Pittsburgh has been seeking pitching depth and added some late Wednesday night. The club announced it has acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations.
Blanton, 34, was designated for assignment by the Royals earlier in the week despite having success with Kansas City. Over 41.2 innings, Blanton has posted a 3.89 ERA and 3.53 FIP. He is averaging 8.64 strikeouts per nine frames while only averaging 1.51 walks per nine innings.
Although he did not pitch in 2014, Blanton's average fastball velocity is 90.8 mph, the fastest of his career. Almost every appearance he made for the Royals (11 out of 15) came out of the bullpen. Though Blanton could make spot starts for the Pirates, he is expected to pitch out of their bullpen. A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and Gerrit Cole have all had success in Pittsburgh's rotation this season. Blanton might be an upgrade over Charlie Morton, Vance Worley, or Jeff Locke.