Friday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitcher JT Brubaker agreed to a contract for the 2023 season, avoiding arbitration
In a little over a month, pitchers and catchers will report to Bradenton and spring training will be underway for the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are likely still a few loose ends for the team to tie up before that happens. Friday afternoon, one of these loose ends was tied up.
On Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher JT Brubaker agreed to a contract for the 2023 season. With this the two sides avoid an arbitration hearing. The contract they agreed upon will pay Brubaker $2.275 million this season.
The 29-year-old righty is coming off the best season of his MLB career. After being named the team’s Opening Day starter, Brubaker made a career high 28 starts while also pitching a career best 144 innings. He walked 8.4% of batters faced and had a strong 23% strikeout rate. Brubaker pitched to the tune of a 4.69 ERA and a 3.92 FIP, both of which were career lows, but these stats did not tell the entire story.
Brubaker started the season with two poor starts, the second of which had more to do with bad defense than the way he pitched and ended the season on a sour note. This final start, however, came after he had spent time on the injured list, so he may have been better served just remaining on the IL. In the 25 starts in between, Brubaker’s ERA was a solid 4.27.
Looking ahead to 2023 Brubaker’s role is a bit up in the air. With the offseason additions of Rich Hill and Vince Velasquez there is a possibility Brubaker could be bumped to the bullpen, or potentially find himself in a piggybacking type role with Velasquez when the season begins. Brubaker could also still be used as trade bait to potentially help acquire a still needed bullpen arm, or a backup middle infielder.