Albeit a minor one, Ben Cherington has swung his first trade as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates officially named Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. His first string of roster moves came two days later when he added five players to the 40-man roster to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 Draft, while also designating four players for assignment.
Of the four players that the Pirates designated for assignment one of them has been traded. This player is pitcher Dario Agrazal.
After being designated for assignment for the second time in as many offseasons, Agrazal was traded by the Pirates on Monday. The Panamanian right-handed pitcher was traded to the Detroit Tigers. In return, the team simply received cash considerations.
Despite being designated for assignment last offseason, Agrazal came to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee last spring. He then made his MLB debut in June, and went on to pitch in 15 games for the Pirates in 2019.
In these 15 games, 14 of which were starts, Agrazal struggled. Agrazal logged 73 1/3 innings at the MLB level and posted a 4.91 ERA and a 5.90 FIP. He allowed an alarming 1.84 HR/9, he hit 10 batters, generated a 39.9% groundball rate, and allowed 82 hits. While his 5.6% walk rate was strong, his 12.8% strikeout rate was far too low to generate long term MLB success.
Agrazal may have provided pitching depth for the Pirates in 2020 but that was it. His ceiling at the MLB level is a long reliever that can make the occasional spot start. Pitchers like that can be found growing on trees throughout baseball.
This was the first of what is likely to be multiple moves by Cherington this offseason. Make sure to stay tuned with Rum Bunter throughout the offseason for all and any Pittsburgh Pirates news and rumors.