Felipe Vazquez: LH/RP – Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates aren’t quite in as hopeless of a situation as the Giants, but they’re working on it. They are currently in fourth place in the NL Central Division with a record of 39-43. Pittsburgh is just four games back in the Wild Card race, but have six teams ahead of them. If something doesn’t give soon, they’ll be in the selling mood.
Felipe Vazquez, like Will Smith, is having one of the finest seasons of his career. He was on the 2018 All-Star Team and it’s beyond me why he isn’t on this year’s team. His numbers this year are by far superb to last season’s statistics.
This the 27-year-old left-hander’s fifth year in the Majors and he has impressive career numbers. In 300 games, an average of 68 appearances per season, he has an ERA of 2.73 and a 153 ERA+. He has accumulated 369 strikeouts over his career giving him a SO/9 IP of 10.8.
If you think those numbers look good, check out this year’s performance. Vazquez has 35 innings of work in 33 games and already has 19 saves to his credit. He has a 2.00 ERA and a 218 ERA+. He has compiled 57 strikeouts giving him a 14.3 SO/9 IP. He also has a career-best 2.21 FIP. Vazquez is currently 7th in the Majors among relief pitchers with a 1.3 WAR.
The price tag for Vazquez is a reasonable one. He’s due approximately $13.5 million on the last two years of a 4-year contract. He is the Pirates best reliever and it may be very difficult to convince them to let him go, and if they did it would take some major trade pieces from the Astros.