Pittsburgh Pirates: Three potential offseason moves to watch for

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Jared Oliva #76 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Bryan Reynolds #10 and Gregory Polanco #25 after defeating the Chicago Cubs 7-0 at PNC Park on September 24, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Jared Oliva #76 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Bryan Reynolds #10 and Gregory Polanco #25 after defeating the Chicago Cubs 7-0 at PNC Park on September 24, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Joe Musgrove ended 2020 on a very high note for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The biggest trade piece the Pittsburgh Pirates have is starting pitcher Joe Musgrove. He was reportedly almost dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays at this year’s trade deadline, a move that still makes a lot of sense if talks can resurface this winter.

When Musgrove was healthy, he pitched very well for Pittsburgh. In eight starts (39 IP), Musgrove posted a 3.86 ERA (3.42 FIP), a .223 average against, and struck out just over 33% of hitters he faced, a near 12% increase from 2019. His walk numbers weren’t great (3.63/9 IP), but his walk rate has historically been good, so there’s no big reason to be concerned quite yet.

The 6’5″ righty is just 27 years old and has multiple years of fairly cheap control left before becoming a free agent and he put on quite a show to close out the 2020 season.

Over his final two starts, against two playoff teams in Cleveland and St. Louis, Musgrove tossed a combined 13 scoreless innings with 21 strikeouts and two walks.

He’s healthy, young, controllable, and has the potential to be a quality mid-rotation starter for any team in baseball. Of anyone currently on the roster, Joe Musgrove may be the one to bring in the biggest haul.

The New York Yankees are going to be in the market for arms, the LA Angels should be doing everything in their power to support Mike Trout, and the Blue Jays still make a lot of sense as they enter the offseason in search of pieces to get them over the hump in the AL East.