The Pirates have been a bit spoiled when it comes to having quality relief pitchers in the back of their bullpen. They had Mark Melancon and Tony Watson from 2013-2016, and that combo ended up being one of the best combos in baseball. Even when you consider that both had a bit of a down year in 2016, compared to their previous years, they rank among the best relievers in baseball during that span.
Melancon ranks first in WPA from 2013-2016, while also ranking first in shutdowns. He was rewarded in a big way with a four-year, $62 M contract that was briefly the highest free agent deal for a reliever in history.
Meanwhile, Watson ranked fifth in WPA and fourth in shutdowns. That is all despite the fact that he had a pretty bad year in 2016, knocking him down in each category.
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