Pittsburgh Pirates: Left Feels Right With Free Agent Pitching Targets

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Brett Anderson #42 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on August 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Brett Anderson #42 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on August 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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PEORIA, ARIZONA – MARCH 04: Mike Montgomery #21 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the San Diego Padres on March 04, 2020 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PEORIA, ARIZONA – MARCH 04: Mike Montgomery #21 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the San Diego Padres on March 04, 2020 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Mike Montgomery

Measuring in at 6’5″ and 215 pounds, Mike Montgomery cuts an imposing figure on the mound. A journeyman already, he spent 2015 in Seattle before two stints each with the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs, winning a World Series with the latter.

A lifetime 3.84 ERA pitcher, Montgomery managed only 5.1 innings in 2020 after spending the majority of the season on the injured list with a lat strain. Prior to that, he hurled 91 innings of sub-5.00 ERA, 6.82 K/9, and 5.52 FIP ball in 2019. Montgomery has spent parts of his five year career as a starter, reliever, and swingman so he has the ability to fill multiple roles on a fluid Pirate roster.

Montgomery finds himself currently unsigned after electing free agency in lieu of an outright assignment from Kansas City. Adding the lofty lefty to the Pittsburgh Pirates would give some of the younger arms time to develop while offering insurance as an innings eater were a starter to get yanked early. The once-lauded prospect commanded only a 1yr/$3.1M contract with the Royals in 2020, and like other pitchers on this list, may be interested in short deal to rebuild value. All of these factors make Montgomery an excellent target to bolster the 2021 Pirate rotation.

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The Verdict

Per Stephen Nesbitt of The Athletic, it’s a matter of when, not if, Chad Kuhl will be traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates. With Steven Brault’s breakout 2020 also drawing interest, the Buccos are sure to be down an arm or two by the time catchers report to Bradenton. The team would do well to sign a free agent starter(s), and with Brault possibly on the way out, another lefty would add balance to a righty-laden squad.

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