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 Bullpen Coach Rojas
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Building the Bullpen Back Up

The Pittsburgh Pirates will no doubt be adding a few bullpen pieces this off-season.  Every year we see the Bucs make moves to enhance their options.  Typically this works out and is one of the stronger parts of the team.  This past season the bullpen was solid, but not as great as it has been.  With that we did not see them make a whole lot of change last off-season to it.  Yes they brought in Neftali Feliz, who filled in nicely, but other than that they struggled with their in-house options.

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The Bucs needs to make sure they have a strong bullpen this upcoming season.  With Gerrit Cole‘s injuries last season, and  Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl entering their first full seasons the Bucs will be strict with their innings.  The best way to preserve their starts is to trust the guys coming in after them.  Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee are both proven veterans who not only have experience but have produced really good results pitching late in games.

Both pitchers could help bridge the gap to Tony Watson in the ninth by being the 7th or 8th innings guys.  Also they both could be on the trade market this off-season as they are coming off the worst years of their careers.  Although both are different contractually, both would be good for the Bucs.  Boxberger comes with a few more years of control which is always a good thing to obtain in a trade.  Meanwhile, McGee would come with only one year which can be good as you do not have any long-term payroll commitments.

Will the Pittsburgh Pirates make deals for either one of these pitchers?  Most likely not.  First there is nothing saying they are available.  However, sometimes interested teams can make players available by showing interest.  Second, both teams would be selling low.  The Rays do not need to deal Boxberger right now if they do not get what they are looking for in a deal for him.  They could take this year and hope he bounces back then trade him.  McGee is more likely to a trade target as he fell out of favor with the Rockies last year. He is expendable with only one year of control.  Either way, expect the Bucs to be doing homework on the bullpen trade market.  If Neal Huntington makes a calls around the league looking for relief help, he needs to ask about these two arms.

Also, all stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

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