Poll: Have the Pirates improved this offseason?

Additions:
– Ali Solis (claimed off waivers)
– Felix Pie (signed as free agent)
– Zach Stewart (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Clint Robinson (acquired via trade from KC)
– Vin Mazzaro (acquired via trade from KC)
– Russell Martin (signed as free agent)
– Jason Grilli (re-signed)
– Mike Zagurski (signed as free agent)
– Andrew Oliver (acquired via trade from DET)
– Ivan De Jesus (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Stolmy Pimentel (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Mark Melancon (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Jerry Sands (acquired via trade from BOS)

Subtractions:
– Jeff Clement (DFA; signed by Twins)
– Eric Fryer (DFA; signed by Twins)
– Daniel McCutchen (signed by Orioles)
– Hisanori Takahashi (released)
– Kevin Correia (signed by Twins)
– Chad Qualls (elected free agency)
– Rod Barajas (elected free agency)
– Chris Resop (traded to OAK)
– Yamaico Navarro (traded to BAL)
– Brock Holt (traded to BOS)
– Joel Hanrahan (traded to BOS)

*Moves that could potentially impact MLB roster. All transactions can be viewed HERE.

In your opinion, have the Pirates improved this offseason? Please cast your vote, and feel free to let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or on Twitter.

Pirates acquire three; Russell Martin on radar?

Neal Huntington and his staff shuffled the roster a bit today by acquiring three players.

First, they picked up RHP Zach Stewart from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later. Stewart, 26, has a career 6.82 ERA in 33 games.

Next, the Bucs got 1B Clint Robinson and RHP Vin Mazzaro from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Luis Rico and Luis Santos (both minor league pitchers). Robinson, who will turn 28 in February, hit .292 with 13 HR last season for Triple-A Omaha. He’s been blocked in the Royals’ system, mostly by young first baseman Eric Hosmer. Robinson seems to be a decent pickup; his name was brought into discussion last spring when the Bucs lacked offense. The 26 year old Mazzaro had a 5.73 ERA in 44 innings last year for KC. He pitched against the Pirates on June 9th, lasting just three innings and surrendering four runs.

To clear room on the 40 man roster, they designated “The Hit Collector” Matt Hague and Yamaico Navarro for assignment.

Rob Biertempfel of the Trib brought up some good points about these pickups. He writes, “Pirates today made two trades that could figure into plans for who is tendered/non-tendered Friday… Vin Mazzaro could be either back-end starter or long reliever, just like arbitration-eligible Jeff Karstens. Clint Robinson makes it 3’s a crowd at first base with arbitration-eligible Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez.” It’ll be interesting to see how the Bucs handle this. Both Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez should betendered contracts, but you never know. If Jones and Sanchez are on the Opening Day roster, Clint Robinson would most likely be replacing Matt Hague and Jeff Clement as the first baseman at Indianapolis.

In other news, it looks like the club is aggressively pursuing catcher Russell Martin. Jon Heyman wrote that the Bucs are trying to pry him away from the Yankees. Heyman says that the Pirates may be offering around 3 years/$25 million. Many of the people who have weighed in on the situation are not too excited about this deal. Martin hit just .211 last season and his power numbers will most likely decline at PNC Park. Is he an upgrade over Rod Barajas? Yes. Is he worth the money he’s asking for? Probably not.

Biertempfel had this to say – “There’s a sense among some in industry that Pirates will overpay if necessary for a FA this year. Will it be C Russell Martin? Management must show it’s serious about avoiding another second-half breakdown. And the club desperately needs a catcher.”

Ken Rosenthal with a few thoughts:

[tweet https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/273892378060926976]

[tweet https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/273892380908863488]

[tweet https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/273894393163964416]

Go Bucs