Pittsburgh Pirates: An Early Look at 3 Free Agents to Target This Offseason

The way in which the Pirates approach this offseason will let us know how serious they are about winning next year

Aug 9, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Michael
Aug 9, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Michael / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Right-handed pitcher Michael Lorenzen

That's right, another starting pitcher. You might've heard this name last week after he tossed a no-hitter in just his second start with the Phillies, and he would be a fantastic option to help solidify the Pirate rotation.

Whether you want to call it developmental failure or bad luck, the Pirates simply have not had the success they'd hoped for with their young starters this season. Both Roansy Contreras and Luis Ortiz regressed significantly, and Quinn Priester has looked quite poor since his call-up last month.

Before the season, if you had told any Pirates fan who pays close attention that all three of those names would be duds, they probably would have called you insane, yet here we are. Unfortunately, we're at the point where the only two locks for the Opening Day 2024 rotation are Mitch Keller and Johan Oviedo.

Therefore, the Pirates need at least two starters this offseason if they are serious about winning in 2024. They cannot be the bargain bin or reclamation project types, either. Rich Hill and Vince Velasquez were serviceable before they were traded/injured, but the Pirates need to be aiming for a level higher than this if they actually want 2024 to be the year they turn the corner.

has a 3.23 ERA and 1.9 fWAR in 122.2 innings this season, and was the lone Tiger All-Star before they shipped him to Philadelphia at the deadline. He's signed for $8.5 million currently, and the Pirates should be able to give him a nice raise while still remaining comfortably within their budget. He would be a great addition to any team's rotation, but particularly the Pirates who severely lack experience and consistency with their starters.

Obviously, you cannot expect the Pirates to sign all three of these players. If they could even get one of these names, that would greatly improve their chances in 2024. While the Pirates have had some unfortunate things happen with their starting pitchers this year, the free agent class is one of the deepest we've seen in a while for pitching. There's a bunch of other names not included here that they can get to help bolster their rotation, so they'll have a great opportunity this offseason.

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