Hinske to the Pirates

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

eric_hinskeA report by Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com says that the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the verge of signing free agent outfield Eric Hinske. Contract details haven’t been finalized but the Pirates are planning on bringing Hinske to the city later this week. That would likely mean he’s in town to take his physical and iron out any last details. If this deal goes down, I can’t say how much I like it for the buccos.

Hinske had arguably his best season as a pro in 2008 and he wasn’t even an everyday starter. For the season he had only 381 at bats but tallied 20 homeruns and 21 rbis. Not bad numbers at all for a bench player. The real benefit for the Pirates thou isn’t the power its the versatility of Hinske. He can play almost anywhere they want him too. He can play all three outfield positions, first base, third base and pinch hit. And he can even be a solid DH when the Pirates make their annual visits to the American League. So when you consider his power with that versatility you’ve got a very valuable guy, especially in the National League.

For the “small market” Pirates there is something even better thou, he’s affordable! Last season with the Tampa Bay Rays he was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and wound up earning $800,000 for making the roster. While I think he’ll make more then that this season you can’t expect him to be more then $2 or $3 million, if he even gets that much. So the Pirates will wind up getting a power utility bat at a price even they can afford. That’s a win win in my book.

If this somehow falls through the Pirates may consider bringing in the aging wonder Luis Gonzalez. For Pirates fans, I hope you can land Hinske cause Gonzalez really won’t provide anything of interest.

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  1. Hey, if he’ll make the team even slightly less dreadful, I’m all for it.

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