I thought that the Pittsburgh Pirates had hit rock bottom when they signed Clint Barmes to a two year, $10.5 million deal this offseason. He is coming off a year in which he hit .244, only played 123 games, hit 12 HR’s and stole 3 bases, and struck out more than twice as often as he walked. Aside from an uncharacteristic season in 2008 in which he hit .290, the 33 year old Barmes has hit below .245 in six of the last seven seasons including .220 in 2006. That’s Mark Reynolds territory minus the power. At an average of $5.25 million per year this would have made Barmes the third highest paid player on the Pirates last season. Yep, that’s the Pirates big time free agent.
Just when I don’t think that I couldn get any more disgruntled/disappointed/shocked at who they sign I read that the Pirates are going to work out Dmitri Young next week. We are now in Tonya Harding having one of her henchmen beat up Nancy Kerrigan levels of low. Sure they are only going to work the Meathook out and that doesn’t mean that they are going to sign him but come on. He hasn’t played in the Majors since 2008, he’s 38 years old (which isn’t exactly the time that most players rediscover their hitting stroke), and in the Venezuelan League late last year he hit an Adam Dunn like .166. What about any of what Dmitri Young brings to the table seems attractive or even worth a look? The Pirates are already the laughing stock of not just baseball but all of sports and this only adds fuel to the fire. With a fan base teatering on insanity this only adds to the incompetence that we already believe the organization has.
Since trying out Dmitri Young apparently is a viable option for the Pirates I thought that I’d throw out some other names for them to consider. Clearly the Pirates management has not ruled anyone out.
- Milton Bradley: ya he’s crazy, a locker room cancer, and has been on eight teams in twelve seasons but one of those teams hasn’t been the Pirates. He could be a good “spark plug” that brings energy to the team. He hit .218 last year with the Mariners which was an improvement over the .205 that he hit the year before. Those are the type of numbers that gets you a three year deal with the Bucos.
- Sid Bream: yep, I’m going there. As I stated before, no one appears to be off limits for the Pirates. Why not dig that knife a little deeper into the wound of the fans by bringing back the player that is Public Enemy number 2. Aside from Neil O’Donnell there isn’t another player who drives Pittsburgh fans into more of a frenzy than Sid Bream. Well shit, while we are at it…
- Barry Bonds: Public Enemy number 1. No explanation needed why Pirates fans hate him. From a baseball standpoint bringing him in makes about 10000x more sense then Dmitri Young. His last two seasons in the league (06′ and 07′) he hit 26 and 28 HR’s with a .270+ average while playing 130 and 126 games. I have no doubt that Barry Bonds could at least hit better than Clint Barmes and likely give the Pirates some much needed pop. If you remove the bias of what people think about him and look at him just as a baseball player (steroids or not) he would have the best shot of any to actually be slightly productive at the age of 47.
- Jose Canseco: he hasn’t played since 2001 but in 76 games with the White Sox he still managed to hit 16 HR’s, 49 RBI’s, with a .258 average. Those numbers are better in every category than Clint Barmes had last year. He might be 47 years old but if there is one thing that will put butts in the seats it is DINGERS! Plus, if Jose doesn’t feel like playing some days he can just have his brother Ozzie fill in for him. That will really up the comedy level of the team.
- Jim Edmonds: if you are going to lose more games than you win (which the Pirates are the best ever at) then you might as well make it exciting. No player can do that in the field like Jim Edmonds did. His lack of being able to hit any longer is not relevant to the Pirates. They are used to guys who can’t hit (their top prospect Pedro Alvarez hit .191 last year in his second year with the club).
- Drew Henson: he only played eight games with the Yankees and I don’t think that he got enough of a chance. Because he was a two sport athlete I’m guessing that he’s still in great shape. He’s only 31 years old and even if you have to completely reteach him how to hit and throw a baseball (which could take up to five years) he’d still be two years younger than Dmitri Young. This looks like a fantastic option.
- Mike Hampton: even though he’s been out of baseball for a few years and just living like a regular person there’s no word on if he is currently injured. I’ve heard that self service car washes can be kind of dangerous. He used to be the $121 million dollar man and now he could likely be had for next to nothing. He made more money over the life of his contract that he signed with the Rockies then the Pirates payroll has been over the last two seasons. He could tell some great stories about what it’s like to be on a team with a payroll (even if his is the majority of the payroll) and that could help boost moral.