Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Underrated Free Agents Still on the Market

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Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Matt Moore

Here is the list of left-handed relievers who had a sub-2.00 ERA in 60+ frames: A.J. Minter, Brock Burke, and Matt Moore. Moore was a massive surprise for the Texas Rangers last year. Formerly an all-star starting pitcher, Moore has had his fair share of struggles, injuries, and inconsistencies. Going into 2022, Moore had yet to post a sub-4.00 ERA in 60+ innings pitched since 2013, but things changed for the better last year.

Along with an outstanding 1.95 ERA, Moore had a 2.95 FIP and 1.18 WHIP through 74 innings. Moore's 27.3% strikeout rate was by far a career-best. He also only allowed three home runs, leading to a 0.36 HR/9 rate. Moore's ground ball rate of 43.9% was only slightly above average but increased its effectiveness by being in the top 69th percentile of average opponent exit velocity (87.7 MPH), 93rd percentile of opponent hard-hit rate (31.3%), and 91st percentile of barrel rate (4.4%).

Now that's not to say there is no risk. Next year will be his age-34 campaign, and he walked 12.5% of the batters he faced. Both xFIP and SIERA painted Moore in a less positive light at 3.87 and 3.69, respectively. But on the plus side, all of Baseball Savant's expected measurements placed Moore in the top 87th percentile or greater.

Moore was so good for Texas that he was consistently seeing playing time in the eighth and ninth inning after the all-star break. In the final 29 appearances of his season, only three were made before the eighth inning, and all three were in the seventh inning. One lasted until the eighth inning as well. Moore was also highly effective during this stretch, with a 2.80 ERA/3.33 FIP.

There have been nearly no rumors about a guy who was one of baseball's most dominant left-handed relievers in 2022 and showed he could handle more high-leverage work. The most has been the Chicago Cubs looking into him and Andrew Chafin. Yes, he's older and comes with some risk, but still. You're talking about a left-handed reliever who pitched over 70 innings and had an ERA under 2.00.

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