There are a couple of possible reactions when reading that the Pirates are talking to Mark Loretta. The easy reaction is, “Well, so long as he’s replacing Chris Gomez, I’m fine with that.” That’s true. Loretta’s a useful utility infielder that can still handle a bat fairly well and can play just about every position in the infield in a short-term capacity. In fact, he’s probably a better hitter than Gomez and he can’t really be a worse fielder. That may make him more the successor to Doug Mientkiewicz, which is fine by me as well.
But then I started thinking. Aren’t we trying to trade our shortstop away? Isn’t “successor to Jack Wilson” a position that needs filled on the depth chart at the moment? I mean, I know Huntington’s not looking at Loretta as a starting shortstop next year … but what if he is?
This is how the offseason drives people crazy. You can go months and months without hearing any rumors, then as soon as rumors start show up, you project your highest hopes and biggest fears on to everything that you hear. After watching Huntington work for a year, I’m confident that he doesn’t want Loretta for anything more than utility work, and yet, I still can’t help but jump a little when I hear about the Pirates negotiation with someone like this. I suppose if Huntington keeps doing his job, I’ll get over this in time.