April 8: Siegrist doesn’t want to pitch in the minors for the Pirates or anyone else, general manager Neal Huntington told Liz Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other reporters Sunday. Conversations between the Pirates and Siegrist’s side have been “very respectful,” per Huntington, but: “His agent was very clear: This is not about the Pirates. This is about minor league baseball. … This is about not wanting to pitch in the minor leagues, period, so I’m not sure how that solves itself without him pitching.”
Huntington added that Siegrist could be part of the solution for the Pirates sometime this year, though that’s probably not going to happen if he doesn’t work his way back via the minors. “He’s a good pitcher, and we wanted him to go to triple-A to build up arm strength, to get back to Kevin Siegrist because that guy can help us,” Huntington said. “We would love to keep that door open and hope that there will be a change of mind at some point in time.”
April 6: The Pirates have issued another statement clarifying Siegrist’s status (Twitter links via Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic). It seems that Siegrist is not a free agent and has instead been placed on the team’s suspended list for failing to report to Triple-A.
As Biertempfel explains, the left-hander’s minor league contract allowed him to opt out at the end of Spring Training if another club was willing to place him on its MLB roster. If not, he’d be assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. No club offered Siegrist a 25-man roster spot, but the left-hander subsequently chose not to report to Indianapolis and has been suspended by the team. Biertempfel notes that Siegrist does have a full opt-out on June 1, at which point he can become a free agent. It’d be a surprise to see Siegrist ultimately sit out until that point, but it’s not clear at this time if he intends on reporting to Indianapolis at all.
April 5: Left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist, who was in camp with the Pirates on a minor league contract, has refused an assignment to Triple-A in favor of free agency, the team announced on Thursday (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Adam Berry). Siegrist’s deal came with a clause that allowed him to opt out if he did not make the Opening Day roster, and he’d reportedly been mulling over whether to take the assignment to Indianapolis or pursue other opportunities.
The 28-year-old Siegrist posted sub-3.00 ERAs with the Cardinals in 2015-16 before struggling to a 4.81 ERA last year in season during which he logged DL time for both a forearm issue and a spinal sprain. Siegrist averaged a career-worst 5.03 walks per nine innings pitched last season, and his 92 mph average fastball was down noticeably from his peak, when his heater averaged 93.7 mph.
That said, Siegrist has a fairly long track record of missing bats at the big league level. He’s averaged 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings since debuting with the 2013 Cardinals and has been largely effective against both left- and right-handed hitters — albeit with somewhat curious reverse splits. Lefties have batted .233/.344/.357 in 381 plate appearances against Siegrist, while righties have been stymied to the tune of a .192/.276/.349 slash. And while the five runs he allowed in 5 2/3 spring frames with the Pirates makes for an unappealing ERA, Siegrist also posted a substantially more encouraging 9-to-1 K/BB ratio in that tiny sample of appearances.
Siegrist finished out the 2017 season with four years, 116 days of big league service time, meaning that any club which signs him would have the option of controlling him through at least the 2019 season via arbitration. As we noted late last week, the free agent market is hardly flush with left-handed bullpen options — Antonio Bastardo and Eric O’Flaherty are currently the two most notable names available — so Siegrist should generate some interest elsewhere.
My client BRRRRRROOOOOOCCCCCKKKKK LEEEEESSSSSSSNNNNAAAARRRRR thinks siegrist could possibly sign back with the cards on an milb deal or maybe return to the majors with another team.
Cards will pass. They have a bunch of good young pitchers. Not enough spots in the majors for them when Holland shows up
Pretty dumb that the Pirates kept the likes of Smoker, Neverauskas, and Santana, all of whom had options, over him
Agree 100% Smoker gets smoked each appearance and looks lost. The Lithuanian guy isn’t ready for prime time either.
I’ve noticed that as well. Smoker appears to be confused and frightened in every appearance so far.
Every team in baseball could have signed him for the league minimum, It doesnt seem like the Pirates are alone in their opinion of him.
Has his agent not watched any Pirates games this year?
Several members of the bullpen here have been iffy, at best. One more bad outing by Smoker and I’d think Siegrist would get a shot.
