer, Happ turned things around, posting an eye-popping 1.85 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 across eleven starts.
Here’s more on the Bucs..
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington should move first baseman Pedro Alvarez to an American League team where the slugger can flourish as a DH, Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review opines. Alvarez regained his power in 2015 but his fielding woes continue and he’s not the right fit for Pittsburgh at first base, Rossi writes.
- Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if Alvarez, Neil Walker and Mark Melancon will be retained by the Pirates given their likely arbitration raises. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects that Walker ($10.7MM), Melancon ($10MM), and Alvarez ($8.1MM) will all cost a pretty penny.
- We could see major changes in Pittsburgh this winter, MLB.com’s Tom Singer writes. The Bucs’ payroll will undoubtedly exceed $100MM in 2016, but there are still difficult decisions for Huntington to make.