The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that they’ve signed left-handed pitcher Kevin Siegrist to a minor league deal with an invite to MLB Spring Training. Siegrist is a 28-year-old reliever who has a 3.04 ERA and a 3.99 xFIP in 245.2 innings in the majors, spanning parts of five seasons. That also includes a 10.48 K/9 and a 4.25 BB/9 ratio.
He’s coming off a down year in 2017, where he combined for a 4.81 ERA and a 4.58 xFIP in 39.1 innings between the Cardinals and Phillies. His walks were up, and like a lot of pitchers, his home run totals saw a spike in 2017. He spent most of the season with the Cardinals, where his numbers were worse. He went to Philadelphia in September, and had good numbers in a small sample, putting up a 3.60 ERA and a 3.69 xFIP, along with a 12.6 K/9 and a 3.6 BB/9. That came in just five innings, so it’s hard to take those numbers as anything more than the smallest sign of hope.
Part of the issue in 2017 was that Siegrist was down with a lot of injuries. He had a neck injury which kept him out for a few months. He then had left forearm tendinitis that put him on the disabled list later in the year.
According to Jerry Crasnick, Siegrist threw for 20 scouts about ten days ago, so there was a lot of interest in seeing how he would perform.
Kevin Siegrist threw a showcase before about 20 scouts today in West Palm Beach, Fla. The former #STLCards bullpen workhorse is looking to show he’s healthy after an injury-plagued 2017 season. He finished it off with the #Phillies in September.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 15, 2018
Siegrist looked like a solid left-handed reliever as recently as the 2016 season. He had a down year in 2017 filled with injuries, and has seen a bit of a drop in his stuff, going from an average 94 MPH in 2015 to 92 in 2017. On a minor league deal, he’s a great guy to take a flier on.
I’m guessing Steven Brault will make the bullpen, so the Pirates will have at least one lefty outside of Felipe Rivero. I could see one of the remaining left-handers making the bullpen as well, which would put Siegrist in competition with Jack Leathersich and Josh Smoker. Both of those guys have options remaining, while Siegrist would most likely need to be added to the roster by the end of Spring Training in order to be retained.