Pittsburgh Pirates sign ex-Tampa Bay left-handed pitcher Josh Fleming

It was recently revealed that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Josh Fleming to a major-league split contract, meaning if he reaches the Majors he would earn a salary of $850,000.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Dodgers v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Pirates bolstered their pitching depth on Wednesday by signing free agent lefty Josh Fleming

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement with free agent Josh Fleming on a Major League split contract, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray. According to Murray, if Fleming reaches the major leagues, his contract would reach a value of $850,000.

Fleming, at only 27, apparently drew interest from a few teams before signing with the Pirates, who “strongly pursued him” as a bullpen piece that could open games and pitch around 2-3 innings before getting removed. This would be similar to the role he played with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2023.

During his career with the Rays, Fleming struggled to find a spot on the team and posted a 4.88 ERA in 223 innings pitched. He doesn’t hold too much potential, so after getting designated for assignment by the Rays, he was picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies on November 6th before being granted free agency.

His pitch arsenal consists of a four-seam fastball, curveball, changeup, and sinker. His best pitch would probably be his sinker, but as a whole, he isn’t too impressive of a free agent and is more of a depth piece.

Fleming likely will not start the 2024 season in the Majors. However, if he pitches well for Triple-A Indy he could find himself in Pittsburgh at some point. The current Pirate bullpen projects to consists of David Bednar, Aroldis Chapman, Colin Holderman, Carmen Mlodzinski, Ryan Borucki, Dauri Moreta, and some combination of Bailey Falter, Jose Hernandez, Colin Selby, and Roasny Conteras.

Finding time on the MLB roster could be troubling for Fleming. But at age 27, he holds much more potential to reach the major leagues than others, pending no more acquisitions which the Pirates have been rumored to be interested in.

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