Pirates 2019 Trade Deadline Primer – by Andre Frye

So the Pirates get swept out of the all star break. It’s happened a lot over the years since contending for the division in 2013 and it’s extremely disappointing. It’s terrible considering the fact that they could have put their immediate stamp on this division race by winning this series vs the Cubs. There’s still plenty of baseball left until early October, however, the trade deadline is fast approaching. The Buccos are in a weird position where they could buy to go for the NL Central or sell and get ready for 2020. Here are the options for the Buccos heading into the 2019 MLB Trade deadline.

Do nothing

I’m not going to lie, this is a terrible idea considering the fact they could still win the division. Getting swept by the Cubs suck, but they have a chance to bounce back vs the Cardinals who are also vying for the NL Central. They have plenty of division games left including 3 more series vs the Cubs. When you look at this team though, they could benefit from getting guys back from injury. Jameson Taillon does not have a return date set, but he also hasn’t been ruled out for the year. Starting RF Gregory Polanco is rehabbing and is due back soon. RP Keone Kela has been hurt all year but is also due at some point soon. If these guys come back and hit the ground running, it could go a long way towards competing.

Buy buy buy!

This may be wishful thinking but there’s a huge opportunity here to buy as an organization. I know I know, they got swept out of the break so why buy? Well, you buy because this is a seller’s market which means that the amount of quality players available are limited. The Pirates have one of the better farm systems in baseball so they can pony up if need be. When you look at this ball club, they need pitching more than anything. There are plenty of quality arms out there that can slot in the rotation and bullpen. To name a few starters and bullpen, Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Matthew Boyd, Zack Wheeler, Will Smith, Shane Greene, and Edwin Diaz will all be available. This really is the tip of the iceberg as there’s a plethora of arms out there for purchase.

Sell Sell Sell

This honestly occurs if the Pirates cannot regroup after getting swept by the Cubs and even then, the Buccos really should just be unloading expiring contacts. If you end up becoming a “seller”, Corey Dickerson and Melky Cabrera must go. They both are in contract years so do not lose them for nothing. I’d expect Dickerson to bring more of a return despite being a FA this offseason because he’s younger and is a gold glover. Cabrera’s trade value is at a high point right now due to his good season he’s had at the plate. The most intriguing name being rumored as trade bait is Felipe Vasquez. As of now, the reports are that the Dodgers are interested but the Pirates have a very high price tag. If I’m the Pirates and Neil Huntington, I definitely dangle that name out just to see if the Buccos can get a King’s ransom of a return. He’s still one of the best relievers in baseball and is on a very team friendly contract. There aren’t too many relief pitchers who can change speeds from 99 MPH to 82 MPH. Other than those names, I’d be shocked if anyone else was mentioned in trade talks.

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