Pittsburgh Pirates Free Agent Target: Pitcher Zack Godley

Aug 23, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Zack Godley (68) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Zack Godley (68) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Veteran right-handed starting pitcher Zack Godley is one that could be a potential free agent target for the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason.

With the start of MLB’s Winter Meetings just four days away, as the great Jim Ross would say, business is about to pick up for the MLB offseason. This will likely include business picking up for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

One area that will likely see a lot of overturn for the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason is the starting rotation. This has already started when Trevor Williams was designated for assignment earlier in the offseason. In addition to Williams being DFA’d, all signs point toward Joe Musgrove being traded this offseason. Fellow starter Steven Brault has also already generated trade talk this offseason. Even without these two being traded, the team will be in need of starting pitching help.

As the team will be in the market for starting pitching help, they will likely attempt to turn to a veteran starting pitcher. This veteran could be brought in to both help mentor young pitchers, and also build potential trade value for July. One veteran that could fit this bill is righty Zack Godley.

Godley is coming off a down year with the Boston Red Sox. In eight games, seven starts, with the Red Sox, Godley posted a 8.16 ERA and a 7.10 FIP in 28.2 innings pitched. He walked 9.8% of batters faced, struck out 19.6% and allowed home runs at an alarming 2.83 HR/9 rate.

These numbers do not represent Godley’s career numbers, however. Godley has pitched in 136 MLB games, with 88 of them being starts. He has logged 565.1 innings in these 136 games, posting a career 4.86 ERA but a solid 4.28 FIP.

Godley’s career walk rate is 9.5%, strikeout rate is 22.1% and his home run rate is a solid 1.13 HR/9. All of these stats are of a solid back end of the rotation starting pitcher, which is something the Pittsburgh Pirates could really use this offseason.

To circle back to Godley’s 2020 season, he was burnt by a .371 batting average on balls in play. This BAbip indicates that Godley was victimized by poor defense and luck during the 2020 season. Also, his 88.9 MPH exit velocity was league average.

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While Godley will never carry or anchor a MLB starting rotation, he can be a solid back end of the rotation piece. This is something that the Pirates will be in need of during the 2021 season, and that could make Godley a free agent target for the Bucs.

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