Maybe the coaching staff has no faith in Siegrist and were honest about it with him and his agent, but from the outside looking in it seems like his best chance would be with the Pirates.
Yeah, I know the agent works for the player, but certainly Siegrist has to realize that Smoker will be lucky to last even a month in that pen before being sent out. I’m not sure how effective Siegrist is at this point, but he can’t be much worse than Smoker.
Angels should snag him.
I was thinking the exact same thing. Need more BP help. Especially with Skaggs as a starter.
You dont want him.. Siegrists arm is shot, because of how Matheny abused him for 4 seasons. Siegrist stuff degraded from 2016 to 2017. Shame too
Every team had the option to snag him when the Pirates placed Siegrist on waivers. All teams passed on him. Siegrist was then assigned to AAA. He refused to report. Siegrist is now suspended until he either reports to AAA, he is released or he opts out of his contract in accordance with his second opt-out in June.
Why did every team pass on him? His velocity needs to improve. How does that happen? He goes to AAA. If his velocity, as Siegrist claims, will show up when he pitches in games that matter, then he won’t be in AAA very long.
He was on a minor league contract. He did not go through waivers. Any other team could have signed him to a major league contract due to his current contract terms, but he did not go through waivers.
I mistyped there, but my point still stands. Nobody wants him. He is better off going to Indianapolis for a short time.
Rays? Something? Lol.
Rays have Alvarado…filthy.
I’m sure the Dodgers will sign him.
Mendoza Line 215
His velocity dropped from mid 90’s at his peak to 92 last year to high 80’s this spring.I do not think that he wanted to pitch in the minors at all but it may have been a wise thing to do for a month or so.
It is too bad because the Prates could have used him if he resumed being a good pitcher fairly quickly.
Always read the small print…..
Siegrist’s velocity was down last year to about 92 and he wasn’t effective. In spring training he was down further, to the upper-80s, and the Pirates didn’t think his command was very good.
There’s a reason that he hasn’t found work at the MLB level.
I’d love to see the Cardinals pick Siegrist back up. Especially with Hicks, Holland, Bowman
Astros? Sipp is the only lefty in the pen and is hot garbage, and JL was with the Cards when Siegrist was coming up.
Mendoza Line 215
If he wants to play he needs to swallow his pride and report to Indianapolis.He wasn’t Sandy Koufax.If he shows something he will be back up in MLB within a month.
Here is what is comical about some of these comments saying he should go to this team or that team.
Don’t you think that if said team wanted Siegrist that they wouldn’t be able to get him via trade?
If no team was willing to place him on their major league roster a few days ago, no one will now. His only option is to swallow his pride and pitch in the minors for a little while and build himself back up, so the ironic thing is that refusing to go to the minors will make it tougher for him to get back to the majors. He’s winning the battle but not the war.
So essentially, “I don’t care if I’m not good enough at this time to pitch at the major league level. I wanna pitch in the majors, so there.”
I mean, I really really REALLY want to be the first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, but…
Ego getting in the way of opportunity. Go to AAA to get a few outings in, then get the call up and deal. Lots of guys do this every year. Sounds like he feels he’s entitled.
The Cardinal Way is alive and well.
Except he doesn’t pitch for the Cards dumb ass!
You’re right ! I wonder who he came up with though …
Your right! But it’s like blaming your 2nd divorce on your 1st wife! It just don’t fly!
Typical baseball player with a big ego. Accept it, you ain’t all that anymore. Crying that you don’t want to play in the minors is a bad optic. I think we all have things we don’t want to do, but if you want to see the show again, suck it up buttercup.
Million dollar arm, 10 cent head
This is why it’s tough to side with the players regarding this “collusion” that’s going on. We have solid players who can’t find work while others who are fringe talent feeling they are too good to pitch in the minors.
Another reason why I can care less about minor league deals for veteran players. It seems nice in theory to have quality depth but most aren’t humble enough to wait their turn in the minor leagues so they just get cut and the process repeats itself.
I don’t think it was actually the players that were crying collusion as much as it was the agents such as Boras!