Pitcher Steven Brault
Seeing Steven Brault‘s name on this list may come as a surprise. But hear me out.
Brault, like Kuhl and Difo, will hit free agency following the 2022 season. While the Pittsburgh Pirates will need starting pitching help in 2022 and Brault could pitch is way into being a valuable trade chip in July, that hinges on his health.
Health is something that Brault has struggled with, including in 2021. During the 2021 season Brault made just 7 starts. He spent the first four months on the injured list and then finished the season back on the IL.
In his 7 starts Brault struggled. The lefty posted a 5.86 ERA, 4.62 FIP, walked 9.4% of batters faced, struck out just 15.0% of batters faced and allowed 3 home runs in 27.2 innings pitched. Brault owns a 4.77 ERA and a 4.67 FIP in 343.1 career innings pitched across 107 games, 52 of which have been starts.
Next season the Pirates will be looking to give as many starts as possible to young arms such as Bryse Wilson, Miguel Yajure and Roansy Contreras. Dillon Peters also earned a rotation spot with his work down the stretch in 2021. Factor in the Pirates looking to add starting pitching help this offseason and Brault could find himself as an odd man out.
While Brault is the least likely of these four players to be non-tendered, it is certainly a possibility. Due to his injury history, his career results, 2021 struggles and being set to hit free agency following the 2022 season, non-tendering Brault is something for fans to monitor.