The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher Brady Dragmire from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations, according to a team press release. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Phil Coke has been designated for assignment.
Dragmire was a 17th round pick by Toronto in 2011, signing for $250,000, and made it up to Double-A this year, working as a reliever. He didn’t have the best results, with a 4.38 ERA in 72 innings, along with a 5.1 K/9 and a 3.5 BB/9. The strikeouts were better last year in High-A, where he had an 8.1 K/9, and continued with an 11.5 K/9 in the Arizona Fall League over 11 innings.
The appeal with Dragmire would be his fastball, which sits 93-96 MPH, touching 97, and has sinking action. He pairs that with a slider and a mid-80s changeup. The changeup is his second best pitch, and has sinking action, probably due to him throwing it with a two-seam grip. He’s been working on upgrading the slider the last few years, but the pitch is below average.
Dragmire rated as the #16 prospect in the Toronto system heading into the 2016 season, according to Baseball America. They noted that Blue Jays officials felt he could reach the majors on his sinker alone, with a Seth Maness comp. He might have fallen a bit since then, as they’re giving him up for cash and clearing him off the 40-man roster. He still has two option years remaining, so look for the Pirates to give him a shot as future bullpen depth, hoping the pitch-to-contact and fastball/changeup combo works better for him going forward.