Pirates Claim Pedro Florimon From the Nationals

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed infielder Pedro Florimon from the Washington Nationals, per the Nationals ( via MLBTR). Florimon has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, posting a .565 OPS while playing shortstop. He’s got great fielding numbers, with a 3.8 UZR/150 in his career, and a positive trend. Here are his UZR/150 numbers over the last four years.

2011: -49.4 in 18.2 innings

2012: -8.9 in 367 innings

2013: 4.5 in 1099.2 innings

2014: 23.7 in 224.2 innings

UZR is best when you’ve got multiple years of data to work with, which means his career numbers are the best thing to go by here. However, if these numbers do represent a trend, then Florimon could end up as a better defender than his career numbers indicate.

The Pirates currently need a backup middle infielder who can play shortstop. They had Clint Barmes for that role in the last year and a half, although this off-season they’ve made a lot of waiver claims and smaller moves that look to be trying to fill that position with a cheaper option. Florimon is out of options, which means he’d have to be on the active roster or be placed through waivers. It’s also entirely possible that the Pirates are just adding him in an attempt to try and sneak him through waivers later in the off-season, which is something they’ve done in the past.

Because of the defense, and because the Pirates prioritize defense at shortstop, he looks like a top candidate for their backup middle infield role. However, I don’t expect them to be done adding options.

  • Another example of the Pirates grabbing all sorts of other team’s junk, when they have a kid at Altoona (Gift Ngoepe) who could also be a good field, no hit backup if that is what they want. Why does this front office continually ignore their own prospects??

    • Ngoepe is no where near ready for MLB in any capacity.

      • That is interesting, because the Pirates own management has stated repeatedly that Ngoepe is already major league ready defensively. Some would argue he is their best defensive shortstop in their entire organization – and its not close. So, he is already the equal of Floriman, who cannot hit at all.

        • Obviously you have never seen Gift attempt to hit. Florimon’s weak numbers in MLB are as good or better than Ngoepe’s in AA. What does that say to you ?

          • I’ve seen Gift play in person a few times…..again, I don’t see a huge difference between the two – they are both offensively challenged. One is 27, the other 24. One is a Nationals castoff, the other is one of our own. All considering, I wouldn’t have signed Florimon and instead would have looked for someone who could backup SS and actually also be a threat with the bat. Florimon isn’t any better than what we have at Indy and Altoona.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pirates Claim Pedro Florimon From the Nationals

            • I have seen Gift play a LOT over the past few seasons. I pull for him to succeed, but it is obvious to me that offensively, he had too much of a handicap to overcome. He came to the game to late to see the type of pitching he is seeing at higher levels. Not only that, he has no major league experience, and very few MLB managers will turn to an inexperienced back up when they can use a similarly talented player with MLB experience. Whether that is right or wrong is not for me to debate, that is just the way it is.

              • I don’t necessarily disagree with you about Gift’s hitting – that has always been the concern with him as a prospect. Although, he has shown some improvement over the past 2-3 years – especially in terms of home runs and extra base hits.
                My point is I don’t see how Florimon is any better – they seem like the same player. In fact, I would rather have Chase d’Arnaud in Pittsburgh as a backup SS rather than either of these guys. He can at least hit, run the bases, steal a base for you, and is more versatile. I would take another year of Barmes over Florimon.

                • I think if you watched clips of Chase and Florimon fielding similar plays and making the throw from short on a split screen , you would find the contrast of burlap to silk… Chase is passable and Florimon can justify getting on the field everyday with his slick fielding

                  • For the Pirates’ sake, I hope you are right. But, if he cannot hit his weight, it won’t matter if he can field like Ozzie Smith.

                    • Nah. We don’t need him to hit..Actually , just above his weight would be satisfactory. The hope with any bench players is they are needed sparingly , providing off days to starters. At worst , in a long stretch due to injury , at least with a plus defender , especially at a premium position like short, he can bat 8 , and not hurt us in the field. Any offensive contribution becomes a bonus.

                      At SS , your back up can either grade a D on both off & def…. Or off F and def B. … I think they got it right.

              • Hey , Do you live in Altoona?It would explain alot. And I am not being a wise guy. I don’t know if you saw my post a week or 2 ago , about living in the shadow of the stadium in Scr/WB ? I talked about the opportunity the small community presents to develop personal relationships with players. I am guessing most of all what appeals to you about Diaz are things like attitude , work ethic and just being a winner. If you know these things 1st hand from a personal relationship or just being that close… That would qualify as inside info w value , in my book.

