Death, taxes and horribly-constructed Pittsburgh Pirates trade rumors. Three things that are guaranteed in life.
Recently, I saw an article on Over the Monster detailing whether or not starter Mitch Keller would be a good offseason acquisition for the Boston Red Sox. One of the subtitles was “Why would he be a good fit for the 2024 Red Sox?”
I’ll tell you why he would NOT be a good fit.
First of all, he’s not for sale. Plain and simple.
Keller increased his value after a strong 2023 season which saw him make his first All-Star Game. Additionally, there are rumblings that both Keller and the Pirates want to stay together long term.
Even General Manager Ben Cherington indicated that he wants Keller on the Pirates for a while in a recent interview with Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“He’s one of the guys who checks a lot of boxes. He’s a guy we would love to see in a Pirates uniform for a long time. We’ll see how that plays out.”
Extension talks are in their preliminary stages — and have been for a while it seems — but the fact that Cherington is even mentioning a possible extension with Keller is indicative that he is likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
Second of all, the Pirates are gunning to be... winners... in 2024.
The team is nowhere near being a World Series contender, but as far as Cherington is concerned, the Pirates want to post a winning record next year. Possibly even sneaking into the playoffs, if things go beyond expectations.
In order to win, you need a surplus of quality pitchers. Keller is a fantastic start.
Sure, his ERA took an upward climb towards the end of the year, but he clearly showed he has the capability to post quality starts deep into a season.
He generates lots of weak contact against opposing hitters, averaging 87.7 miles per hour, and has a decent walk rate. Not only that, but he generated a career-high 210 strikeouts.
200 K's on the season for Mitch Keller! pic.twitter.com/F2OrTqzC2z— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 21, 2023
Depending on what signings or trades the Pirates make this offseason, Keller could bump down a notch in the rotation, but overall, you need formidable arms if you want to win.
All things considered, Keller is not for sale and will not be a part of your favorite team’s rotation. Unless, of course, you’re a Pirates fan.