Jan. 31: Maurer’s contract comes with a $1.5MM base salary in the Majors in addition to another $1.25MM worth of incentives, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. He can also opt out of the contract on March 24 if he’s not on the MLB roster by that point. Pittsburgh has formally announced his signing.
With the move, the Pittsburgh organization will take a low-risk shot on a 28-year-old hurler who has long been lauded for his talent, but who has never really harnessed his potential. Through 371 career MLB innings, Maurer carries only a 5.36 ERA. He has struggled all the more over the past two seasons, coughing up seventy earned runs in his 90 2/3 innings.
The appeal for the Bucs is obvious: Maurer still possesses intriguing physical tools. He has averaged over 96 miles per hour on his four-seam fastball in each of the past four seasons and is still generating swings and misses at a ten percent rate — down from his career peak (12.3% in 2015) but right at his career average. Of course, Maurer also surrendered a whopping 47.6% hard-hit rate in 2018. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Pittsburgh pitching reclamation team can spin off another success story.