Rob Biertempfel has an update on the shortstop situation for the Pittsburgh Pirates, noting that the Pirates are still seeking a shortstop upgrade following the winter meetings. The Pirates were pursuing J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett before both players were traded to other teams. They selected Josh Rodriguez in the Rule 5 draft, although he doesn’t profile as more than a utility player.
Biertempfel mentions Brendan Ryan and Bill Hall as potential options. We’ve heard that Ryan has drawn “mild interest” from the Pirates, although that was when Bartlett and Hardy were still available. There’s also been some speculation that the Pirates have made an offer to Hall.
Ryan is a strong defender, with a career 11.4 UZR/150. His main problem has been his hitting. He has two good years in 2007 and 2009, and two horrible years in 2008 and 2010. His 2007/2009 lines have been similar, with an average around .290, and an OPS around .740-.750. His 2008/2010 seasons have had averages of .223 and .244, with an OPS both years below .600. He’s under control for three more seasons, and would be a huge upgrade if the Pirates got the 2007/2009 hitting version. Even without the offense, he’s equal to Cedeno in value.
Hall’s bat would play very well at the shortstop position, although he might not be a fit defensively. Hall used to play shortstop, but hasn’t played there on a regular basis since 2006. He only has 36 innings at shortstop since the 2006 season, with all of those innings coming in 2010. In those innings he only had 12 plays.