Pittsburgh Pirates: Three potential offseason moves to watch for

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Jared Oliva #76 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Bryan Reynolds #10 and Gregory Polanco #25 after defeating the Chicago Cubs 7-0 at PNC Park on September 24, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Jared Oliva #76 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Bryan Reynolds #10 and Gregory Polanco #25 after defeating the Chicago Cubs 7-0 at PNC Park on September 24, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Alex Wood
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Low-cost veteran signings can help the Pittsburgh Pirates build for the future.

We can’t talk about moves without discussing at least one free agent signing. Unfortunately, writing about a group of guys who could join the organization on minor league contracts isn’t super exciting.

Without any big splashes coming to Pittsburgh this offseason, you have to dig a bit deeper to find someone interesting enough for a look. The easiest option, and potentially most valuable, is pitching.

More Pirates. Alford showed enough for another look in 2021. light

If Pittsburgh is active in the trade market and does in fact non-tender a large number of players as expected, there will be plenty of innings to hand out in 2021. Finding low-cost arms you can flip at the deadline to add to the pipeline will be key.

When I think about the Pittsburgh Pirates offseason, I envision a path very similar to that of the Baltimore Orioles recently. Draft well, find waiver claims/low-cost deals and flip, keep payroll low until you’re ready to fill in the roster gaps with big free agent signings.

The Orioles were able to turn the trio of Tommy Milone, Miguel Castro, and Mychal Givens into three Top 30 prospects and four players to be named later at this year’s deadline. Contenders will always pay up for pitching help, apparently even pitching help that isn’t that good.

Looking at the list of upcoming free agents, RHP Alex Wood stands out as one of the more intriguing bounce-back options on the market.

Wood was solid in his first six seasons in the majors, including a 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA season in 2017 with the Dodgers (career-high 3.1 fWAR). Unfortunately, injuries limited him to just seven starts with the Cincinnati Reds in 2019 and 12.2 innings this season back with the Dodgers.

Someone is going to have the opportunity to pick up Alex Wood on a one-year prove-it deal and if he hits, a notable return can be had at next year’s trade deadline.

Next. Revisiting the Tyler Glasnow trade. dark

It may not be the most exciting offseason for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but small steps can be taken to begin righting the ship.