                • Sorry C, I just saw your reply. No, I had not seen your post about your location. I actually live about 15 miles North of Altoona. I used to be very close to the Curve ownership, coaches and many players, along with some Pirate scouts and developemental people. But, when they sold to the current owner, I lost that insider’s relationship. However, I have been a season ticket holder for the entire time they have been here, and average about 60+ games a season. From my vantage point close to the field, you can see and hear quite a bit if you pay close attention to detail ( which most people do not ) and you know who is working hard and who isn’t. Diaz was excellent in all the elements needed to be a good MLB receiver, believe me. Of course, he will need to be able to swing the bat going forward to be a consistent starting catcher. And, he had a great reputation with the coaching staff for hard work.

  • A THIRD backup shortstop who can’t hit? Marvelous. And, he has no options left. Outstanding.

  • Prioritizing defense at C & SS sounds good, until you realize they can’t hit and your 7-8-9 are the 3 easiest outs in baseball.

    • Since Mercer can clearly hit, ill pretty much guarantee our 7-8 hitters are not the worst in baseball. Even with a very light hitting catcher, the other 7-8 guy is likely to be either Mercer or Polanco (they rarely hit Pedro 7th). The Pirates will almost assuredly have an oddly solid hitter in the bottom of the order. Either Mercer or Polanco will be hitting down there.

      • And every 5th day cole will be batting 9th

        • I really just kinda “meh” when people talk about pitchers hitting. As bad as we seem, overall the Pirates hitting comes in about average in comparison. Only the really good ones make a clear difference.

          • Pitchers seem to get roughly 300 plate appearances per year as a team in the NL, roughly the equivalant of a Gaby Sanchez. Last year the Bucs were 13th in the NL with a .244 OPS, the best team was the Dodgers at .424. Sure, its scraping the bottom of the barrel, but 180 points of “free” offense over 300 PAs is nothing to sneeze at..

            • Yet nothing to prioritize at a spot where everything else they do matters far more. Give them some more batting practice and move on, i would hope the team doesnt start considering how a pitcher hits when they try to find FA’s.

        • And on Sundays Stewart will be hitting 7th or 8th.

    • Couple years ago Bucco’s had 7, 8 & 9 of Barajas, Barmes then pitcher with the pitcher being the best hitter. It cost them so many games it made me cancel my season tickets. You can not compete when you give 3 inn a game away on offense.

  • Now we can move jordy to 2b, walker to 3b, jhay to right and trade marte for a friggin pitcher.. who’s with me : )

    • UGGHHHH….!

    • After the All Star break last year Marte was one of the best outfielders in baseball. Why the lack of love? I think his early season problems were mental, induced by Hurdle’s positioning him at the top of the order and his thinking too much at the plate trying to get on base. All that is necessary for Marte to flourish is to bat him either 5th or 6th with the simple instruction: Starling, try to split the ball in half.

      • My lack of love is for the rotation. . Marte is just a means to improve the rotation significantly.. I love marte’s game but with polanco now on board we won’t be capitalizing on his full value anyhow.. or won’t see much of Polanco’s value with the glove..

        • I’m anxious to see these hitting on all cylinders. Once Polanco gets going back on balls down, the outfield defense will be top 2 or 3 in baseball, if not top.

          • It’ll be awesome no doubt and it’s exciting. . But we focus on ground balls and have a small right field..

            • They’ve talked of outfield shifts in the past. I could see Cutch shifting more towards the notch leaving more space for Polanco in right.

              • That was a big thing last year.. I don’t know enough to recognize any difference even at the game.. did they do anything with them? Though polanco was still learning right field. .

          • lonleylibertarian
            November 20, 2014 6:25 pm

            Not with Cutch as your center fielder – he costs at least 1-3 wins a year with his arm and by playing too deep

            • Lonely I understand your point for sure.. he also noticeably takes off a few plays and forgets to back up marte on flyballs so I’m not huge on curtches defense.. but I read something about how he covers so much space. . He really is a once in a generation outfielder when it comes to tracking balls down. . It just doesn’t seem that way cause he gets to them so smoothly and without a hitch

              • lonleylibertarian
                November 20, 2014 6:45 pm

                What is so frustrating about this is that Left Field at PNC is made for Cutch. He has great range and covers a lot of ground – and the arm and playing deep are less of an issue. I am not totally sure how WAR is calculated – but I have a feeling that moving to left would elevate his WAR – not reduce it.

                • I don’t know either.. i wouldn’t think it would hurt his trade value though.. I was hoping for the switch last year as well.. it would’ve been interesting to know how many runners would have stayed on third with marte in center.. they weren’t even thinking about stopping with cutch

                  • lonleylibertarian
                    November 20, 2014 7:10 pm

                    The ones that bothered me the most were the 1st to 3rds on average singles. Marte keeps at least a dozen runners on second that ended up at third last year. I have no data to prove it – just intuition/feeling.

