Add At Least One Proven Reliever
The Pirates already have a solid foundation for a good bullpen. David Bednar can easily handle the 9th inning. He was tied for the most saves in the National League with San Francisco closer Camilo Doval. Colin Holderman and Carmen Mlodzinski can handle the 7th and 8th innings. Dauri Moreta and Ryan Borucki are also on hand and can occasionally handle higher-leverage. But the bullpen is lacking overall depth.
After Moreta and Borucki, it will be a toss-up as to who will be in the bullpen. Angel Perdomo, Jose Hernandez will likely fill the second lefty role. Others like Yerry De Los Santos, Kyle Nicolas, Hunter Stratton, Colin Selby, and Cody Bolton will also be in the running for bullpen spots. However, nothing here inspires too much confidence.
Adding at least one reliable veteran reliever to increase stability and depth is a must the Pirates need to look into. My top pick is David Robertson, who is coming off a year where he had a 3.03 ERA, 3.55 FIP, and 1.19 WHIP in 65.1 innings. Robertson’s numbers are also inflated by a poor month of August. Aside from Robertson, there are a few others that I would be interested to see the Pirates pursue. Pierce Johnson, Shelby Miller, Reynaldo Lopez, Emilio Pagan, Matt Moore, Jake Diekman, Brent Suter, and Joe Jimenez are other players that would help fill this void in the bullpen.
This is another position that could be filled by searching the international market. Yuki Matsui is one of the best left-handed closing pitchers in Japan, and could look to take his talents stateside. Right-hander Raidel Martinez is coming off his second straight sub-1.00 ERA season. He had an 0.39 ERA in 48.2 innings. His teammate and set-up man, Yariel Rodriguez was recently declared a free agent.
It’s much harder to predict the trade market for relief pitchers than it is for position players or starters. But regardless of the route or method they take in getting another reliever, another reliable arm out of the bullpen is a must to further solidify this pitching staff.