Digging through the bargain bin

I was paying little attention to the internet the past few days, but apparently the Pirates contacted every middling free agent they could find. Let’s see if any could be relatively useful.

Disclaimer: For most of these players, I would be fine with a minor league deal. For our purposes, I am going to look at the possibility of using a roster spot on each player.

Justin Duchscherer

Duchsherer would be a nice addition to the rotation at the right price, but I would not break the bank for him. He is 32, an injury risk, and has just one year as a productive starter under his belt. He would make the Pirates a slightly stronger team, but acquiring a mid-rotation starter through free agency is usually an inefficient use of resources. Duchscherer’s 2010 projections are pretty solid, but am not convinced that he will outperform someone like Daniel McCutchen by a very large margin.

Jamey Wright

Almost 35 years old. Career 4.97 K/9 and 4.46 BB/9. No thanks.

Noah Lowry

Lowry has not pitched in two years, and he was not very good in 2006 or 2007 either. I see no reason why he would be any better than the Pirates’ internal options.

J.J. Putz

I am not very interested in adding relievers through free agency. Putz could be an interesting buy-low candidate, but I am sure another team will overpay him.

Kameron Loe

Loe was a fifth starter type with the Rangers a few years back. He pitched in Japan last season, so he could be signed cheap. That is the only way I would consider him.

Xavier Nady

After hitting .330/.383/.535 in 360 plate appearances with the Pirates in 2008, Nady dropped to .268/.320/.474 over the remainder of the season with the Yankees. That is awfully close to his career line of .280/.335/.458, which is the best I would expect from him in the future. I would not mind adding him as a bench player, but he should not be taking significant at-bats from anyone else. If Nady is willing to be an MLB bench player, I doubt he would want to do it in Pittsburgh.

Ron Villone

No.

Bobby Crosby

Crosby is an above average fielder, but he is a terrible hitter. He is still reaping the benefit of his Rookie of the Year award back in 2004. He is a utility player at best.

Clay Hensley

I am literally boring myself while writing this.

Rick Ankiel

The projections don’t seem to like Ankiel, and neither do I. I think the Pirates could match his production with an internal option, and do it much more inexpensively. Ankiel is another guy that would make some sense as a bench player or a contingency plan in case players such as Lastings Milledge or Garrett Jones fall apart. As a guaranteed starter, though, he is simply not that enticing to me. There are simply better options.

I doubt the Pirates will give any of these players any significant amount of money. At least, I hope they wouldn’t. However, I am not sure how many of these players I would even want for free.

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