Agrazal, 25, went 5-6 in 15 MLB appearances with the Pirates last season, posting a 4.91 ERA, 1.364 WHIP and 5.90 FIP across 73.1 innings of work. He posted a career-high six strikeouts in his second-to-last start Sept. 18 against the Mariners in a 4-1 loss. Agrazal then matched a career-long seven-inning outing in his final start, a 4-2 win over the Cubs on Sept. 25.
Agrazal, like most of the Pirates' rotation last year, certainly had his ups and downs, but the move surprised me. At 25 years old, Agrazal showed promise and posted a handful of strong outings that proved he could be a competent starter at the major-league level. The problem, in my eyes, was two-fold, though:
He was inconsistent (duh)
He never displayed any truly dominant "stuff"
As the Pirates move forward, they didn't see Agrazal as part of the plan (ditto James Marvel, whose story is pretty much the same). That seems questionable, but ultimately, it's encouraging if this team is to contend and build a real, MLB-level rotation for 2020 and beyond. Agrazal, at his best, was simply "good" within a bad rotation. That's not where this team needs to set the bar.
On a side note, I just want to add here: How odd is it to see a player traded for cash considerations? That's one of the fascinating business sides of baseball to me. The NBA has done it too, but it doesn't happen nearly as often as it does in baseball. Imagine being Agrazal and knowing, "I was worth X dollars" to them. Weird, right? Or is it just me?