Francisco Cervelli – Catcher – Pittsburgh Pirates
Color me a hater, I don’t care. Max Stassi is just not holding his weight right now. At the age of 28, there is still promise for him to pick up the stick and hit more than a NL pitcher can. However, on a team vying for another trophy, it’s becoming harder to justify the output.
Around four months ago, the Pirates were putting out feelers for a trade partner to take on Cervelli and his contract. In their pursuit of J. T. Realmuto, the Astros were keen to give it a go. However, after missing the biggest fish in the pond, the Astros opted to stick with Stassi and sign Robinson Chirinos.
Cervelli would not only bring a veteran presence behind the dish, but he would bring the ever so coveted ability to have a high frame rate too. So far this season, he has also thrown out a sparkling 40% of all runners against him. Well above league average.
The hitting is, well, hit and miss. In the first month of the season, he is only posting a .175 average. His career average indicates that this is merely just a slow start, as he has posted .250 and above the last nine seasons.
Contract wise, Cervelli could be penned as a rental, as he hits the free-agent market after this season. However, he could turn into a thrifty re-sign to help younger prospects like Stassi or Garrett Stubbs next year.
Plus, he’s a fan-favorite. Pirates fans already know how good he is behind the plate.
Contract: 1 year $11 million – Free Agent 2020.
Pirate Needs: Starting Pitcher, Bullpen, Third Base, Shortstop
Likelihood of happening: Medium to High