Pittsburgh Pirates: Attempting to Fill Out the Pitching Staff


Here we are in the second week of February and the Pittsburgh Pirates have yet to make a splash in free agency. How surprising.

Yeah, they signed an above average relief pitcher in Chasen Shreve, but Pittsburgh still has to fill out the rotation. The spring is inching closer and the Pirates are still without a few arms. We are getting to the point in free agency where only “the leftovers” remain. So let’s see what is left in the fridge for the Pittsburgh Pirates to heat up.

Trevor Cahill

Pittsburgh Pirates
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 05: Trevor Cahill #53 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Oracle Park on September 5, 2020 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

People seem to forget that Cahill used to have some pretty good stuff. When he was only 22-years-old, he was an American League All-Star for Oakland and put up an 18-8 record to go along with a stellar 2.97 ERA.

Now I am not here to tell you that if Pittsburgh can sign him he will be back to that form because now 11 years later, and some very rough years in between, the former All-Star is very quietly hanging on to his MLB career. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t looking to break the bank and probably wouldn’t mind a veteran arm in the rotation so why not give the guy a shot? He did post a 3.24 ERA in just 6 starts last season for San Francisco.

Jordan Zimmerman

Remember that guy that used to be the ace for the Nationals like 7 or 8 years ago? What was his name again? Oh yeah, that’s Jordan Zimmerman. A two-time National League All-Star for Washington, Zimmerman put together four straight seasons of a 3.25 ERA or better which helped lead him to a 5-year, $110 million contract with the Detroit Tigers that I am sure all Detroit fans wish they could take back.

Things weren’t the same in Detroit for the right-hander. He struggled from the jump and in his first season in Motor City he posted a 4.87 ERA, 4.42 FIP, and a 1.37 WHIP. In his second season, his numbers only got worse as he assembled a 6.08 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and a 5.18 WHIP. Now after stealing a bag of money from Detroit, Zimmerman’s asking price won’t even be a fraction of what he signed for back in 2016. At 34-years-old, let’s see if he can squeeze any talent out.

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Matt Shoemaker

Shoemaker screams Pittsburgh. He has posted a career 3.86 ERA and hasn’t made over $4.2 million in a season since he’s been in the league. That is bargain shopping!

Shoemaker orchestrated a beautiful 2014 season where he put up a 16-4 record with a 3.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and struck out 124 batters. Since then, he hasn’t been nearly as dominant but he has shown some sparks. In 2019, he threw for a 3-0 record, a 1.57 ERA, and a 0.87 WHIP in just 5 starts.