Veteran left-handed reliever Brent Suter could fill multiple holes that currently exist in the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen
Entering the 2024 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a quality bullpen core in place. Led by David Bednar and Dauri Moreta, the Bucs have a strong core group that also includes Carmen Mlodzinski, Colin Holderman, and Ryan Borucki.
This group, however, is still in need of left-handed help. Borucki pitched extremely well last season, but that was the first success Borucki found in the majors. So it is risky to bank on him repeating that in 2024. Jose Hernandez and Bailey Falter could factor into the left-handed relief pitching situation.
Looking ahead to the start of the season, the Pirates could really benefit from adding another reliable high-leverage bullpen arm. They could also benefit from adding another reliable left-handed relief pitcher. Veteran free agent Brent Suter could fill both of these needs.
Suter knows the NL Central well. The 34-year-old lefty spent the first 7 seasons of his MLB career with the Milwaukee Brewers. Suter than spent last season pitching for the Colorado Rockies. With the Rockies, Suter posted a 3.38 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 8.6% walk rate, 18.8% strikeout rate, and a 0.39 HR/9 in 69.1 innings pitched.
In his career, Suter owns a 3.49 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 6.4% walk rate, and a 20.4% strikeout rate in 464 innings pitched. These 464 innings pitched have come in 253 games, 41 of which were starts. Outside of working as an opener, Suter has not worked as a regular MLB starter since 2018. 34 of his 41 career starts came in 2016-2018.
Suter would also add value to the bullpen due to his ability to pitcher in multiple different roles. Suter can be a single inning, shutdown reliever. He has also shown the ability to cover multiple innings when asked to do so in his MLB career.
Odds appear low that the Pirates will add any valuable bullpen help the rest of the offseason. General manager Ben Cherington has even said as much. Sadly, this is not a surprise from a team that does not appear to be attempting to win in 2024.
Suter would be a very strong addition to the Pirate bullpen. He would add a big shot in the arm to the group and give Derek Shelton more flexibility in what he can do with his group. Unfortunately, the odds of the Pirates adding Suter are likely close to zero.