Where are they now?

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

‘Where are they now?’ seems an appropriate question to ask given that we are almost a week into 2012 and more than two months into the free agent period. And yet, most of the free agents who ended last season in Pittsburgh aren’t anywhere but home, still looking to latch on with a new team.

The Pirates watched six players — Paul Maholm, Ronny Cedeno, Derrek Lee, Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder and Ryan Ludwick — walk as free agents after the season. Interestingly enough, only Doumit has found a new club. He signed a one-year deal with the Twins back in November.

Lee’s name hasn’t surfaced much in the rumor mill this winter, though a market could open up for him once Prince Fielder signs. Interest in the other four doesn’t seem to be particularly strong or widespread either. Could that mean that the Pirates bring any of these available players back?

The club has expressed interest in going after Lee, though the first baseman doesn’t seem to have reciprocated that interest. Neither Cedeno, nor Ludwick, will be returning, and it’s also hard to see a scenario where Snyder is back, now that the Pirates have signed Rod Barajas. The Pirates might consider re-signing Maholm, though I don’t envision them offering significant guaranteed money.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB


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If Derek Lee does not want to resign they need to go after Carlos Pena hard. Going into the season with Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones is unacceptable. Neither will provide the Pirates with the offense they need.

I disagree with you, Eddie. I think that the two of them offer the Pirates a very solid tandem at first and if the Pirates can get a good showing out of Nick Evans (who I think will benefit from getting out of New York) and make him a bench player, they can use him at first and put McGehee at third on days we go against a southpaw. Other days we can have Jones and (hopefully) Alvarez out there vs. right-handers. Jones has a good track record against righties and yet everyone still doubts him. I think he can do a very good job at the position both defensively and offensively. I think going after Pena and putting him at first would be just like putting Jones in there full-time. Pena has a low career average, especially against lefties, but he can still crush a ball out of the park 20-30 times a season. I don’t see any difference between the two except that Pena has been given the chance to play regularly on teams that can afford to put up with his strikeouts and batting average while the Pirates do not have the luxury of waiting. The Rays and Cubs have other proven deep-threats, the Pirates don’t.

I say they should sign Xavier Nady for small amount of money he is asking. It’s small compared to senior citizen Derrek Lee, and one year wonder Casey Kotchman at least, and he is a better hitter in my opinion. He’s younger than Derrek Lee and hits for a higher average.

His last year in Pittsburgh, 2008, he batted .330 for the Pirates, .305 overall between the Yankees and Bucs.

He had 37 doubles and 25 homers. 97 RBI.

Then he blew out his elbow, and had Tommy John surgery. Now three years later he is finally fully recovered and looking for work.

He plays a solid first base and can also play the outfield.
He is a hard-nosed player who plays to win and he excels in Pittsburgh, we aleady know that. His best years have come in Pittsburgh.
He is still only 33 years old.

He is a huge bargain and is flying under the radar thanks to the slow recovery of his surgery. The Pirates would be crazy to not sign him. He can make McGehee & Jones battle that much harder to win a starting job, and could potentially beat them out. Even if he doesn’t, he’s a great bat off the bench and to step in when the injuries hit, and face it, they always hit. A team can never have enough quality, proven hitters.

Nady has proven that he hits in Pittsburgh already, what more could you ask of a hitter?
His price is much lower than it really should be thanks to the injury. This is the time to get him, before he resumes his normal hitting ways, and he will.

If they thought McLouth was a bargain, Nady is equally so and potentially even more so.

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