Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Buy-Low Bullpen Trade Targets

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates potential target McGee
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Jake McGee

Mentioned on the last slide, Jake McGee would be another sensible target for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The former Ray pitcher really struggled in his with the Colorado Rockies this past season.  After posting a sub 2.5 earned run average four of the six years spent with Tampa Bay, McGee found himself traded last off-season.  McGee was dealt to the Rockies in a deal that saw the Rays acquire outfielder Corey Dickerson.  The move did not pay off the McGee as it typically does not for any pitcher going to Coor’s Field.  For the 2016 season the hard throwing left-handed closer found himself owning a 4.73 earned run average.  He only recorded 15 saves this past season and was eventually replaced by Adam Ottavino after blowing four saves in the early going.

The Pittsburgh Pirates could have interest in him because he is a proven reliever who struggles this past season.  Despite a poor 2016, McGee has had a strong career.  The now 30-year-old has posted a career earned run average of 3.07 in 305 innings pitched over his seven-year career.  What is even better is his FIP sits at 2.98 suggesting that he truly has had a strong career and that he posts the numbers he should.  Now McGee is not a big ground ball pitcher like the Bucs traditionally like, but he still has posted at least 40% in five of his seven seasons. What helps balance out his average ground-ball percentage is that on his career he has struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings pitched.  Obviously this is dynamic, especially coming from a left-handed pitcher.

McGee could make sense for the Bucs.  Once again they are in need of a late inning reliever.  McGee would come over with experience doing so.  Also the Rockies most likely would be willing to move him as he did not work out at Coor’s Field.  Also he only has one year of control left, which would make him a cheaper get.  With that, the Pittsburgh Pirates could use him as the 7th or 8th innings guy for one year.  We have seen the Bucs kind of plug-in different relievers each year into that role.  McGee represents a nice bounce back candidate, who would slide right into the Bucs bullpen.