Dejan Kovacevic reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are “deeply interested” in relief pitcher Jeremy Accardo. The last player the Pirates were “deeply interested” in was Scott Olsen. Today, the Pirates agreed on a deal with Olsen, although the deal isn’t finalized yet.
Accardo has been a strong back of the bullpen reliever at times in his career. His best season was in 2007, when he put up a 2.14 ERA in 67.1 innings, with a 7.6 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9 ratio. He is coming off a down year in 2010, with an 8.10 ERA in five appearances. He has a mid-90s fastball and a good slider, although he has dealt with control issues over the last two seasons.
Accardo was recently non-tendered by the Toronto Blue Jays. He has two years of control remaining, so if the Pirates did add him on a one year deal they would basically be adding him for up to two seasons. He made $1.08 M in 2010, and I don’t really see him getting more than that after his last two seasons.
Accardo could provide the Pirates with reliever depth if they happen to trade Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek. The Pirates aren’t shopping either player, although we heard today that they could move one of them if the price was right, likely for a young starter. If the Pirates don’t trade Hanrahan or Meek, then Accardo would likely be used in a low pressure role in the 6th or 7th inning, which would give him an opportunity to see his control rebound from the past two seasons.
UPDATE: Dejan updates the language to say that the Pirates are “strongly pursuing” Accardo.