With the trade for Akinori Iwamura out of the way, second base seems to be set for 2010. This trade is so far to the polar opposite of what Huntington has done so far in his tenure, it leads to a few questions…
1) What move is next?
Knowing that Alvarez is not far away. There are still questions about 1B, RF and SS. Garret Jones will likely fill either RF or 1B. Jeff Clement is sitting on the Indy roster waiting for a chance at 1B. Steve Pearce has relegated himself to bench duty or more seasoning in AAA with his offensive (in more ways than one) showing at the end of 2009. Brandon Moss has proven to be a 4th outfielder on a bad team, canon fodder on a good team. Where does Huntington look?
A name that stuck out to me as being “bought out” is Jermaine Dye. I know I have been hyping him as a target for years now, but at 35 he is an excellent bridge to Jose Tabata’s reign in right for the Pirates. Dye would fill a nice power hole in the middle of the order and bring some pretty decent defense in right to PNC. A potential lineup that starts with McCutchen and Iwamura that leads to a combination of Jones, Dye, Alvarez, Doumit and Milledge… That lineup has the feel of one that could carry a light hitting short stop without problem.
You can replace Dye in RF with Clement at 1B and still have an intriguing lineup, but Jones at first is a more natural position for him. Remember also, Jones is unproven, he had one half of a great season. Adding the proven Dye in RF give the Pirates a backup at 1B in Clement. It also gives Tabata at least one more season of seasoning in AAA.
Is it possible this team is a big bat away from respectability?
2) Have the Pirates turned the corner from rebuilding to building?
Iwamura is a nice complimentary player that rounds out a good team. What he means to the Pirates is yet to be determined by the rest of the off season moves. This should be a fun offseason to see what lies in the future for the Pirates and their fans.
What does the blueprint hold for the next moves by the Pirates?
3) Who will be Iwmura’s DP partner?
Will it be Cedeno? A returning Wilson? Someone as yet undetermined. Time will tell, but I don’t think Cedeno has a lock on the position.
I’m looking forward to some comments on these questions, as I really haven’t answered any of them.
Also, in the next day or so, I will be posting my offseason plans for BTW. Rest assure, The Winds are blowing again.
BTW, I hate the Yankee$.