Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Former NL Central Starting Pitchers Still Available in Free Agency to Pursue

Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Six
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Brandon Woodruff

At one time, Brandon Woodruff was one of the best starting pitchers not just in the National League Central, but in the entire NL. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to just 11 starts last season and played a major role in the Milwaukee Brewers non-tendering the righty.

Now in late January, Woodruff remains un-signed. In need of a team for the 2024 season, the Pirates would appear to be a great fit for Woodruff. He could sign a one-year deal with the club in an effort to rebuild his value, and he could do so while pitching in a division he is very familiar with and comfortable pitching in.

When on the mound last season, woodruff posted a 2.28 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 5.9% walk rate, and a 29.2% strikeout rate in 67.0 innings pitched. In his career, Woodruff owns a 3.10 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 6.5% walk rate, and a 28.9% strikeout rate in 680.1 innings pitched across 130 games, 115 of which have been starts.

Signing Woodruff would likely be a very low risk, potentially high reward move for the Pirates. If Woodruff is healthy and pitching the way he has his entire career, he immediately becomes the team's best starting pitcher. At that point, worst case scenario, he would be a great piece of trade bait in July if they Pirates are out of contention.

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