Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Right-Handed Starting Pitchers Still Available in Free Agency to Pursue

These 3 starting pitchers are still free agents and would be a big boost to the Pirate starting rotation

Oct 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Michael
Oct 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Michael / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Jack Flaherty

Righty Jack Flaherty seems like an obvious player to watch. During the Winter Meetings it was reported that the Pirates were interested in pursuing Flaherty. Although, that could hinge on what type of contract Flaherty is looking for.

It seems that Flaherty is in the market for at least a three-year deal, but the Pirates seem uncomfortable to go beyond a two-year deal. Flaherty’s ask could change as free agency goes on and he remains unsigned, and the Pirate offer could change as well.

Last season, Flaherty was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Baltimore Orioles in July. The 28-year-old pitched 144.1 innings in 29 appearances between the two clubs, 27 of which were starts. He posted a 4.99 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 10.2% walk rate, and a 22.8% strikeout rates.

2023 was the worst season of Flaherty’s career. Through seven MLB seasons, he owns a 3.75 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 9.1% walk rate, and a 26.8% strikeout rate across 667.2 innings. A big issue for Flaherty in his career has been injuries. 2023 joined 2018 (28 starts) and 2019 (33 starts) as the only seasons in his career he’s made at least 27 starts.

The injury issues and concerns are likely a big reason why the Pirates, and other clubs, may not want to go more than two years on a contract for Flaherty. It is also a likely factor in Flaherty looking for a bit more assurance in his next contract.