Pittsburgh Pirates Free Agent Target: Starting Pitcher Julio Teheran


The Pittsburgh Pirates won’t be very active in free agency because the team is simply not ready to win yet, however, they will be looking to add bounce back candidates and there’s a former two-time National League All-Star who could help the starting rotation.

After declining Chris Archer’s $11M club option, and the likely pending trade of Joe Musgrove, the Pittsburgh Pirates could most certainly use a starting pitcher to plug in to the rotation for the 2021 season. General manager Ben Cherington and company will most likely look to the free agent market to do so, most likely on a low-cost and low-risk, one-year deal.

One guy that could fit the bill is former Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels right-hander Julio Teheran. After a strong career with Atlanta that included two National League All-Star appearances (2014 and 2016), Teheran packed his bags and signed with the Angels on a one-year deal with hopes of finding his former self before hitting the market again this offseason. However, due to injury, Teheran was a disaster for the Angels, only appearing in 10 games with nine of them being starts.

The Teheran experiment in LA was a complete bust, even when he did manage to take the mound he was still held down by early injuries. Posting a -1.0 WAR, a 10.05 ERA, and a 1.76 WHIP, he was a shell of his former self on an Angels team that was begging for starting pitching.

Missing time like this was an irregularity for the once dominant right-hander, from 2013-2019 Teheran had made over 30 starts each season. He also had a knack for shutting down the Pittsburgh Pirates during this strethc.

Maybe the 170+ innings each year finally caught up to the former ace for the 2019 season, not saying there isn’t anything left in the tank because at only 29 years-old he is in no way “done” in my opinion.

For most of Teheran’s career he’s been a consistently solid starter who eats innings, posting a career 3.81 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, alongside a 7.9 K/9 rate. Pretty impressive numbers over the course of his ten-year career. This is exactly the type of move the front office needs to make if they do in fact trade Musgrove and/or Steven Brault.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates could offer Teheran a one-year deal, a rotation spot with little pressure, and an opportunity to get him healthy and make himself some money when he returns to the free-agent market next offseason. While in return the Pirates hope to get him back on track and move him to a contender at the deadline in exchange for more future assets.