Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington has said numerous times that the poor starting pitching he brought in last off-season was on him for the team’s struggles. Here is some info on the starting pitchers that could be trade targets for the Bucs:
Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said that he would like to bring in a few starters via free agency or trades. The issue is that the free agent class is relatively weak compared to other years. Many teams may over pay for pitchers who are not actually worth the money they could receive. The free agent list is made up of many middle of the rotation type arms, none that would be considered high-end necessarily. The top two arms are Ivan Nova and Rich Hill. Nova, who Pittsburgh fans are familiar with, had a five plus earned run average before joining the Bucs on August first. Hill is entering his age 37 season.
The best place for the Pittsburgh Pirates to look and improve the starting staff is most likely the trading block. The Pirates made a trade last off-season for Jon Niese, and it did not work out. However, they also have had success in acquiring starters in trade, see JA Happ and Ivan Nova. Often times, when working the trade market, it is easier for a team to get a player who they truly want rather than in free agency. In free agency, General Manager Neal Huntington could have a list of five pitchers and not get one of them, due to essentially every other team knowing those players are available. However, on the trade market, Huntington can target specific players and has to sell a deal to the other General Manager rather than an agent.
Time to look at the Trade Market
With that being said, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to look at the trade market to improve this team’s rotation for the 2017 season. If they leave it as is, or try to improve it via free agency, chances are the rotation will not be much better than this past season. I am not saying to completely avoid free agency. If they can re-sign Ivan Nova, who proved to be solid as a Pirate than yeah go for it, but chances are he will be grossly overpaid. The other option is signing a pitcher like Edinson Volquez or Jaime Garcia, pitchers who have experience in the NL Central. Even if they sign one free agent, they still need to make a trade to get a more solidified starting pitcher. Here are four pitchers they should target: