By Jason Shetler
After coming off back-to-back 30 home run seasons in 2012 and 2013, Pedro Alvarez had a disappointing 2014 campaign both offensively and defensively as a third baseman. He entered this year in his first season as a first baseman, and as expected, has really struggled at the position. To his credit however, Alvarez is having a much better season at the plate than he did a year ago. Here are the numbers compared to last season.
2014: .231/.312/.405, 101 OPS+, 18 home runs, 161 total bases
2015: .245/.315/.471, 112 OPS+, 25 home runs, 194 total bases
Alvarez will enter this offseason as arbitration eligible for a final time. His salary for this season is at $5.75 million. Based on the improved offensive figures this year, should the Pirates sell high on Alvarez in the offseason? – Travis Snider had a strong second half in 2014 for the Bucs. The end result saw Snider being dealt last offseason to the Baltimore Orioles. That trade has looked really good for the Pirates, as Stephen Tarpley and Steven Brault both pitched outstanding this season. Alvarez would certainly draw a ton of interest from American League clubs who would be in search of a designated hitter. Should the Pirates receive an overwhelming offer for him, they have to consider it. If not, then perhaps the Pirates bring him back for one more season in the hopes that he’ll show some improvement defensively at first base.