Pirates Sign Right-Handed Pitcher Brandon Maurer to Minor League Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made another minor league signing today to help their bullpen depth. After signing a deal with right-handed pitcher Vicente Campos earlier today, Jon Heyman is reporting that the Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Maurer.

Maurer has part of six seasons in the majors, beginning with the Seattle Mariners as a starter in 2013, before moving to relief the following year. He has also spent time with the San Diego Padres and most recently the Kansas City Royals during the 2017-18 seasons.

Maurer did better in a pitcher-friendly environment with the Padres for three seasons, posting a 4.33 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 1.18 WHIP and 149 strikeouts in 160 innings. However, since joining the Royals in July of 2017, he has posted a 7.89 ERA in 51.1 innings over 63 appearances, with a 6.08 FIP, 2.18 WHIP and 52 strikeouts. Both his walk rate and his home run rate have increased dramatically since joining the Royals. He’s a hard-thrower, with an average fastball between 96.3 MPH and 97 MPH over the last four seasons.

The 28-year-old Maurer will compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training, but just like with Campos, it’s likely that he will have to prove himself in Triple-A Indianapolis before he sees Pittsburgh.

UPDATE: Jon Heyman has the details on Maurer’s deal. He can make up to $3 M when you include incentives, but if he’s making 70 appearances for the Pirates, then he’s probably having a nice bounce back season. Maurer has the option to get out of the contract in both late March and mid-June, with both only being if he isn’t on the MLB roster.

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