Pittsburgh Pirates: Re-Analyzing Top Pitching Trade Targets

With new rumors and transactions since our last top Pirates starting pitching trade targets article was released, let's re-analyze who should be their top targets now in late-November.

Sep 11, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20)
Sep 11, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Number Four
Shane Bieber

Shane Bieber was on my list the first time around and ranked number four. Bieber’s 2023 season was not bad, far from it. However, given his resume, it was a pretty lackluster season for his standards. Still, there’s not a single team who wouldn’t take Bieber as part of their starting rotation for next season.

Bieber was limited to just 128 innings but worked to a 3.80 ERA, 3.87 FIP, and 1.23 WHIP. He only had a 20.1% strikeout rate but a robust 6.4% walk rate and above average 0.98 HR/9. These aren’t bad numbers, but they pale in comparison to his 2.91 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 1.05 WHIP, 30.3% K-rate, and 5.5% walk rate he put up from 2019 through 2022.

Bieber also got hit hard, with a 91.6 MPH exit velocity and 47.6% hard-hit rate, both of which were below the 5th percentile of all pitchers last season. On the plus side, his 47.2% ground ball rate is about what you’d expect from him and better than the league average rate of 42.5%.

The only reason Bieber is above Glasnow is because he has a much better track record. Bieber has been able to stay healthy 200+ innings twice in his career. Heck, he has nearly as many IPs over the last four years compared to Glasnow over his entire eight-season career. Bieber also only has one year of control remaining as well.