Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Starters and Bullpen

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

A source of mine recently emailed me on some stuff he has heard regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates.  This article will look at information he sent to me regarding the starting pitching market and potential bullpen pieces they are looking to add.

On the Tampa Bay Rays pitchers:

"“The Pirates are hot on all the Rays pitching.  Moore, Archer, Odorrizi all interest the Bucs.  Smyly could also, but the Pirates are looking for more of a plug in guy now.  The Pirates had scouts at all three of the pitchers mentioned starts last weekend.  All three are controllable, which is something the Pirates want if they are going to part with top prospects.”"

All three names have been linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates, especially Archer and Moore. Odorizzi is the name that is new, as not many have speculated that the Bucs could have interest in him. As I write this, Perrotto of todaysknuckleball.com writes an article confirming the Bucs interest in Odorizzi.  The issue is after the Drew Pomeranz deal, the Rays have a ton of leverage.  Pomeranz netted the Padres a top 25 prospect in baseball.  Yes, Pomeranz is having a really good season, especially compared to the Rays stared mentioned.  However, all three Tampa starters have good career track records, and many years of control left. The Rays could easily demand a top prospect from teams calling.  

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Smyly is interesting, he is big left-handed pitcher who has great stuff, but for some reason cannot put together consistent, productive starts. Smyly would be a good off-season candidate, but would not be a good player to bring in now.  The Pirates are chasing the playoffs this year, unlike the last few years, and they do not have time to mess with a full-blown reclamation project like they have in years prior.

On Potential Bullpen Help:

"“The Pirate are interested in Eovaldi as you heard I am sure.  However, it is likely as more of a reliever than a starter.  Melancon is a free agent at years end and will need a replacement.The Pirates are looking for a left-handed relief option, understand they like Thornton in Sd, and Abad in Minn.”"

If the Pittsburgh Pirates could acquire Nathan Eovaldi and move him to the bullpen, the Pirates would be adding an intriguing arm to the relief corps.  When pitching out of the ‘pen, the Yankee right-handed pitcher has hit as high as 100 miles per hour.  One issue that was pointed out by Yanks Go Yard of FanSided, is that Eovaldi only has one plus pitch and needs work on his secondary pitches.  This is true, but this is why he would have more success in the bullpen rather than as a starter. He also has another year of control and could help this team next year.  With the Pittsburgh Pirates likely losing Mark Melancon and Neftali Feliz this off-season, Eovaldi could help replace them next year in the back end.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have needed an additional left-handed pitcher since losing Antonio Bastardo last off-season.  They tried Corey Luebke, but that did not work.  The two pitchers listed above are Matt Thornton and Fernando Abad.  Thornton is on a one year deal with the Padres right now, and has not had the best year.  His earned run average this year is at 6.75, but that is only in 13.1 innings pitched.  Thornton would bring experience to the ‘pen, however, he is 39 years of age and is a 12 year MLB veteran.

Abad is a 30-year-old pitcher from the Minnesota Twins.  Abad has had a very strong season, pitching to a 2.73 earned run average in 29 innings.  He is also controlled through next year, and would be another piece to next years bullpen. Compared to Thornton, the six-year veteran Abad, seems like the more logical relief pitcher candidate to add.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates rumors are starting up as the deadline comes closer.  With that, the source I am using, has been very reliable for me in the past.  It is great to get more information on rumors we already know, such as the Bucs being interested in Rays pitchers, but also learning about other potential trade candidates that Bucs could look to add-on August 1st.

What pitcher would you like to see added?  Should the Bucs add a left-handed relief pitcher? Comment below!