A lingering question that remains is why the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to give out one of their most lucrative free-agent deals in Franchise history. While $10.5 million is not a huge number, it very much is for the Pirates. Furthermore, it is a lot of money for the Bucs to spend on a 7th/8th inning guy. Why be so aggressive financially for a reliever when starters are signing for similar prices? For instance, the Dodgers inked starter James Paxton to a 1-year pact worth $11 million.
Could there be another move on the horizon for the Pittsburgh Pirates?
First and foremost the team will need to announce the Chapman deal. Then they will he to make a corresponding roster move as well as the 40-man roster is currently full. However, there is no obvious reliever that would be worth outright cutting at this point.
So could this all add up to a trade finally occuring? It has been rumored for a month now that the Pittsburgh Pirates were looking to make a significant addition to the rotation beyond Marco Gonzales and Martin Perez. Are the Bucs going to use one of their young, controllable, power relief pitchers to net a starter?
If it is a starter with upside then it would probably take more than just a relief pitcher. But if the Bucs add on some pieces around the relief pitcher they probably could make something happen. One team that stands out to me is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners no longer have Paul Sewald who was a part of their backend routine. Andres Munoz is their closer, but he missed significant time last year. Meanwhile their division rivals the Astros and Angels fortified their bullpens this week. Josh Hader signed a deal with the Astros and former Bucco reliever Robert Stephenson signed with the Angels.
The Mariners have been relatively quiet this offseason which is rare. They have not made any real big splashes and still have plenty of needs including relief help and middle infield help. These are two areas that the Pittsburgh Pirates have depth at, especially now in the bullpen with Chapman. The team wants to add starting pitching and it is seeming more and more likely that it will be through a trade.