The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their first signings of the offseason. They have brought in a veteran pitcher.
One need for the Pittsburgh Pirates heading into the 2022 season is pitching. The Bucs desperately need innings filled as they continue to advance their pitching prospects through the system. Well, the Bucs have already made their move to bring in an arm.
According to Robert Murray of FanSided, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement with left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana. Murray was first to report the deal, but since it has been also been confirmed by Jon Heyman. Heyman adds that it is a one-year, Major League deal.
Obviously, the Bucs view Quintana as that veteran pitcher who will eat innings. However, being it is a one-year deal, Quintana could become a trade chip if he has an effective first half. We saw the Pittsburgh Pirates do this last trade deadline with left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson.
It is interesting to see this again. Ben Cherington’s thought process could be that if he is going to sign a “flip” candidate veteran pitcher, then bringing in a lefty makes it easier to find a deal. After all, teams are always looking for arms at the deadline, but especially left-handed arms. Of course on the flip side, the team tried this with Derek Holland in 2020 but they were not able to find a deal.
Now keep in mind Quintana is not the pitcher he was 5 years ago. In fact, it is ironic as the former front office had interest in Quintana when he was with the White Sox. He has not posted an ERA below 4 since 2017. Also, he has been used as a starter and reliever in each of the last two seasons. So it will be interesting to see how he is utilized by the Bucs.
Another angle to look at this is the fact that he is receiving a Major League deal. This means he will have to be added to the team’s 40 man roster. The last week or so has told us that the Bucs do not have a lot of flexibility with their 40 man roster, exposing prospects like Cal Mitchell and Tahnaj Thomas to the Rule V draft. So will the Bucs DFA someone off of their roster? Or could there be another trade on the horizon? We shall see, but it is at least a notable move for a team that likely will not make a lot of them this offseason.