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.
Brandon Maurer gets 1.5M base and 1.5M incentives if in majors. 100K for 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 games, 250K for 55, 60, 65, 70 games. Has outs on 3/24 and 6/15 #pirates
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 31, 2019