The Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Austin Brice to a minor league contract, according to Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports. It’s a continuation of Pittsburgh’s busy week adding depth to their pitching staff, as they claimed pitcher Adonis Medina earlier today and re-signed Chase De Jong to a minor league accord yesterday.
The 29-year-old Brice is coming off a season split between Boston’s Triple-A and big league teams, his second straight year with the Red Sox. While he made a solid impression in the minors, posting a 3.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts across 33 innings, that wasn’t the case at the Major League level. The out-of-options Brice was shuttled back and forth between Boston’s top two teams throughout the season and was left with a 6.59 ERA in just north of 13 innings for the Red Sox.
While Brice didn’t find a ton of success with Boston, he’s not far removed from a strong 2019 showing out of the Miami bullpen. Through 44 innings that season the Marlins draftee pitched to a solid 3.43 ERA, though several of his peripherals hinted that his ERA figure was a bit lucky. Furthermore, Brice has proven himself plenty adept at getting minor league hitters out, with a career 2.92 ERA at the Triple-A level that looks a lot rosier than his 5.17 ERA across six Major League seasons.
All told, it’s a low risk signing for the Pirates, as is typically the case with minor league pacts. Should Brice and his 80th percentile curveball carry his minor league success over to the big leagues Pittsburgh will have quite the nice pickup on their hands.