After being non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals, relief pitcher Alex Reyes could be a fit with the Pittsburgh Pirates in free agency
There were certainly some surprises when it came to players who were non-tendered on Friday. One surprise that we have already identified as a potential free agent target for the Pittsburgh Pirates is catcher Jorge Alfaro.
Another surprising non-tender was relief pitcher Alex Reyes. The former closer, was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals making him a free agent. With the Pirates in need of as much bullpen help as possible this offseason, Reyes would make sense as a free agent target.
Last season Reyes pitched 72.1 innings in a nice 69 games pitched with the Cards. Reyes recorded 29 saves, while posting a 3.24 ERA and a 4.40 FIP. Reyes limited home runs to a 1.08 HR/9 rate and struck out 30.0% of batters faced.
The lone big issue for Reyes in 2022 was his control. He did walk an alarming 16.4% of batters faced. However, thanks in large part due to his high strikeout rate Reyes was able to mostly work around the walks.
Reyes also did a great job limiting quality contact last season. He held opposing batters to a 34.2% hard-hit rate, 4.8% barrel rate, and an average exit velocity of 87.2 MPH, all of which were below league average for hitters.
Reyes has pitched in 101 MLB games, with 94 of them being in relief since making his MLB debut in 2016. He’s posted a 2.86 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 15.5% walk rate, and a 28.4% strikeout rate. So, he has an extended history of success at the major league level.
Looking at the Pirate bullpen for 2023 there are a lot more questions than answers. David Bednar, when healthy, is one of the best receivers in the National League, but struggle with injuries and over use down the stretch last year. Outside of Bednar, there may not be another good reliever in the bullpen. So, it is certainly a group that needs all the help it can get.
A back end of the bullpen duo of Bednar and Reyes could be a very strong one. In fact, it would not be a stunner to see that duo emerge as one of the best high-leverage bullpen one-two punches in the National League Central. This is also part of the reason why Reyes would be a good fit with the Pirates.