Pirates trade for reliever Nick Burdi

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

On Thursday morning the Pittsburgh Pirates swung a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies for a hard throwing relief pitcher

Thursday morning at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings the Rule 5 Draft took place. In this draft, the Philadelphia Phillies selected reliever Nick Burdi. The Pittsburgh Pirates then traded international slot money to the Phillies for Nick Burdi.

Nick Burdi is an intriguing arm to add to the Pirate bullpen mix for 2018. Burdi is a hard throwing 24-year-old right-handed reliever. In 104 career Minor League innings pitched Burdi has allowed just 50 hits, five home runs, and he has struck out 143 batters.

The former 46th overall draft pick pitched at Double-A in the Minnesota Twins’ organization last season. In 17 innings pitched he allowed just nine hits, one home runs, he walked four, and struck out 20. This led to him owning a 0.53 ERA and a 2.23 FIP.

Burdi possesses a fastball that sits in the 98-100 miles per hour range. He also throws a wicked slider that sits in the high 80s to low 90s that he uses as a put away pitch to rack up strikeouts. He will mix in the occasional changeup as well.

Nick Burdi pitched just three innings in 2016 due to a bone bruise. He then missed most of 2017 due to Tommy John Surgery. Burdi will start the 2018 season on the 60-day disabled list, before beginning to rehab in the Pirate Minor League system.

Entering the 2017 season, he was the top pitching prospect in the Minnesota organization.

Next: Pirates select Jordan Milbrath in Rule 5 Draft

Nick Burdi was the best player available in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft. Trading for him in an under-the-radar but strong move by Neal Huntington. Burdi has all the tools necessary to be a key contributor for the Pirate bullpen in 2018 and beyond.