For the second time on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, the Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly signed a pitcher off the free agent market.
After agreeing to a deal with lefty reliever Jarlin García, the Bucs are in agreement with right-hander Vince Velasquez. The deal is for one-year and $3.15M, according to a source familiar with the deal.
Velasquez spent the 2022 season with the Chicago White Sox, his first year with the club. The 30-year-old made 27 appearances (nine starts) for the Sox.
In all, Velasquez went 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA/4.25 FIP with 69 strikeouts in 75.1 innings.
The right-hander has spent eight seasons in the big leagues with four different teams. Six of those years had been as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. he broke into the league with the Houston Astros in 2015 and spent part of the 2021 season with the San Diego Padres.
For his career, the 2010 second-round draft pick has gone 34-47 with a 4.93 ERA/4.53 FIP in 183 games/236 starts.
With experience as both a starting pitcher and a reliever, it is unclear what role the righty will play for the Pirates in 2023. It’s entirely possible that Velasquez could be used as a swingman — similar to his role with Chicago in 2022.
General manager Ben Cherington has hinted at possibly adding multiple starting pitchers this winter, and Velasquez certainly fills one of those spots with plenty of rotation experience.
The Pirates have been one of the more active teams in the league so far this offseason and they aren’t done yet.