Blue Jays: Top 5 trade deadline relief pitcher targets
1: David Bednar – Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded a lot of good pitchers in recent years, and have gotten little in return. Padres All-Star starting pitcher, Joe Musgrove, would certainly be on the list of lost assets if the top player on this list hadn’t turned into the pitcher he now is. David Bednar is currently in his second season with the Pirates and has so far posted a 2.61 ERA over 103.1 innings pitched in that time. Over that period he also has a 1.016 WHIP, 11.6 Ks per nine, and a 163 ERA+.
A few hard-hit balls in recent appearances have hurt his 2022 peripherals a bit but over the past two years, his advanced numbers still suggest that the stats he’s putting up are no fluke. His strikeout and whiff rates are right among the leagues, which as I’ve said previously, is something the Blue Jays currently lack.
Bednar’s pitch mix consists of a 4-seamer, which uses 55% of the time, along with a curveball and splitter. Unlike some relievers who really rely on one pitch to get outs, each of his pitches has around a 28% put-away rate in 2022, so he can deal with batters in more than one way. As a pitcher, there’s nothing not to love about Bednar, the only issue is what it might take to get him.
He is under club control through the 2026 season, and while the Pirates may be in a situation where trading him could be in their best interest, it should still take a decent package to pry him away. Like I’ve said before, the Blue Jays certainly have the ammo to get him, and adding another shutdown arm to the back end of the pen could take some stress off Jordan Romano, but I imagine there will be other teams very interested in Bednar and the Pirates have turned down offers for his services already.
As the Pirates continue to struggle, the odds of him being dealt are certainly getting higher, and if he is on the market, the Jays should be making calls to Pittsburgh as soon as possible.