According to reports, the Pittsburgh Pirates were set to sign a veteran left-handed relief pitcher. Well, it has been weeks and there has been no update.
One of the biggest needs for the Pittsburgh Pirates entering this offseason was to improve the bullpen. Last year, the Pirates had one of the worst bullpens in all of Baseball. The bullpen ERA was 4.72 which was tied for 2nd to last (Cincinnati Reds) in the League. The only team worse than the Pittsburgh Pirates was the Colorado Rockies.
So if the Front Office was really trying to improve this team for the 2023 season then they had to go into the offseason ready to sign multiple relievers. So far the team has not done much of anything to ensure a stronger relief unit in 2023. In fact, the Bucs have not really improved their pitching staff at all.
The two pitchers that the team has signed thus far are Vince Velasquez and Jarlin Garcia. Velasquez was viewed as an interesting bullpen signing. Instead, Ben Cherington announced that they planned to give him a chance to start. Velasquez has not made it at the Big League level as a starter, but this is their answer? So the bullpen is not going to get a veteran boost from that signing.
The other signing was a very interesting one. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia. Garcia has pitched for the Giants and Miami Marlins over the last 6 seasons and has had success. With the Giants in 2022, he posted a 3.74 ERA across 58 games. He pitched even better for the Giants in 2021, posting a 2.62 ERA in 58 games as well.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic announced that the two sides had struck an agreement during the first week of December. Biertempfel tweeted the news during the Winter Meetings, saying:
"Source confirms Pirates set to sign lefty reliever Jarlín García. Nickname: The Elephant. 3.74 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7.8 K/9 last season in 58 outings w Giants"
Yet, here we are almost at the turn of the New Year and no official announcement has been made by the team. Meaning that they have not officially signed him, and this is supported by the fact that he is not listed on the team's 40-man roster. There have been no updates given by any media members or by the team, who technically cannot comment on it until it is official. It will be interesting to see if Garcia ends up being a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen in 2023.