In a seemingly redundant move after signing Neftali Feliz yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced they signed pitcher Trey Haley to a one-year deal and placed him on the 40-man roster. Pitcher Guido Knudson was released to make room for Haley.
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Haley was drafted by the Indians in the 2nd round in 2008 – the same round as new teammate Kyle Lobstein – and has spent the past 8 seasons in their organization. He was once as high as the Indians’ number 14 prospect and had the highest rated fastball and curveball in the organization.
His fastball has maintained that reputation
…but he has a long history of command issues in the minor leagues. Haley has walked 6.5 batters per nine innings over the 399 innings he’s pitched in the minor leagues but after a bad 2014 season, he bounced back and posted his lowest walk numbers since 2012.
On the bright side, Haley has struck out at least 9 batters per nine innings each of the last four seasons. He has legitimate strikeout stuff and is the only reason his command issues can be tolerated.
I’d imagine this is a cheap signing but if Haley continues to work on his control and can still rack up the strikeouts, he will bring some depth to the bullpen.
I know it seems like the Pirates are wasting money with these signings unless Mark Melancon is dealt but I disagree. I don’t think either of these trades means Melancon is getting moved before the season but it means the Pirates are casting a wide net for their bullpen fishing tirp.
Perhaps they are looking for someone to replace Melancon eventually, but they are stocking up on cheap relievers to see if they can find the diamond in the rough. The Royals and Wade Davis have showed everyone how shiny that diamond can look over the past two seasons.
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