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Sports Illustrated Predicts Pirates To Sign Sean Manaea (+)



Sean Manaea

Sports Illustrated predicted where their top 50 free agents will land and they have the Pittsburgh Pirates signing a veteran left-handed starter.

SI predicts the Pirates to sign Sean Manaea to help bolster their rotation.

By signing Manaea, the Pirates would be landing a higher-upside arm who is coming off of a down season. 2022 was Manaea’s first season with the San Diego Padres and the southpaw didn’t produce the results he was looking for in a walk year.

Manaea went 8-9 with a 4.96 ERA/4.53 FIP in 30 games with the Friars, 28 of which were starts. The 30-year-old struck out 156 batters in 158 innings.

Prior to this year in San Diego, Manaea had spent the previous six years with the Oakland A’s.

His time in Oakland was much more successful. In 129 games/128 across his half dozen seasons in the green and gold, Manaea went 51-40 with a 3.86 ERA/3.96 FIP.

In 2021, the left-hander led the league with 32 starts and a pair of complete game shutouts.

Adding Manaea into the fold would align with what general manager Ben Cherington has done each of the previous two offseasons. Prior to the 2021 season, the Bucs signed left-hander Tyler Anderson and the club inked Jose Quintana last offseason.

Manaea has a solid track record as a major leaguer and would give the Pirates a veteran option in their relatively younger rotation.

The move would also almost certainly be the largest free agent contract ever handed out by Cherington with the Pirates, even if the deal is a one-year “prove it” type of contract.

With that being said, it is still possible that the Bucs could work out a multi-year agreement with Manaea in a potential deal, which is something we have not yet seen under the reigns of Cherington.

A move like this could prove to be beneficial for the Pirates for a number of reasons.

One, it gives them an immediate upgrade in their rotation. Two, there is always the conversation that he could be a trade piece come deadline time if the Pirates are yet again out of the picture.

The Pirates turned last year’s signing of Quintana into right-hander Johan Oviedo and infield prospect Malcom Nunez — both of whom performed well after coming over from St. Louis at the deadline.

From Manaea’s side of things, the Pirates could give him the opportunity he is looking for to help rebuild his value.

MLB free agency begins on Thursday as all free agents will be free to sign with any of the 30 teams in the league.

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