Earlier this week it was reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates were showing interest in free-agent reliever Edwin Escobar. Escobar is one of the unique circumstances of a former top Major League prospect who did not pan out and is now trying to make a comeback. Escobar has been pitching in the NPB since 2017.
It made sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates to be interested in the former top prospect. He has become one of the better bullpen arms in the NPB. His career ERA in the NPB was a 3.21 So for the Pirates they would be acquiring a needed veteran bullpen arm that has always had potential and was relatively off the radar being he is trying to make his way back into Major League Baseball.
The issue is that there was one other team that reportedly had similar thoughts. The Chicago Cubs, one of the National League Central rivals, were also reported to be interested in the right-handed pitcher. The report came from Anderson Vargas, a Baseball writer who covers Venezuelan players:
In classic Pittsburgh Pirates fashion the team will not be the team signing the veteran reliever. It has been reported that Escobar will be signing with the division rivals in Chicago. Luis Enrique Morales reported the news, however, details of the deal have yet to be released:
The Pittsburgh Pirates currently have only 3 open spots on their 40-man roster. It is hard to say if the Bucs were trying to use one of the spots on Escobar. This very well could have been part of the determining factor of how aggressively to pursue Escobar. Either way, it is always disappointing to see a player who is actually being connected to the Pittsburgh Pirates, sign elsewhere. This is especially true when they lose out on the player to a division rival.