Pirates Trade Deadline Trade Target: Brad Brach

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 30: Brad Brach
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 30: Brad Brach /

The Pittsburgh Pirates need bullpen help as the July 31st trade deadline approaches, and they need bullpen help

Right now, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 46-48. This puts them 5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central division. The Pirates have put themselves firmly in the division hunt.

As the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline approaches the Pirates are a team that needs help. The area where they need help most is the bullpen. One reliever available on the trade market that can help the Pirates is Orioles’ right-handed reliever Brad Brach.

With better bullpen performance the Pittsburgh Pirates could very well be in first place right now. Entering Tuesday night’s victory over the Brewers, the Pirates ranked 12th in the National League in bullpen ERA (3.79) and 7th in bullpen FIP (4.03).

Now, albeit, these stats are a bit diluted by pitchers such as Antoni Bastardo and Johnny Barbato that were awful and are no longer with the team. The Pirate bullpen has still struggled this season and needs a boost. Brad Brach can provide this boost.

The 44-49 Baltimore Orioles currently sit 7.5 games out of first place in the American League East and 4.0 games out of the second American League Wild Card spot. These are not insurmountable holes. However, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Orioles are ready to sell at this year’s trade deadline.

One player the Orioles are ready to make available on the trade market is right-handed reliever Brad Brach. The 31-year old Brach is having a strong season and has a great track record in his Major League career.

In 40 1/3 innings pitched this season Brach is averaging 9.60 K/9, 2.68 BB/9, and 1.12 HR/9. While his home run rate is higher than you would like, his strikeout and walk rates are both very strong.

Brad Brach owns a 2.68 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 3.80xFIP, and a 0.8 fWAR this season. He is allowing hard contact 26.4 percent of the time, and he is holding opposing hitters to just a 13.4 percent line drive rate.

The Pirate bullpen is a complete crapshoot outside of Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio. This would make Brad Brach a welcome addition. He could play a huge role in the Pirate bullpen bridging things from the starter to Nicasio and Rivero at the back end of the bullpen.

Adding to Brad Brach’s value to the Pirates is his contract situation. He is controlled through the end of the 2018 season. Therefore, adding Brach would make the Pirate bullpen better both now and next season. This is something that Neal Huntington would value greatly.

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If the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to win the National League Central, their bullpen must be better. One way to improve the bullpen is by trading for bullpen help before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. An available reliever that can help is Brad Brach.