Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates

NL Central

The Pirates are signing closer Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract with two club options, according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal contains $22 million in guaranteed money with each club option worth $10 million. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Rivero was outstanding as the Pirates closer last year, and he obviously has the job locked up going forward. With elite ratios and complete job security, he should be one of the top fantasy relief pitchers in 2018.

Category: Transactions

Andrew McCutchen has been traded to the San Francisco Giants, pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The 31-year-old McCutchen is coming off a bounce-back season in 2017. He hit .279/.363/.486 to go along with 28 homers and 11 stolen bases. He's also playing for a new contract this season, so there are reasons to be optimistic about his 2018 fantasy prospects.

Gerrit Cole and the Pirates have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $6.75M contract. (Source: Rob Biertempfel on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Cole didn't exactly help his stock this past season finishing 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA as he struggled with the long ball (1.37 HR/9). A 3.97 SIERA in 2017 and 4.24 SIERA in 2016 shows that Cole is no longer the dominant pitcher that he once was, but he still offers plenty of upside at just 27 years old.

Category: Transactions

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is struggling in winter ball, batting just .197 through 20 games. (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

Fantasy Impact: So far Marte has posted a disappointing .244 OBP with a .316 slugging percentage. Marte also has a 21/3 K/BB ratio, which is less than ideal. He served a long suspension for PEDs this past season, and struggled upon returning. He's a risky fantasy bet right now.

Austin Meadows will not be playing winter ball this off-season, according to Pirates GM Neal Huntington. (Source: Pirates.mlb.com)

Fantasy Impact: Meadows is considered one of the best prospects in baseball, but he was limited to just 81 games in 2017. The fact that he isn't playing winter ball is a sign that the Pirates plan to call him up in 2018. Meadows could skyrocket up fantasy draft boards with a big Spring.

Gregory Polanco has been activated from the disabled list and is in the Pirates' lineup Friday against the Cardinals, batting third and playing RF. (Source: Rob Biertempfel on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Polanco missed nearly a month with a hamstring injury, while missing two weeks prior to that earlier in the season. He certainly has the talent to have a big final month, but with a .255 AVG, ten home runs, and eight steals, Polanco has been a disappointment in 2017.

Category: Injury Updates

Josh Bell hits solo home run

Thu, Aug 31st 4:54pm EDT
By Dan Harris


Josh Bell went 1-for-4 with a solo home run on Wednesday against the Cubs.

Fantasy Impact: Bell is now up to 23 home runs on the season, and has shown more power potential than most expected. As he becomes more comfortable in the game, Bell should get his batting average up in future seasons, and if he can hold his power gains, could become a legitimate superstar.

Category: Game Recaps

Ivan Nova pitched three innings against the Cubs on Wednesday, yielding four earned runs on five hits while striking out five and walking one.

Fantasy Impact: A truly strange performance from Nova this evening. The game ended up being about as lopsided as you'd imagine after Nova's poor start. He did have five strikeouts which is peculiar because he doesn't even do that over seven innings at times. He'll carry little upside with an equally low floor into a start against the Cubs again.

Category: Game Recaps

Chad Kuhl didn't record a quality start and took a loss on Tuesday to the Cubs, but did strike out seven batters over 5 1/3 innings.

Fantasy Impact: Kuhl only gave up three earned runs on the day, so this is a minor victory for the young right hander. Kuhl's era now sits at 4.54 on the year and even though there have been more down times than up times, he has done decent overall. He'll look to improve in a rematch against the Cubs at home on Monday.

Category: Game Recaps

Jameson Taillon lasted four innings against the Reds on Sunday, striking out four while walking four and yielding one earned run on five hits.

Fantasy Impact: The young righty needed 108 pitches to get through four frames and it was clear that he didn't have his best stuff today. Unfortunately that has been his usual arsenal lately so it'll be tough to see him have value down the stretch. He'll toe the rubber against the Reds again on Friday.

Category: Game Recaps

Trevor Williams fired eight innings of shut-out ball against the Dodgers on Wednesday, striking out five while yielding seven hits and five walks en route to a no decision.

Fantasy Impact: Williams was locked in a pitching duel with lefty Rich Hill who had a no hitter up until the moment he lost in the tenth inning. Williams should all but have a rotation spot next seasons and even though he isn't fantasy relevant at the moment, he should slate to be the fourth starter next year.

Category: Game Recaps

Francisco Cervelli exited Sunday's game against the Blue Jays after three plate appearances due to a left hand inury. (Source: Rob Biertempfel)

Fantasy Impact: Cervelli hopes to avoid the DL but stated he will need time to rest. He isn't particularly fantasy relevant, however, in two catcher leagues and NL-only leagues, his absence should be noted. Elias Diaz and Chris Stewart will likely pick up at-bats in Cervelli's absence.

Category: Injury Updates

Juan Nicasio slammed the door against the Tigers on Monday, tossing a scoreless ninth inning while striking out two.

Fantasy Impact: Nicasio hasn't given up a run since July 19th, which marks 18 1/3 scoreless over that span. He's not going to supplant Rivero, obviously, but he's worth a look in deep leagues just for the chance he'll get a hold or strikeout a few batters in a multi-inning outing.

Category: Game Recaps

The Dodgers have acquired Tony Watson from the Pirates, according to Ken Rosenthal. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This is seemingly good news for Zach Britton owners, as the Dodgers reportedly viewed Watson as a fallback to Britton, and Britton (like Watson) would have become a setup man with the Dodgers. There are reports that the Dodgers are still attempting to acquire Britton despite the Watson trade, so owners are not in the clear yet.

Category: Transactions

Josh Harrison had a good day at the plate on Sunday. Harrison went 3-for-5 and scored one run.

Fantasy Impact: Harrison has been a solid player this year. He's batting .277 and has an OPS of .787. He provides versatility and is productive. keep him on your roster.

Category: Game Recaps

David Frees went hitless against the Phillies Thursday night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Fantasy Impact: Freese has struggled to find his groove since returning from injury in May. His season slash line is down to .250/.374/.370. He's not worth a play except in very deep formats.

Category: Game Recaps

Adam Frazier went 1-for-4 with a triple, two RBI, and one run scored on Sunday in the Pirates' 8-4 loss to the Cardinals.

Fantasy Impact: Things have taken a downhill turn in June for Frazier as his average is just .247 for the month. However, he has remained relatively productive as he has six RBI and seven runs scored over his past 10 games. Frazier is a good source for batting average and runs but offers next to no power and little speed, which makes him a deep mixed or NL-only league option.

Category: Game Recaps

Jordy Mercer was responsible for the Pirates only run of the night thanks to his solo home run off of John Lackey. He finished 1-for-3 on the night.

Fantasy Impact: It was an ugly showing for the Pirates, who only mustered a combined three hits off of the Cubs staff. Mercer is now slashing .279/.356/.421 this year, and is probably only an option in deep leagues.

Category: Game Recaps

Elias Diaz went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI in the Pirates' 3-1 win over the Marlins on Sunday.

Fantasy Impact: Diaz is getting playing time with both Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart sidelined by injury. He has taken advantage of that opportunity with two consecutive multi-hit games. Cervelli is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, so the playing time may not last. However, in two-catcher or N.L. only leagues, Diaz is a potential short-term solution to a very weak position.

Category: Game Recaps