The Pirates announced today that three right-handers have been added to their camp as non-roster invitees, indicating they have signed minor league deals with the club. Two of them, Wily Peralta and Brent Honeywell Jr., were previously reported. The third was for Connor Sadzeck, a client of Frontline.
Sadzeck, 32, spent the 2023 season in the Twins’ organization after signing a minor league deal with that club. He tossed 35 innings over 25 Triple-A appearances, allowing 5.40 earned runs per nine frames. His 24.6% strikeout rate was quite strong but his 15.2% walk rate was untenably high.
That has generally been the recipe with the righty, who features a four-seamer and sinker that each have mid-to-high 90s velocity, as well as a slider in the high 80s and the occasional changeup. But as is often the case for pitchers with that kind of power arsenal, control is an ongoing concern.
He has 36 innings of scattered major league experience, having pitched for the Rangers, Mariners and Brewers dating back to his 2018 debut. He has walked 16.4% of major league hitters he has faced, though the baseball gods have helped him keep them from scoring. He has a 2.75 ERA in that small sample of big league work, thanks in part to a .245 batting average on balls in play and 84.3% strand rate. His larger Triple-A résumé now consists of 166 2/3 innings over four separate campaigns. He has a ERA of 4.00 in that time, striking out 25.6% of batters faced but also giving free passes to 12.1% of them.
For the Pirates, there’s no risk in bringing him into camp to get a close-up look at the stuff, while seeing if he can better harness his arsenal throughout the year. All clubs need depth arms throughout the season and the Bucs may be likelier than some others to reach into their minor leagues. They have David Bednar and Aroldis Chapman set to be the high-leverage arms in their bullpen but things are a bit flimsy beyond that as Ryan Borucki is the only other reliever on the roster with more than two years of service time. Guys like Colin Holderman, Dauri Moreta, Carmen Mlodzinski and José Hernández have some intriguing numbers but are still fairly light on experience.
To add some non-roster depth, the club has signed guys like Peralta, Honeywell and Sadzeck, as well as Ben Heller and Ryder Ryan. If Sadzeck is added to the roster at any point, he is out of options but has just over a year of service time.