The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen needs all the help it can get, and veteran lefty Andrew Chafin could provide some help via free agency
General manager Ben Cherington has plenty of areas he needs to improve this offseason. One of the biggest areas of need on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster is in the bullpen. This includes left-handed relief help.
The only left-handed pitchers that the Pittsburgh Pirates currently have on their 40-man roster are Eric Stout and Manny Bañuelos. Outside of two poor outings, Bañuelos pitched well after being acquired from the New York Yankees in early July. As for Stout, he struggled all season long.
Going into 2023 Bañuelos could very possibly, if not likely have a spot in the Pirate bullpen. After he pitched relatively well with the Bucs (4.26 ERA, 3.35 FIP after being blown up in his first outing) he likely as earned a chance to crack the team’s Opening Day bullpen. However, that would put just one lefty in the Pirate bullpen.
This offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates will likely want to add to their left-handed bullpen options. One potential free agent target/fit could be veteran Andrew Chafin who would provide a big shot in the arm to the Pirate bullpen.
Chafin pitched 57.1 innings with the Detroit Tigers last season, posting a 2.83 ERA and a 3.06 FIP. He walked 7.8% of batters faced, struck batters out at a 27.6% clip, and allowed just five home runs (0.78 HR/9).
For his career Chafin has always been a solid bullpen option. In 386.2 career relief innings pitched the lefty owns a 3.21 ERA and a 3.15 FIP. He’s walked batters at a 9.2% clip, while striking batters out 25.5% of the time.
Ideally you would like to see the Pirates sign a veteran such as Chafin to a two-year contract so that they could still be around in 2024 when the team might be ready to compete again. Even so, a one-year contract with a Chafin type serving as a quality trade chip in July would not be a bad idea either. Most importantly, adding Chafin would make the 2023 Pirate bullpen better.