Pittsburgh Pirates: Under-the-Radar Pitchers to Target in Free Agency

The Pittsburgh Pirates face a crucial off-season, and securing these five pitchers is imperative if they aspire to transform into contenders.
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No. 1 Kenta Maeda

Kenta Maeda has been playing in MLB since 2016 and has never been the best pitcher, but has always been consistent, which is what you need from a pitcher.

Maeda was a star Japanese pitcher before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers on a minuscule eight-year $25 million contract, which is about to finish its final year. He was later traded to the Twins and had a massive 2020 season in which he finished second in Cy Young voting right behind Shane Bieber.

Maeda missed the whole 2022 season due to injury, but in 2023, he showed what he does best, which is eating innings and striking batters out. Maeda doesn't walk hitters often and also doesn't give up too many hits. His ERA is 4.23 and should be much lower, but his main problem has been run support, and he only has a record of six and eight with the Twins.

He has pitched in many postseason games but never has really been a starter and has 25 games, but only four starts. When he pitches in the postseason for the most part, he has been good, and in 2020 with the Twins, he pitched five shutout innings in the Wild Card Game against the Houston Astros and only gave up two hits and three walks.

Maeda has been an under-the-radar player his whole career, but he has been one of the most consistent pitchers his whole career and just doesn't get any of the respect he deserves. If the Pirates could acquire him for the low price that he is, he could be a major part of the 2024 season for them.

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