Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Non-Tendered Pitchers Worth Pursuing

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 03: Robert Gsellman #44 of the New York Mets pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on October 3, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 03: Robert Gsellman #44 of the New York Mets pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on October 3, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images) /
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Jun 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

Left-handed pitcher Matthew Boyd

At one time Matthew Boyd was one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. He was the big piece that went from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Detroit Tigers at the 2015 trade deadline I exchange for David Price.

Boyd’s fate was one of the big storylines as the non-tendered deadline approached. A big factor in the decision to non-tender Boyd is a flexor tendon surgery that could cost him the entire 2022 season.

Boyd is coming off a season in which he posted a 3.89 ERA and a 4.10 FIP in 78.2 innings across 15 starts. In these 15 starts he struck out 19.9% of batters faced, walked 6.8% of batters faced, which was the second lowest walk rate of his career, and he was worth an fWAR of 1.4.

With the exception of the shortened 2020 season in which Boyd made just 12 starts and his injury shortened 2021 season, he was worth an fWAR of at least 2.1 in each of the last 5 seasons. Pre-injury, he was on par to be a 3+ fWAR pitcher which would have been on par with his 3.2 fWAR from 2019.

What the Pittsburgh Pirates should do is offer Boyd a 2-year, incentive ladened contract. This provides the Pirates with insurance incase he does miss all of the 2022 season and/or is nowhere near his old self when he returns. However, it gives Boyd the ability to earn his fair share if he is indeed healthy and pitching well.

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