Now that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed relief pitcher Daniel Hudson, could there be further bullpen moves to come?
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates inked reliever Daniel Hudson to a 2-year contract. Due to this, the Pirates now have a logjam of relievers on their 40-man roster. And even before signing Hudson they already had a logjam of left-handed relief pitchers.
Due to this logjam I expect the Pirates to make another bullpen move. I expect the Pittsburgh Pirates to trade one of their relief pitchers this offseason. So the question becomes who?
Both Tony Watson and Antonio Bastardo are names that have been floated this offseason. It was been reported by multiple reports and sources that the Pirates have shopped both Watson and Bastardo this offseason. And it makes sense to do so.
Tony Watson and Antonio Bastardo are both left-handed relief pitchers. And, currently, the Pirates have five left-handed relievers on their 40-man roster. Neither Watson nor Bastardo have any Minor League options available, the same goes for Wade LeBlanc, due to being a Rule 5 Draft selection Ryan Webb must remain on the Major League roster, and Felipe Rivero is arguably the Pirates best reliever. This creates one hell of a logjam of left-handed relief pitchers.
I expect either Tony Watson or Antonio Bastardo to be traded before the season starts. There is no doubt that Tony Watson would net a better return, however, he also would help the 2017 Pirates more than Bastardo would. Due to this, Neal Huntington may have a tough decision to make.
Even before the signing of Daniel Hudson I felt there was a good chance that either Watson or Bastardo would be traded. Now, I will be surprised if neither is traded. I also felt there was a good chance would be moved as it is possible the Pirates believe his left arm is toast.
Since the start of the 2012 season Tony Watson has pitched more innings than any other reliever in baseball. Due to this, it may not be a coincidence that August and September of last season were the two worst months of his career.
Even if Watson is traded, the Pittsburgh Pirates will still have a very strong back of the bullpen. The trio of Daniel Hudson, Juan Nicasio, and Felipe Rivero will allow the Pirates to play a lot of six inning games. And if your starting rotation is going to be average, this is the best way to go about winning. Just ask the 2014 and 2015 Kansas City Royals.