              • Calling the utmost BS on the “he noticeably takes plays off”. I have seen ZERO writers mention this, even the most ardent complainers, and i’ve rarely seen Cutch simply dog it on plays to the OF. Criticize him for a lack of arm and not being the best OF on his team, but the guy taking plays off? Not buying that.

                • I’m not trying to be down on the guy.. just what i’ve noticed at the games.. most cf’s seem to back up their left fielders on deep balls with potential to go over their heads.. didn’t seem to me like cutch was doing that every time.. maybe cutch just knew marte was getting to them.. lol.. it was pointed out to me a couple of years ago so i’ve just sorta paid more attention

            • Hahaha, 10-30 runs/year, like 2013 when he was + 7 and 2010 when he was +3.

        • Not sure I follow. There are three OF spots, and no assurance we’ll be able to sign Cutch in a few years. No need to lose Marte for Polanco to play. I agree that we need to add a #1 pedigree pitcher. But I favor looking on the free agent market instead of a trade because the cost to obtain by trade would likely be too high.

          • A couple of key points to me is that we only need two good defensive outfielders.. (and I like snider).. second. . Moving marte opens a spot for bell in the outfield and meadows diwn the road

            • Which would then put all of our future 1B chips on one player, Allie. 1B is generally harder to fill from FA than OF and we have far more depth in OF than 1B. We cant really afford to take a guy that looks like a 1Bmen and move him back to OF just to move a quality OFer under team control currently.

              • Your point about far more depth in the outfield was the point I unsuccessfully made..

                • You dont use OF depth to move a guy from a spot you need to a spot you have depth. Bell makes way more sense at 1B unless PIT wants to pay market price for a FA 1Bmen.

        • Pitchers are so up and down. Look at what happens even with the best of them like Verlander and Lincecum – Cy Young one year, couple years later they are a bit of a bust. I’d rather have a foundation of three solid bats in the outfield, and hope that Cole and some of our young power arms can get hot. I remember the ’79 World Series team – we had great hitters in Madlock, Parker and Stargell, but our rotation was nothing spectacular. Blyleven and Candy-man had their moments and Tekulve got hot at the right time, but by no means a stellar cast.

          • Ya.. that’s sound reasoning for sure.. I think part of it is just keeping your own as well.. I’m generally that way myself to.. but I kinda like what cutch said about wanting to go into the season feeling like you’re going to win it.. not hoping, and like cutch I’m okay with a platooonish rf

        • These guys suck man. I dont wanna bicker.. But I said something that may have slightly over shot an 8th grade reading level and the rest of the night , i was cornered by the bullies on the playground.

      • CAPTAIN LITERAL and his Sidekick NSA ! You guys need to relax your shoulders.. Unclentch your jaws

        • You are seeing anger where there wasn’t any. Get a grip. I simply wouldn’t trade Marte for a pitcher. In fact I wouldn’t trade Cutch, Marte, Harrison, Cole or Polanco off of this roster because the chances of getting better value in return for what you give up are slim. You make your roster better by obtaining more value than you give up, unless you are trading away excess value at a position that is well stocked. Trading Nate McLouth away made sense because Cutch was ready to step in and offer better production at CF, even though it was very popular at the time. Trading Marte away so Snider steps in lowers production at that position. That might be compensated by increased productivity at a SP spot by the pitcher obtained in return. But why do it if a better pitcher can be obtained without the cost of losing Marte?

          • I agree w all that. I will go out on a limb and wager Rick does also… He was using sarcasm. The reality is , you were just right there… He was scolded and lectured by everyone on the site as tho he actually believed this minor addition meant something. He he was actually implying how absurd it would be to consider that signing relevant or to consider trading any member of our elite outfield. Just felt like the guy was getting ganged on for no reason.

    • Next time consider opening w a knock knock…. a lot of these guys dont think there is anything funny about this… Enough funny business , joker. – Rick dont apologize for this group that responds to wit , humor or sarcasm with anger becouse they dont know what that means , but they are gonna take it as an insult.

  • Great free chip. In an emergency , to have catcher and SS anchored defensively is paramount. He doesn’t need to hit. Not one lick.. Any offense is gravy…

  • OK, how long before the .565 OPS becomes the focus of everyone’s ire? He should be a decent option as long as Mercer stays fit and gets the lion’s share of ABs.

    • All glove no bat. Hurdle will be tempted to play him every day, just to make sure I throw a brick through my television at some point during the season.