Nick Evans has signed a minor-league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, presumably with an invitation to spring training.
Good move for Nick, who — ironically — may have an opportunity to platoon with lefthanded-hitting Garret Jones at first base.
I say “ironically” because it was less than two weeks ago that I compared Evans to Jones. Whether Evans gets a fair shot at regular MLB duty is dependent upon what direction the Pirates go to fill first base; there is buzz that they may bring back veteran Derrek Lee for another year. The 36-year-old Lee posted a .982 OPS in 28 games after being acquired from Baltimore at the trade deadline last year.
If the Bucs choose not to fill first base with Lee or another veteran free agent, Evans would probably battle with Matt Hague — who is, essentially, the Pittsburgh version of Nick Evans. Hague is a 26-year-old, righthanded-hitting first baseman / third baseman who has hit well in the minors, flashed some power, but just hasn’t had an extended opportunity to prove himself in the bigs. Sound familiar?
As you know I’ve been a big supporter of Nick Evans, and I’ll continue to quietly root for him. Good luck, Nick.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.