After signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, Yariel Rodriguez is off the free agent board and the Pittsburgh Pirates are still searching for more starting pitching help
Entering the offseason, general manager Ben Cherington and his staff had plenty of needs to address on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster. None of these needs were bigger than their need to add starting pitching help.
Overall, it has been a disappointing offseason for the Pirates. They have not addressed their need at second base, have failed to add any bullpen help, signed a potentially over-the-hill Rowdy Tellez for first base, and have ignored their need for another every day outfielder, preferably one who can play center field.
As for their big need in the starting rotation, the team has added two starting pitchers. However, those two starting pitcher come with plenty of question marks. The two starters they have added are Marco Gonzales who has struggled the past two seasons and is coming off a 2023 season in which a nerve issue in his forearm limited him to just 10 starts. Martín Pérez was also signed to a one-year deal, but he is coming off a season in which he lost his job in the Texas starting rotation and he's had just two good seasons in 12 year MLB career.
This leaves the Pirates still in need of starting pitching help. As currently constructed, they have the worst starting rotation in the National League Central and a bottom three or four starting rotation in the entire National League.
Another starting pitcher the Pirates were targeting was Cuban righty Yariel Rodriguez. At one point it appeared that the Pirates may have even been the frontrunners for Rodriguez. Well, on Wednesday he came off the board signing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
At this point, the starting pitching free agent market is starting to get bare. With the current state of the Pirate starting rotation the team is in need of adding a true impact arm. Right now, it does not appear there is any way for them to add that arm.