With the Winter Meetings currently underway and starting pitching being a desperate need, the Pittsburgh Pirates are monitoring the market around veteran pitcher Jack Flaherty
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates were rumored by MLB Trade Rumors and Jeff Jones (a beat reporter for the Cardinals) to be pursuing and monitoring the market around 28-year-old pitcher, Jack Flaherty. If he doesn’t get a long-term deal from other teams, the Pirates are willing to sign him to a short-term deal, per J. As many fans and reporters have stated, signing starting pitching is of utmost importance this offseason. During the 2022-2023 season, the Pirates starting rotation showed flashes of brilliance, but toward the end of the season, younger pitchers struggled to take the next step. Let’s take a look into Jack Flaherty and see what what he has to offer:
Some Pirates fans will remember Jack Flaherty, due to being a former ace for division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. In his 7-year career with the Cardinals, Flaherty posted a combined 3.58 ERA, and 3.97 FIP, struck out 748 batters, and had a 1.18 WHIP across 118 starts and 633 innings pitched. Even with injury troubles, Flaherty still posted solid numbers for the Cardinals. Flaherty was traded to the Baltimore Orioles before last season’s trade deadline and unfortunately, things didn’t pan out well for him. With the Orioles, Flaherty posted a 6.75 ERA, 4.84 FIP, struck out 42 batters, and had a 1.67 WHIP across 34 2/3 innings pitched. Flaherty struggled with giving up hard contact in his brief stint with the Orioles and is in massive need of a rebound in the 2023-2024 season.
Since Ben Cherington has been General Manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’s added veteran pitching (albeit being very hit or miss at times) to this roster in every offseason, and it’s not surprising that they will be targeting starting pitching again this offseason. Even after coming off a rough year, Flaherty is only 28-years-old and is one of the younger free-agent pitchers on the market that has genuine upside, so it wouldn’t hurt to add a guy like him to the rotation on a short-term deal.
Ben Cherington is also not a stranger to targeting veteran pitchers who are “projects” in free agency, such as Tyler Anderson and Jose Quintana; both of whom panned out well in Pittsburgh. Will Jack Flaherty sign with the Pirates? Could Jack Flaherty bounce back in Pittsburgh? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs with another ball club for more money. If Lance Lynn and Luis Severino can get $11 million and $13 million for dreadful seasons, I’m sure Flaherty will find better suitors than Pittsburgh, but who knows, anything can happen during the offseason!
With massive holes in the rotation, the Pittsburgh Pirates NEED to sign at least two veteran starters to fill rotation vacancies. Jack Flaherty could be one of them.
Since Johan Oviedo is shut down for the 2024 season, due to Tommy John surgery, and many young pitchers struggling down the stretch, this rotation is in serious need of quality starters. As of right now, the Pirates rotation is as follows: Mitch Keller, Bailey Falter, Quinn Priester, Luis Ortiz, and Roansy Contreras. The only established pitcher in this rotation is Mitch Keller, and with the loss of Oviedo, the Pirates are in desperate need of veteran starting pitching. All we can do is hope and pray that our young prospects pan out, and that Ben Cherington either signs two veteran pitchers, has a trade up his sleeve for a starter, or a little bit of both.