Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Target: RP Pat Neshek

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Pat Neshek
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Pat Neshek /

It would behoove Neal Huntington to address the Pirate bullpen between now and Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a shaky bullpen all season long. Felipe Rivero is one of the best relievers in the National League and Juan Nicasio has been excellent. However, the rest of the bullpen has been, at best, inconsistent.

Neal Huntington has just six days left to address the Pirate bullpen via trade. If the Pirates are going to make a run at the National League Central, which they certainly can, the bullpen needs to be better.

A relief pitcher that should be a trade target for the Pittsburgh Pirates is Pat Neshek. The Philadelphia Phillies’ right-handed reliever has been lights out all season long. He is also a pitcher that the Pirates have long coveted.

At the 2014 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings, the Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to be on the verge of signing Pat Neshek. Neshek had a 2-year contract offer on the table from the Bucs he was ready to accept. At, literally, the last second the Houston Astros swooped in with a 3-year contract offer. This led to Neshek signing with the Astros.

This past offseason the Astros traded Neshek to the Philadelphia Phillies. As a member of the Phillies, Neshek has been excellent. And now the National League’s worst team appears ready to trade the free agent to be.

In 40 1/3 innings pitched this season the 36-year old Pat Neshek has allowed just 28 hits and a pair of home runs. Neshek is averaging 10.04 K/9, just 1.12 BB/9, and he has not hit a batter or thrown a wild pitch.

Pat Neshek is allowing hard contact at a very low 24.5 percent rate. Also, opposing hitters own just a 17.4 percent line drive rate off of Neshek and his 37.0 percent ground ball rate is a new career-high. All of this has come out to Neshek owning a sparkling 1.12 ERA and 1.93 FIP this season.

Very quietly, Pat Neshek has been one of the best relief pitchers in the National League this season.

Next: Pirates Blown Out by Giants

Pat Neshek is one of the best relief pitchers currently available on the trade market. By adding Neshek, the Pirates would pair him with Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero to give them one of the best late inning shutdown bullpens in the National League. It would be similar to Neal Huntington adding Joakim Soria to the dominant duo of Tony Watson and Mark Melancon in 2015.