Pirates Have Some Interest in Armando Galarraga

The Pirates have some interest in Galarraga, but a deal doesn't seem likely.

Last week the Detroit Tigers designated right handed starter Armando Galarraga for assignment, only days after signing him to a one year, $2.3 M deal.  Detroit is currently engaging in trade talks for the right hander, and a deal is “likely”, according to Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski.

Rob Biertempfel mentions that the Pirates have some interest in Galarraga, and speculates that they have money to spend to acquire Galarraga, since they made a serious offer to Carl Pavano recently.  However, Biertempfel spoke to a trusted source who didn’t see the deal happening.

Galarraga is coming off a year where he pitched 144.1 innings, with a 4.49 ERA.  He is most famously known for his incident early in the season when umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base, costing him the final out in what would have been a perfect game.  Despite the near-perfect game, and the ERA, Galarraga doesn’t represent an upgrade to the Pirates’ rotation.  He had a 4.6 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9 ratio in 2010, and was on the lucky side, with a .268 BABIP and an 8.9 HR/FB ratio.  His xFIP was 5.44.

His best year in the majors was in 2008, when he had a 3.73 ERA in 178.2 innings, along with a 6.4 K/9, and a 3.1 BB/9.  He was also on the lucky side that year with a .247 BABIP, although his xFIP was 4.49.  He struggled with his walk rate in 2009 (4.2 BB/9), saw his strikeout rate drop in 2010, and has always had issues with home runs, with a 1.42 HR/9 ratio.

Galarraga isn’t an upgrade over James McDonald, Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, or Kevin Correia, and the Pirates would be better off with a competition between Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen, and Brad Lincoln for their fifth starter spot, rather than giving the spot to Galarraga.  Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the Pirates are the team that will be making the deal with Detroit.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    I don’t think we should look at it in terms of opening day rotation. If galaraga has options left he can be stached until the eventual trade of Maholm and/orCorreia. And what if the likely happens, Morton fizzles, Lincolns still not ready, and Olsen just stinks. If they could give Doumit nsome $and get Galaraga and an ok spect I’d kill for that

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      I don’t think they would be hurting for pitching options. They’ve got Olsen, Lincoln, and Morton going for the #5 spot. By the time June rolls around they could have Owens, Morris, Locke, and/or Wilson ready to make the jump to the majors. $2.3 M seems like a lot for an extra rotation option.

  • Anonymous

    He was also on the lucky side that year with a .247 BABIP,

    Don’t like the sabermetric BABIP, it is far too easy to skew, also he had a 4.49 ERA against 9 hitters and no outs in the batting order, in the NL he has 8 hitters and 1 out in the batting order, he might pitch better in the NL.
    The only problem with him is he is right handed and if they were to let Mahom go, they probably would want a left hander to take his place. IMO, he is not an upgrade over Ohlendorf, but he is very similiar in talent.

  • szielinski

    The probable explanation: Hurdle likes him some Barmes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.weible.5 James Weible

    When I read the title of this piece, I thought Foo had probably written it himself!

  • salempirate

    Both Barmes and Barajas deserve less P.T. Unless the F.O. steps in, I don’t see either getting more bench time. My hope is that Barmes does the Gil Meche right thing in the offseason and retires to save the Bucs money and a roster space.

    • HamburgBucco

      This comment about Barmes retiring was tongue in cheek, right ? The guy is only 33, I reckon he’ll play on for at least 3 or 4 more years. Hopefully Mercer will gradually be given more playing time. I always stare in amazement when I see Barmes coming on as a pinch hitter. Aren’t pinch hitters supposed to be good hitters ?

      • piratemike

        You would have to pry that 5m out of his cold dead hands.

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