2016 American League Cy Young winner Rick Porcello is coming off a so-so stint with the New York Mets. While he may have had a 5.64 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, he also had a solid 3.33 FIP, 4.38 xFIP, 4.45 SIERA and 4.58 DRA.
Porcello only walked 5.7% of all the batters he faced while having a strong 0.76 HR/9 rate. Porcello has never been a big strikeout guy, but had a 20.7% strikeout rate compared to his career average 17.5% rate.
Porcello was majorly hurt by a .373 batting average on balls in play despite an above average exit velocity (87.2 MPH) and hard hit rate (36.8%), which caused his ERA to rise so much. Combined with a small sample size of just 59 innings and his numbers are a bit inflated. In the three seasons prior to 2020 he was a roughly league average pitcher putting up a 4.79 ERA, 4.45 FIP and 1.32 WHIP. That comes out to a 104 ERA-, 96 ERA+ and 102 FIP-. That’s all within 5% of the league average.
The main reason the Pirates should look into Porcello is to provide a durable arm. From 2017-2019, the soft tossing right hander averaged 33 starts and 190 innings per season. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a lot of young arms, including in the bullpen, so having a starter who can consistently give you 6 innings every five days and give your bullpen some rest is a big positive.