Midseason Review of the Pirates Offseason Moves

By Jason Shetler

p/c: Gene J. Puskar - AP

p/c: Gene J. Puskar – AP

As we’re about midway through the 2015 season, here is a midseason review of the Pirates transactions from this past offseason. 

A.J. Burnett: After just one season with the Philadelphia Phillies, A.J. Burnett returned to the Pirates on a one-year deal worth $8.5 million, which was $3.5 million less than his club option with the Phillies that he declined. Burnett has been outstanding for the Bucs this season. His 2.05 ERA is currently fourth best in the National League. Burnett also has a 183 ERA+, a 1.21 WHIP and a team best 2.8 WAR.  Grade: A 

Antonio Bastardo: Just like A.J. Burnett, Antonio Bastardo pitched for the Phillies last season. The Pirates acquired the veteran lefty reliever from Philly in exchange for pitcher Joely Rodriguez. Bastardo got off to a rough start the first two months, but has pitched better of late, allowing only three earned runs in his last 14 appearances. For the season, Bastardo is posting a 3.66 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.2.  Grade: C 

Arquimedes Caminero: The Pirates acquired Arquimedes Caminero from the Miami Marlins for cash. Caminero has certainly been money in the Bucs bullpen this year, as he’s posted a 2.97 ERA, an 0.99 WHIP and a 10.0 K/9. He’s also been bringing the heat with an average fastball velocity of 97.8, second only behind Aroldis Chapman. Grade: B+ 

Corey Hart: With the Pirates wanting to spell out Pedro Alvarez against lefty pitching, they inked Corey Hart to a one-year deal for $2.5 million. Hart has really struggled this year, batting just .222 with a 597 OPS, a 64 OPS+ and a -0.5 WAR. He’s currently on the DL with a left shoulder impingement.  Grade: D 

Francisco Cervelli: With Russell Martin expected to sign elsewhere, the Pirates went out and acquired Francisco Cervelli from the New York Yankees for pitcher Justin Wilson. Cervelli has been solid on the offensive side, hitting .306 along with a .791 OPS and a 121 OPS+. Behind the plate, he’s been around league average with a 27% caught stealing.  Grade: B+ 

Jung-Ho Kang: The Pirates surprised many this past offseason when they signed Jung-Ho Kang out of Korea on a four-year deal. Despite playing his first season in the States, Kang has been very productive for the Bucs to this point, hitting .272 with a .743 OPS, a 108 OPS+ and a 1.5 WAR.  Grade: B+ 

Radhames Liz: A once highly touted pitching prospect, Radhames Liz signed with the Pirates on a one-year contract worth $1 million. Liz made the Opening Day roster as a multiple inning arm out of the bullpen. The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 3.63 ERA, but allowed plenty of batters to reach base with a 1.73 WHIP. He did show the ability to strikeout hitters with a 9.3 K/9. The Pirates designated Liz for assignment in late May, and has been pitching for AAA Indianapolis since.  Grade: C- 

Rob Scahill: The Pirates signed Rob Scahill on a minor league deal. Rather than have Stolmy Pimentel on the team since he was out of options, the Pirates decided to put Scahill on the Opening Day roster. Scahill has been a pleasant surprise in the bullpen this season, as he’s put up a 1.80 ERA. His WHIP has been on the high side at 1.48, but he’s been able to limit the damage, thanks in part to an impressive 65% groundball rate.  Grade: B 

Sean Rodriguez: In an effort to improve the bench, the Pirates obtained Sean Rodriguez from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitcher Buddy Borden. Rodriguez is batting .267 with a .683 OPS and a 88 OPS+. He’s been used as a defensive replacement at first base, and has been above average with a 5.3 UZR/150.  Grade: C+ 


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