With the trade deadline just 11 days away Neal Huntington continues to search for pitching help. The latest name connected to the Pirates is former Pirate reliever Jeanmar Gomez.
Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates have played better lately going 14-7 in their last 21 games, the team could still use pitching help. Both the Pirate starting rotation and bullpen could use an upgrade before the August 1st trade deadline. In the past week the Pirates have been connected to a lot of names, but the latest name they have been connected to is a former Pirate.
Jeanmar Gomez pitched for the Pirates in 2013 and 2014. In those two seasons Gomez played a large role in a Pirate bullpen that was one of the best in all of Major League Baseball. Jeanmar Gomez, quietly, made a lot of contributions to the Pirates making the postseason in 2013 and 2014.
According to Buster Olney, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been scouting Jeanmar Gomez. Even though Gomez was a long reliever/swing man with the Pirates he has settled in as the closer for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. So odds are the Pirates are scouting Gomez to be a short reliever in their bullpen.
A reunion with Jeanmar Gomez is something I would be one hundred percent on board with. I was always a fan of Gomez and his work when he was a Pirate. Also, Gomez has pitching very effectively for the Phillies the past two seasons.
During his two seasons in Pittsburgh Jeanmar Gomez had a 3.28 ERA, 4.08 FIP, and a 4.08 xFIP in 142 2/3 innings pitched. In these two seasons Gomez pitched in 78 games for the Pirates, including eight starts, and averaged 5.74 K/9, 3.22 BB/9, and 0.76 HR/9. Jeanmar Gomez also had a strong 51.5 percent groundball rate during his tenure in Pittsburgh.
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The Pirates designated Jeanmar Gomez for assignment after the 2014 season, which was a move I was not a fan of, and the Philadelphia Phillies eventually claimed him off waivers. This has led to Gomez pitching, successfully, for the Phillies the past two seasons. During his two seasons in Philadelphia Jeanmar Gomez has a 2.92 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 4.02 xFIP, and is averaging just 2.09 BB/9 and 0.52 HR/9 in 120 1/3 innings pitched.
This season Jeanmar Gomez is having one of the best seasons of his Major League career. In 45 2/3 innings pitched Gomez has a career low 2.76 ERA, to go along with a 3.52 FIP. Gomez is averaging 5.72 K/9, 2.17 BB/9, and 0.59 HR/9. His 52.1 percent groundball rate is also the second highest groundball rate of his career.
Jeanmar Gomez’s name is one I expected to see floated around at the trade deadline this year. So, it does not surprise me that the Pirates are scouting Jeanmar Gomez. Especially since Gomez is a former Pirate. Obviously Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle like what Gomez brings to the table after the two successful seasons he had in Pittsburgh in 2013 and 2014.
Jeanmar Gomez is not a free agent until after next season. Therefore, if the Pittsburgh Pirates were to trade for Gomez he would not be just a rental player. Assuming he would pitch well for the Pirates, he would be in line to have a bullpen spot in 2017 as well.
Even though Jeanmar Gomez comes with a year of team control, the price tag on him should not be super high. The Phillies are a team that are in full-fledged rebuilding mode and, most likely, would want prospects in return for Gomez. I would guess that a pair of mid-level prospects, players in the Pirates’ top 15-20 range, would be enough to pry Gomez away from the Phillies.
Jeanmar Gomez is a realistic trade target for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as well as being one that would help the Pirate bullpen. Even though it has been much better the past month, the Pirate bullpen could still use another arm before the August 1st trade deadline. And Jeanmar Gomez could be that arm.