Four Pirates free agents have qualified for Type B status.
These guys range in terms of risk but in my opinion the Pirates should offer all four arbitration.
First is Derrek Lee. He won’t accept. It seems pretty obvious that Mr. Lee served his time, and did it well. He has built some good value from his unreal second half and will find himself a decent contract from a team that doesn’t suck as perpetually as the Pittsburgh Pirates. Offering him arbitration is a no-brainer.
Even if he accepts we have the perfect spot for him, that abyss that every safe batter has to pass.
Next up in my opinion is Ryan Doumit. Doumit doesn’t seem all that risky to me. First off I think he is basically done with Pittsburgh. He wasn’t exactly a fan favorite for much of his career and really was kind of the Jordan Staal of the Pirates. No matter what he did it was never enough.
That said he will mostly be remembered for being injured all the time. Literally all the freaking time. Still when he played he was a force offensively at times even if his catching left a lot to be desired.
Speaking of catchers the next player on this list is Chris Snyder. Snyder is a decent enough catcher, and he brings some definite pop, something this organization sorely needs. He also brings with him a surgically repaired back, not exactly the safest bet as far as catching injuries go.
He might actually accept, which in my opinion is fine. The Pirates need a catcher, Michael McKenry and to a lesser extent Jason Jaramillo, aren’t the answer. Tony Sanchez isn’t even close to ready so the Pirates have a very big hole to fill. It will also work out because with the back injury Snyder will probably be forced into part-time duty, which probably is a good thing.
The last, and mostly hotly contested, is Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick wasn’t great, and he probably wouldn’t start. There is a very real chance that he accepts arbitration too. He is probably a backup, but he does still have some upside in my opinion. He may not be worth the six or seven million he would get, but at least part of that can be given away at the deadline.
Ludwick also adds some power, something this team is sorely missing. There were plenty of stretches where Ludwick looked like he still had it. Honestly though the Pirates will probably just piss away seven million on crap anyway so him accepting isn’t an extreme risk, not what will make or break the Pirates season by any stretch. I think the possibility of a draft pick is worth more than the half season of salary Ryan Ludwick will cost.
Four sandwich picks actually would give the Bucs room to play with a risky overslot signing or two in the sandwich round also. Since you don’t get compensated for those picks the Pirates could take two high risk guys, and two easy signs, that way it wasn’t all for naught.
If the Pirates are going to build through the draft, this is a risk they have to take.