The Pirates are in agreement with left-hander Chasen Shreve on a minor-league contract, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (Twitter link). The deal will guarantee him $1.5MM if he makes Pittsburgh’s MLB roster, per Passan. The Pirates have since announced the move.
Shreve, 30, is coming off a decent 2020 season with the Mets, where he pitched to a 3.96 ERA/3.45 SIERA across 25 relief innings. Impressively, Shreve struck out a third of the batters he faced, a career-best mark that tied for twentieth among the 141 relievers with at least 20 innings pitched. Relatedly, Shreve’s 17.1% swinging strike rate tied for thirteenth among that group.
It’s a bit surprising a left-hander with that kind of swing-and-miss stuff wound up settling for a minor-league deal, but Shreve has proven susceptible to both walks and home runs over the course of his career. That continued last season, as he allowed four home runs (1.44 HR/9) while walking a higher-than-average 11.8% of opposing hitters.
Control issues notwithstanding, it’d still register as a bit of a surprise if Shreve doesn’t earn a spot on Pittsburgh’s big league roster out of spring training. At present, only Austin Davis and Sam Howard occupy left-handed relief roles on Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.