Pirates trade 1st round pick, tender pair of starting pitchers

What the Bucs got back for Kevin Newman and those tendered
Kevin Newman profile
Photo credit Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – The Pirates traded a former first-round pick and tendered contracts to a couple of starting pitchers.

The Trade

Shortstop, sometimes second baseman, Kevin Newman traded to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Dauri Moreta. With the influx of middle infielders either at the MLB level or knocking on the door, Newman, who is projected to have his salary raise about a million bucks to $2.8 million, was expendable.

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The Bucs 2015 first round pick (19th overall) out of the University of Arizona had what seemed to be a breakthrough season three years ago. Following up a rookie season where he hit .209 with two doubles and no homers in 31 games, the 29-year-old Newman won the starting shortstop job in 2019. In 130 games, the right-hand hitter finished with a .308 average, .353 OBP, 20 doubles, six triples, 12 home runs, 64 RBI, 16 stolen bases. The following pair of seasons he never hit higher than .226 with six total home runs.

The 26-year-old Moreta is a fly ball, strikeout pitcher who has been burned by home runs and likely slots into the bullpen. The 6’2” righty from the Dominican Republic pitched in 35 games and in 38.1 innings went 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA, 1.17 WHIP allowing 10 home runs walking 13 and striking out 39. In AAA last year, 28 games, 3-4, 3.95 ERA with 28 strikeouts to 12 walks in 27.1 innings.

Offered

Five remaining arbitration eligible players were tendered contracts by the Pirates:

RHP-Mitch Keller-an ERA over five heading into July, the 26-year-old finished 5-12, lowered his ERA to 3.91 with 60 walks and 138 strikeouts in 159 innings. His ERA in July was 2.61 and in September, 1.80.
RHP-JT Brubaker-the 29-year-old made 28 starts finishing 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA and a career-high 147 strikeouts in 144 innings.
RHP-Robert Stephenson-the former Reds first round pick, the 29-year-old pitched 13.1 innings with the Bucs with a 3.38 ERA with 18 strikeouts to one walk.
RHP-Duane Underwood, Jr-still just 28-years-old with 124 MLB games, a career-high 51 appearances with the Pirates-1-6, 4.40 ERA, 57.1-IP, 57 strikeouts, 25 walks
INF-Ji-Man Choi-recently acquired from Tampa Bay as the likely starting 1B, hit 11 HR, 22 doubles with 52 RBI, a .233 average and .341 OBP.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports