Pirates Officially Sign RHP Vince Velasquez, Who Joins Starting Group

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their signing of right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez official. The deal is for one year and $3.15 million.

In a press release, Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington announced that Velasquez would join the starting pitchers.

“We are happy to bring Vince into our starting pitching group,” said Cherington. “He has a starter’s repertoire and we are looking forward to working with him and watching him start games in black and gold.”

This clears up any question as to what role they signed Velasquez for, though I wouldn’t take this to mean that he has a starting role locked down. Ideally, the Pirates would add another starter, and have enough go right in Spring Training that Velasquez becomes the number six guy out of the bullpen.

That said, the Pirates gave starting roles on one-year deals to Tyler Anderson and Jose Quintana, who both made less than Velasquez. This seems to me like the same type of move, with the Pirates aiming for a value starter.

The 40-man roster is now full with this signing being official. That won’t last long, as the signing of left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia still needs to be completed.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Anthony

RAS TN

Not a serious signing, just a filler and will probably end up in the bullpen or released…

Last edited 1 month ago by RAS TN
Danatural08

Poor decision, was cool seeing him as a Stratton replacement, not as the starter addition.

I’d like to request a trade to a different team’s fanbase.

bianco599

Who would you waive a no trade clause for if you could only select one fanbase? I’m going to think on that question. No love loss for your current base obviously.

Danatural08

Tough, but great question. First couple teams that come to mind are Blue Jays, Brewers, Mariners, Rays, or White Sox. If i had to pick one, itd probably be Blue Jays, was a fan of the Jays in the 90’s w Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter. Now they have an exciting young core, make moves to support the core, but yet are still under dogs. Plus their blue is the best color in the league.

bianco599

I initially thought Mariners. Then briefly O’s but they seem to be just getting good now after sucking as long as the Pirates. Rays stadium is butt so I would have a tough time watching home games. I loved the Jays in those days as well and I think the only hat I had besides a White Sox hat that was popular in Compton rap scenes. But I think I have to stick with Mariners. I like their uniforms. Nice stadium from what I have scene. Will trade or spend money to complete. Hoping Kelenic can turn it around. I’d say that’s my final answer.

Danatural08

Great message. Kelenic has to be better than he’s shown. Mariners were exciting, & now have Julio locked up forever. Great pic. Stadium is pretty nice too

bianco599

And I think they serve random food at the stadium. Probably a lot of fish. And I’m sure there are cool breweries there. And per the hats all the rest were pirates or Pittsburgh sports related.

Danatural08

Ya, good point on the breweries.
I shouldve disclosed that i have property in Colorado & Maryland where ive built cabins, so i guess it would make sense to switch to the Rockies or Orioles. I do like rutchman, but not much else with O’s. Have been to Camden which is really nice, but hate the look of the new LF

bianco599

Now live in South Carolina so Atlanta is closest. Still burnt by Bream so noway there. Besides inner harbor Baltimore is rough from my visits there. Would love to have a cabin in Colorado. May turn a 10 x 10 shed on my farm into a “cabin” and pretend. Sauna cabin. Would have been Padres before they went crazy with spending. Used to cheap teams I guess.

Wabbit_Season

HA!

You’re still under Pirate Fanbase years of control soldier. Good luck until the deadline!

“You mean him against ME!?
We’ll have no more of this mutiny, K9!”

-Wabbit

Danatural08

My performance has decreased with age tho, need a fanbase that finds value in the amount of times i can refresh MLBTR site per hour.

Wabbit_Season

HA!

I like your humor. This fanbase needs you. Our fanbase laugh-per-click+ was dead last (LpC+ .079) in MLBfanbase.com last season. Maybe you’re not seeing the big picture here. I can protect you in the lineup because I’m a regular laugh riot (LpC+ 8.27).

“I’m going to destroy the Earth. It blocks my view of the sun.”

-Wabbit

Danatural08

Haha thanks!

I think my chase rate % became inflated by prior year’s playoff teams & BC’s history of a WS, which in turn has led to several years of a negative WAE (Wins Above Expectations).

Glad the lineup has a veteran that provides leadership in addition to a strong performance. That seems rare with this team. Maybe you can point me in the direction of which laughter heat maps i should focus my energies on

Wabbit_Season

Wins Above Expectation!

Good one.

How about XFU?

“Expected Fuck Ups.”

Danatural08

The front office’s XFU is becoming a similar rating as Will Craig’s Defensive XFU

Wabbit_Season

I think your deadpan is your best pitch.
Your irony could use a little ironing out, though it’s your slapstick that’s below average.

We can work on this and bring you up from a 50 value guy to at least a 55.

Together, we’re the heart of the order around here.

Wabbit

Danatural08

Well if thats true, i’ll be stuck in Toon Town (Altoona) until mid June at least to make sure I perform at 70 levels across those 3 categories, as well as needing to increase my versatilly by learning a new offering, such as texting jokes while juggling my phone, a sharp pair of scissors, & a signed Walt Terrell card, or until the price of the MLB package is reduced from Full season pricing will i be called up for lineup addition.

Wabbit_Season

“a signed walt terrell card”

outstanding

jaygray007

I have no issue with handing a spot to VV. i honestly like the K and the K:BB ratio numbers. clearly he has a homeritis problem. thats his biggest issue. maybe they can mitigate that a little.

what i have an issue with is: handing TWO spots to VV and Bryse Wilson, and also not signing an actual good starter.

its okay to see if VV can give you 30 starts. whtas not okay is handing 60 starts to VV + wilson.

