I touched on some of the Pirates' offseason plans earlier today, but I failed to finish one of favorite beat writers Dejan Kovacevic's article, which mentions the possibility of the Pirates bringing in a left handed outfielder. Kovacevic spoke with GM Neal Huntington about how much payroll flexibility the Pirates will have this offseason, which seems to depend on how the market plays out with the down economy.
To step away from the Pirates' plan, my guess is the market will play like it has in the past for the top tier of free agents - John Lackey, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, among others - based mostly on popular demand. But for some of the second and third tier guys, we could see teams wait until December or even January for prices to depreciate.
Teams won't just hold out to sign players at a reduced price. MLB attendance numbers are down from 2008, by about six percent. Some teams that have underperformed may be forced to lower ticket prices even more, which could impact payroll's for 2010.
Anyways, back to the Pirates. They reportedly have Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel in their sights, despite him hitting an unimpressive .233 in 114 games.
|2009 - Rick Ankiel||114||351||45||82||20||1||11||37||24||90||4||3||.234||.286||.390|
Ankiel showed impressive defense earlier this month playing in PNC Park, and in 36 career at-bats in Pittsburgh, he has hit .333 with 3 home runs.
Current Pirates left fielder Lastings Milledge is making a case for an outfield spot next season, which should be his to lose, considering his tremendous amount of upside. However, you can never has too much depth and bringing in a veteran to platoon in the corners could pay dividends as the season moves forward.
If you're Neal Huntington, do you make a move for Ankiel this offseason?