Quiet winter meetings for Pirates could change today
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — So far, this has been the dullest winter meetings for the Pirates since, well, last year's winter meetings. That could change in a hurry today.
I'm hearing lots of rumblings that the Pirates were working hard late last night on a significant move. At one point, general manager Neal Huntington sent some of his lieutenants out of the room to focus the conversation.
Over the past 12-14 hours, Francisco Cervelli's name has come up during my conversations with folks in the industry. It would not be a surprise if the Pirates try to move Cervelli, who'll turn 32 in March and has a checkered history of injury problems. This past season, Cervelli played in just 81 games and batted a career-worst .249.
Cervelli has two years left on his contract. He'll make $10.5 million next season and $11.5 million in 2019.
The best catcher on the free-agent market is Jonathan Lucroy, who made $5.25 million this year with the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies. Lucroy, 31, played in 123 games (110 as a catcher) and hit a combined .265 with a .716 OPS.
If history is any indication, the Pirates are inclined to make a move today because it coincides with the annual MLB manager's luncheon.
In 2013, the Pirates finalized a contract extension with Charlie Morton during the manager's luncheon. Two years later, the Neil Walker trade was consummated during the manager's luncheon.