Well, apparently Neal Huntington’s not messing around this winter. In order to make room for Mike Crotta, Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson, Danny Moskos, and Tony Watson, the Pirates designated Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche, and Dewlyn Young for assignment tonight.
It’s not surprising to see Duke or LaRoche go, though there was some thought that the Pirates might try and trade them off before non-tendering them later in the winter. With the DFA, the Pirates will have ten days to release, trade, or demote the trio assuming they pass through waivers. LaRoche will probably make it through, but I kind of doubt Duke will as someone will likely identify him as a potential innings-eater that can give you an average performance with some decent defense. As for Delwyn Young … frankly I don’t care if he makes it through waivers or not. For some reason people seem to think of him as a decent hitter, but he’s not. His career OBP is .317, his career OPS+ is 88, and he can’t play defense. I hate to be so harsh, but there shouldn’t be any room for a player like him on a Major League roster.
In the long run, I don’t think there’s much here we haven’t talked about already. Duke is what he is, Young is what he is, and there’s a pretty good chance we can say the same thing about LaRoche. I wish all three of them the best, but I’m not sure the Pirates will miss any of them.