The Pirates announced minor league deals with outfielder Charlie Tilson and catcher Andrew Susac on Friday. Both players will be in Major League camp this spring, as will lefties Derek Holland and Robbie Erlin, whose previously reported minor league deals were confirmed by the team.
Tilson, 27, was once a well-regarded prospect with the Cardinals and White Sox. Known primarily for his speed, he was flipped from St. Louis to Chicago several years ago in a deal that sent Zach Duke to the Cardinals. The ChiSox hoped they’d found a top-of-the-order hitter who could provide good defense and generally serve as a nuisance to other teams on the basepaths, but Tilson unfortunately tore his hamstring in his debut game with the Sox back in 2016. Other lower half injuries, namely a stress reaction in his right foot, limited him substantially the following year.
Tilson has now appeared in 96 big league games but has never gotten back on track after that rash of injuries in 2016-17. He’s a career .246/.310/.290 hitter in the Majors, although last year’s Triple-A showing (.288/.345/.398) at least created a bit of optimism that perhaps he could still tap into some of that previous potential. Tilson swiped only eight bases between Triple-A and the Majors in 2019, however, so it appears his days as a 40-steal threat might be in the past now that those lower-half injuries have taken their toll.
Susac, meanwhile, was not only a well-regarded prospect but was at various points considered to be among the game’s top 100 farmhands during his days with the Giants. His strong work early in his career in Triple-A has never really carried over to the Majors, though, and the now-29-year-old backstop (30 in March) has a career .221/.283/.373 slash in 300 big league plate appearances. He’s a career .247/.351/.431 hitter in Triple-A — numbers that are somewhat skewed by an awful 2017 season with Milwaukee’s top affiliate.
The spending spree begins
nutting giving Ben some dollar bills!
Literally dollar bills. Ben shopping at the Dollar Tree today.
Pirates and Rangers are in a race to sign all the former Giants.
I don’t get it when will the pirates be good again. Must be tough for pirates fans to watch certain players flourish and really have nothing to show. The latest blunder trading Austin meadows away for basically nothing. When will the pirates front office learn. They sign garbage fill in players praying and let players like gerrit cole and Tyler Glasnow go mind boggling..
Gerrit Cole was never going to resign, and the Pirates weren’t going to be contenders by the time his contract ended. So it made sense to let him go. The Archer trade may end up going down as the worst in history though, it was completely unnecessary, and set the team back at least three years. So yeah, Pirates fans are tired of it. They’re hoping Cherington is at least somewhat better than Huntington
Too me it didn’t take much to see that archer was already declining. Emptying top players for him made no sense and pirates fans should be angry about that trade. I thought it was a dumb move
Definitely not a “ton”
Remains to be seen if the Archer trade was truly horrible or not. Meadows had a huge 1st third of the season, horrible middle third and average last 3rd. No way to tell which Meadows is the real one yet. Glasgow had a great start then was on the shelf for much of the season and kind of finished ugly. Again not much to say which Glasgow will be the one going forward. It may go down as the worst trade ever stil or one that ends up being a yawner for both sides. We all have to wait and see.
Meadows clearly wasn’t that bad at the end of the season, given he still ended the year with a .291 average and 33 HRs. It’s atrocious, no matter which way you look at it. Glasnow outperformed Archer, and will continue to do so as long as his ERA stays under 5, Baz is a top prospect, and Meadows, however good he may be, is icing on the cake. It’s never going to be anywhere near an even trade.
Did you guys know that Charlie Tilson went to New Trier H.S. just outside of Chicago?
Yeah they talked about him growing up a ChiSox fan outside Chicago when he was traded to them years ago.
That is one rare area for Sox fans. Most are Cub fans believe me I know that since I was one too.
Yeah, his grand slam against the Astros, Jason Benetti made a reference to it as well.
Cherington makes Huntingdon look like Dombrowski.
They stopped dumpster diving to go landfill diving, instead.
It’s a rebuild year. What do you expect? Mookie Betts?
I didn’t expect Nutting’s shell game to work so well, to be honest.
Mendoza Line 215
I can only see the Marte trade as a salary dump as they did not have to trade him,especially at that time.
I hope Ben does not plan to make the Pirates into a 60 win team.
Charlie Tilson’s War, fighting off the lower body injuries.
I’m pretty sure I saw Susac’s first hit and RBI at a 2014 game I attended against the Pirates. That was the game in which Pittsburgh literally walked into a double play when the runner on third thought Jean Machi had walked in a run- when that walk had only loaded the bases.
I remember watching that game live and wanting to punch the TV lol.
Lunch box brain fart
Man that was awful. I haven’t looked at 3rd base the same since
As Red Sox fan, I can’t blame ownership not giving BC money to spend. Worked out so well for Boston allowing him to throw out ridiculous contracts to Hanley and Sandoval. Though I’m aware Pittsburgh’s ownership is always tight.
This is the most obvious form of tanking I’ve ever seen. I sure hope Cherington drafts well the next couple years.
Hasn’t Pittsburgh been tanking for the last 20 years or so? How’s it working so far?
Yes they’ve been tanking it the last 20 years. 2013, 14, and 15 were just dreams.
Mendoza Line 215
ronn-That is supposed to be his forte as trading and signing free agents clearly are not.
He will do a good job for a small market team if he can excel in that area.
Tilson may have been dropped for his defense as much as his hitting. He was the primary right fielder for a stretch and in general played the position poorly. This wasn’t a question of arm strength but breaks on balls and in a few instances just catching a ball.
Where are all the pirate fans at that said Nutting is just going to pocket martes salary? They are reallocating it just like they said. Just to 17 different guys instead of one.
Some of them has a clause that they can option out of minor league contract if not on the team for opening day or so-and-so time. Really Nutting is paying these guys for ST performances which is years salary for the peanut guy at PNC Park. Wait, wasn’t he traded for the new Steve Blass bobble head?
Many times a top 100 prospect doesn’t work out…..
Hell yeah. Let’s gooooo! 5 team race in the Central
This is more about a shallow farm system than the major league team. They need to stock more prospects any way they can get them. All of these guys were highly regarded. A come back here or there and it can pay off.
Wohoo. Minor league team. Good job nut bag.
They throw a bunch of mud at the wall and hoping someone sticks. Not a lot of financial risk.
Why does Charlie Tilson still have a job??
These moves are why the team league needs a minimum salary threshold. It’s pretty clear by these vulture moves the Pirate have no interest in fielding a competitive team this year.