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MLB Offseason Round-Up: Blue Jays Apparent Front-Runner For Pirates’ Target

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Yariel Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB offseason

This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have long been linked to Cuban right-handed pitcher Yariel Rodríguez this winter.

Rodríguez has experience both as a starting pitcher and a reliever and could theoretically be utilized in either role. With the Pirates’ need for starting pitching, they are likely looking at him as someone who can help them in the rotation.

In may all be for naught, however. As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote on Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays are optimistic regarding their chances of landing Rodríguez.

Though it may not be quite as pressing of a need for Toronto, the Blue Jays could also be looking to add Rodríguez as a starting pitcher. Something to keep in mind if that’s the case for either team, he did not pitch professionally in 2023 and teams will have to be mindful of his workload.

Still, there is plenty to like regarding Rodríguez, who turns 27 in March. He’s pitched well as a professional both in Cuba and Japan. His performance on the big stage in the latest World Baseball Classic last year also bodes well for his future.

Where Rodríguez ultimately lands remains to be seen. If the Pirates are unable to land him, they will need to pivot to other options this MLB offseason with spring training beginning in less than a month.

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