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.

The Pi...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail