The Pirates Agree to a One-Year Deal with RHP Vince Velasquez

In news broken by Kiley McDaniel from ESPN, the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez. According to Robert Murray, Velasquez will receive $3.15M for the 2023 season.

Velasquez has a career 34-47, 4.93 record, a 4.53 FIP and a 1.38 WHIP over eight seasons in the majors, spent mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies, while also seeing time with the Houston Astros (2015), San Diego Padres (2021) and Chicago White Sox (2022). He has made 136 starts and 47 relief appearances, with most of that relief time coming during his first and last seasons. He has 785 strikeouts in 726.1 innings during his career, though his 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 2022 represent his lowest strikeout rate for a season.

The 30-year-old Velasquez made nine starts and 18 relief appearances for the White Sox in 2022. He had a 4.78 ERA, a 4.25 FIP, a 69:25 SO/BB ratio and a 1.23 WHIP in 75.1 innings. He was coming off of a season in 2021 in which he had a 6.30 ERA, a 5.88 FIP and a 1.48 WHIP in 94.1 innings, mostly working as a starter.

If you missed it from earlier, the Pirates have agreed to a deal with left-handed pitcher Jarlin Garcia.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Building a bullpen takes some luck. Velasquez and Garcia might be a lucky start.


Sucks being a Pirate fan for signings like this that will occupy a 26 man roster spot, ugh


I will never stop being intrigued by guys with good K numbers, solid bb numbers, and homeritis

That’s my disease, all the way back to Drew Hutchison.

My TeAm CaN fIx ThE hOmErItIs


platoon-bat-with-defensive-value feels slighted.




I would simply not throw the baseball there


Screenshot 2022-12-06 161233.jpg

This is a pointless move. We have guys in AAA that are better and they probably could have drafted a guy in the rule 5 draft that is just as good or better and has some upside.


Just a guess-But I’m thinking Bryce Wilson gets the DFA as a result of this signing and I’m pretty sure I would rather have Wilson, as he is younger, cheaper, and has more upside than Velasquez. VV also isnt really a bounceback candidate as he has really never had a “great” year to bounce back too? I think we DFA a pitcher who ends up having a much better year than Velasquez in 2023


I would rather have Wilson for multiple reasons


Can you elaborate


The pen was pretty bad last year. Hopefully these two guys hope to make it a little stronger.

b mcferren

we all new this was destiny

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Maybe next will be a catcher


I was skimming the comments quickly and first read this as “Maybe he’ll be the next catcher”.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

You never know!!! lol


Vapid Velasquez. Good Garcia. I sure hope this wasn’t the free agent starter to be signed. If so, the cynicism meter is off the charts.


To show what I think of Velasquez, I prefer Underwood over him. Ugh. Should’ve been a minor league deal, at best.


Neither reported signings are worth a damn unless you are a proponent of mediocracy, so my thoughts of another 100-loss season is still alive and well…

Wilbur Miller

By pretty much any measure, Underwood’s the better pitcher.


I agree, and I was very critical of Underwood this year. Agreed, should have been a Minor League deal. Hopefully did not pay him too much.


Do the Pirates know that they can sign players for more than 1 year, signing a player for 1 year is like kissing your sister…


They have a team option for a second year with Garcia. Let’s hope it will be exercised.




This is one of the guys I thought they might target at the shallow end of the pool. He’s another guy who’s been pretty awful at managing contact – 1st percentile in barrel % and exit velocity. The difference between Garcia and Velazquez is Garcia at least USED to limit damage on contact. Velazquez is mostly below average every year in his career, which is a real problem as his K rates keep dropping (along with his 4-seam velocity).

TL;DR – please don’t let this be the only SP they acquire.


If they plan to use him mostly as a middle reliever, I think this makes plenty of sense. Multiple mid innings without being the usual mop up hump. Maybe a spot start. A better Bryce Wilson maybe.
Until he IS the mop up hump.


He pitched quite well from 8/22 to the end of the season, so maybe made an adjustment, or maybe just SSS, my guess is the Pirates saw something they think is worth the risk/reward.


What they saw or see is a player that comes cheap…plain and simple…


3.1 million is not cheap for a non-closer reliever, if that is how they plan on using him. It is cheap for a starter. So I guess we will have to see how the rest of the off season plays out before coming to conclusions.

bucket of jim bibby sweat

Lot of guys available for 3M. While I’m not enamored with the signing they saw something besides a fairly cheap arm. Anderson and Quintana were in the same price range and they worked out ok.

Wilbur Miller

Garcia si, Velasquez non.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
b mcferren

Did you just name him Gracias?


My thoughts exactly!


The Choi signing and this one make little sense. Both are wastes of precious payroll dollars in my opinion. I did like the Santana and Garcia signings… they seemed like good value decisions.


Of the 25 men currently on roster Choi, Garcia and VV are solidly in the middle as far as talent.


I liked the J Garcia signing. This Velazquez one does nothing for me. I see very little upside.


I like the Choi, Santana, and García moves but this one feels like doing something for the sake of doing something. I liked Velasquez when he first came up and thought he might be something but that did not pan out. We need pieces but a 5.00 ERA pitcher who averages less than 5 innings/start is not one of them. Another guy who will strain the bullpen with his inability to eat innings.


They have signed two relief pitchers so far, now need to get a starter.


Same old, same old shit!

Scam likely

Hope the dfa someone so than can have a rule 5 pick.


Surprising they would sign these guys the day before Rule 5. They must already have a DFA in mind (Yohan Ramirez, anyone?). Or they plan on making no picks.

Wilbur Miller

They can delay the roster moves for a while. Took, what, 4-5 days with Santana? Add them Thursday or Friday and drop 1-2 more then.


The doctor is out fishing so the physical has to wait.

Wilbur Miller

Stumpf just said the same


they already can, the roster was less than 40 for the rule 5 draft deadline, sometime last week was the deadline for that.


Velasquez’ signing makes me think that no 2 year contract for a pitcher is forth-coming.
Not overwhelming, but…

I do like the Garcia signing.


Would be disappointing, if we tried to sign Gibson, and wound up with Velasquez instead.

b mcferren

talk about ambivalence

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