1979andCounting

I’m with you about concern handing 0.1 war guys a roster spot…..with a THIRD spot to Thompson. Surely all 3 won’t come north. But unfortunately the $3.15M solidifies VV and I’m not really looking forward to him getting a dozen starts to “see what they have”.

jeffw3000

I would rather just hand the spots to Wilson. I do not feel Wilson is better than VV, but he is no worse.

Wilbur Miller

Wilson at least hasn’t spent 8 years proving he isn’t a ML starter. And as much as he’s struggled, he’s been a little better as a starter the last 3 years than Velasquez.

jaygray007

ehh, for me, personally, i’ll take the guy with the career k/9 and bb/9 of 9.73 and 3.63 over the guy with 6.28 and 3.06 every day of the week.

i just have to squint less to see a good pitcher when i look at Velasquez.

i mean i *get* just looking at the ERA’s and preferring Wilson. i just disagree.

Wilbur Miller

I’m not just looking at the ERAs. I keep saying, check the Statcast data. VV has been one of the hardest-hit pitchers in MLB over his career. And I don’t mean one of the 30-40% hardest hit. In many years one of the 5-10% hardest hit. His hard hit data looks like Colin Moran’s sprint speed data.
And, obviously, I’m not at all taken with Bryse.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
redwards60

Who is worse…Wilson or Velasquez? Both are terrible options for any major league rotation. What are the odds the Pirates will actually give prospects like Bolton and Burrows real opportunity to earn that spot? Zero!!! Prospects are only to be used at last resort…

Last edited 1 month ago by redwards60
hoptown

I just don’t see any upside with Velazquez. He’s not in the same “stuff” category as Quintana or Anderson. I’d rather just roll with Thompson and Wilson. I still see a little bit of upside there.

jeffw3000

This is how I feel exactly. Anderson and Quintana had past success to look at, and hope they could return to. VV has not had much success in the Majors. At least with Thompson, he has only been in the league 2 years. At least with him you can hope he shows some of what he did in his rookie year. Bryse Wilson is just bad, but not really that worst than VV.

Cobra

I think this means shopping season has officially ended for Ben (except for another low end catcher). And we’ve all seen enough of Bryce Wilson to be ok with giving Velasquez a sink-or-swim SP trial until Super 2.

Opening Day: Contreras/Keller/Brubaker/Oviedo/Velasquez
4th of July: Contreras/Keller/Priester/Burrows & Bru or Oviedo

Looks good to me but what’s the old saying about best laid plans ?

Scam likely

I have 6 possible dfa’s, 5 pitchers and 1 outfielder. There are 3 moves that have to be made 2 catchers and Garcia. So if their no trades after the 2 catchers are on the 40 , the pirates are probably done.

Iowasteel

The problem is that, despite what Cherington says, Velasquez does not have a starter’s repertoire. He is essentially a one pitch pitcher (4 seamer). The rest of his pitches are not good enough to get major league hitters out. He could thrive in a relief role, and the Pirates have had success with relievers who throw only fastballs. Exigent circumstances may force him to be a starter, but the likely outcome is that he would be well below average.

Wilbur Miller

Over the last three years, this starter’s repertoire has produced an ERA as a starter of 5.87.
I feel like we’re right back in Carlos Santana Fantasy World, where we just pretend all the most relevant facts are fake news.

Wilbur Miller

The 4seamer isn’t good, either. Most years hitters have put up well above avg SLG against it.
And the comparisons to Q and Anderson are poor takes. Q was one of the better starters in MLB before he ran into arm trouble over a couple years. Anderson was more up and down, but he was good when healthy. Velasquez has never been good over 8 years in the majors. Q & A were veterans coming off down years. V is coming off a down career.

Iowasteel

His fastball was quite good last year and it has very good spin rates . Maybe that was because he threw it less often, but it was an above average pitch. I also remember you pissing all over them signing Q last year, so I am going to take this with a grain of salt.

Wilbur Miller

Pretty sure I didn’t criticize them signing Q.

In fact, I checked back and I didn’t. I wasn’t excited about it, but I called it “probably a pretty good signing.” So maybe I’ll take you with a grain of salt from here on.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
Catch_22

In all fairness, you called him the next Jonathan Sanchez.

Wilbur Miller

I may have said there was a risk of that, which there clearly was. I did NOT say it was a bad signing.

1979andCounting

Alright, I’m throwing the red flag.

Wilbur Miller

I explicitly said I thought it was “probably a pretty good signing” and that I “didn’t mind the signing.” Those are direct quotes. What about that are you unable to understand?

1979andCounting

That was a joke, have you seen the commercials were the replay official enters into real life with two people and conducts a replay review. Funniest, brilliant commercials I’ve seen……!!

Wilbur Miller

Ha, sorry

1979andCounting

No worries…….my poor attempt.

TNBucs

I’m still in a wait-and-see mode with the FO as there has been good and bad to this point. But, they have earned some trust in finding undervalued SP and helping them, so I’m hopeful about Velasquez. Now if we can bring in a decent lefty as a SP option, we’ll be set for a decent competition for the rotation in ST and have the depth to weather the inevitable injuries.

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