Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Steven Brault’s name has come up in recent trade rumors. So, let’s tkae a look at some teams that could be interested in the lefty.
Recently, rumors have surfaced that teams have been looking into Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Steven Brault. The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a rebuilding state so it makes sense teams are calling them about some of their pieces.
Brault is coming off a career best season. Through 42.2 innings of work, Brault put up a 3.38 ERA, 3.92 FIP and 1.19 WHIP. Brault allowed just two home runs for a 0.42 HR/9. This was mainly due to his exit velocity of 85.8 MPH and 49.1% ground ball rate.
Brault also was above average in hard hit rate, expected batting average and expected slugging. Notably, he allowed no runs in six of his 11 games. Plus, he had shown some promise in 2019 with the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching to the tune of a 2.99 ERA, 3.59 FIP and 1.34 WHIP in a 72.1 inning stretch.
There are a few drawbacks when it comes to Brault. For one, before 2020, he’s been extremely inconsistent. Even when he did show some promise in 2019, Brault still had an ERA over 5 and a FIP approaching 5 during that season. From 2016 to 2019, he had a 4.88 ERA, 4.80 FIP and 1.56 WHIP. Though home runs weren’t the biggest of issues for the left-hander, walks were with an 11.3% walk rate to go with a sub-par 18.8% strikeout rate. Walks were still an issue for Brault in 2020 given his 12.4% rate, albeit with a higher strikeout rate (21.1%). He also had a 5.01 SIERA and 5.06 xFIP. Even during his breakout 2020, his SIERA, xFIP and DRA were above or approaching 5.
While Brault might not have the potential another trade chip the Pittsburgh Pirates have in Joe Musgrove does, he makes for a solid back-end starter with three years of control remaining, which if the signings of Drew Smyly and Robbie Ray are an indication of anything, Brault should get a fair amount of trade attention. Since 2016, Brault has only ever been on the injured list twice, a seven-day stint back in 2016 and missed a month in 2019. Aside from that, he’s been pretty durable. So who could be some of the teams that are interested in the lefty?