By Jason Shetler
One of the oldest sayings in baseball is that you can never have enough pitching depth. For the Pirates, that saying might have to apply for their current infield situation. Over the offseason, the Pirates signed Jung-Ho Kang in an effort to improve the infield depth. They also acquired Sean Rodriguez from Tampa Bay, who was regarded by some as one of the better super utility players. Josh Harrison is now out with a thumb injury while Jordy Mercer went down with a sprained MCL and lower leg contusion. Kang is now at shortstop with Rodriguez playing third base for the time being. Both Harrison and Mercer won’t return until September, so the Pirates are going to need an upgrade at third. One name who would be a really good fit is Juan Uribe.
Uribe began this season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He struggled in the early going with just a .287 on base percentage, a .596 OPS and a 67 OPS+ in 29 games. Uribe was dealt to the Atlanta Braves in late May, and has been performing much better, posting a .346 on base, an .801 OPS and a 122 OPS+ in 44 games played. He’s always been a solid defender at third base, and this year hasn’t been any different, as he’s put up a .955 fielding percentage, which is 3% above the league average. The Braves are likely to be sellers, so the Pirates acquiring Uribe would provide them with a capable option at third without having to give up any of their top prospects.