This week we went through some prospects and MLB players that could be potentially be traded ( here and here), but now the question is what do the Pirates need?
At the MLB level right now their biggest need is pitching. It has been getting better the past week or so but still has some holes to fill. Some of the bottom teams in the league might be willing to part with some MLB players to help us fill those holes.
Lets check the Twins
Fernando Abad (LHP) - .059 ERA/1.043 WHIP/15.1 IP/18 Games
Notes: It is hard to want a guy who has bad right in his name but he is a fair bullpen lefty having a good season in his last contract year.
Why: Pirate bull pen could use another quality lefty besides Tony Watson. Abad is pretty cheap making about 1.25 Million on the season and most likely a rental that shouldn't take to much to get.
Ervin Santana (RHP) - 3.13 ERA/1.339 WHIP/37.1 IP/7 Games
Notes: Former All-star and Cy Young candidate in LA in 2008 and still has some stuff. His contract is through 2018 with a team option for 2019 at about $13.5M/year which is not unreasonable for a mid-rotation starter. Ervin has a rough patch after injury last year but came back to be very consistent the last couple months of the season.
Why: Only two for sure starters in the rotation in Cole and Liriano. Niese, Nicasio and Locke are on shaky ground. If his health checks out and the Twins eat some of his contract it might be an option if the team is unsure on some of the prospects.
Byung-ho Park (1B/DH) - .233/.316/.525 9HR - 136 PA - 35 Games.
Notes: Former teammate of Jung-ho Kang with great power. Paring him up with Kang may make his transition smoother. Signed through 2019 at less than $3 million a year and a team option for 2020. Not known for his stellar defense.
Why: His power, contract and a fun story for the Korean corners. With questions on Bell's defense, Jaso only controlled through 2017 and Park's cheap contract it is worth looking at.
Checking the Padres..
James Shields (RHP) - 3.07 ERA/1.330 WHIP/58.2 IP/9 Games
Notes: Consistent 200+ innings a season, 2 time Cy Young Candidate, 2 time MVP candidate and All-star. He may no longer be a top of the rotation arm but he is pretty consistent. Under contract through 2018 with an option for 2019. Can opt-out of the contract after this season.
Why: Consistent inning eater. Contract isn't cheap but if you can talk the Padres in to eating some of it or make his opt-out the end of his deal then it could be worth it.
Drew Pomeranz (LHP) - 1.96 ERA/1.065 WHIP/46 IP/8 Games
Notes: Started a handful of games last season that where not very good but much better so far this season. Team control through 2018 and is still on his rookie contract so he is pretty cheap.
Why: A lefty that has figured out how to start at under $1.5 million on the season with some control and no stranger to the bull pen. Seems to fit many needs.
Freddie Freeman (1b) - .267/.363/.445 6 HR
Notes: All-star, Rookie of the Year candidate, MVP candidate and all round good player. Hits for Average, gets on base and has decent power. On top of all of that he plays a position that the Pirates have been needing help with for quite a while. Signed through 2021 at $20+ Million a year after this season. But also note Atlanta's front office has said Freeman is untouchable.
Why: Jaso is good but no Freddie Freeman, Bell still has questions. Freddie is still only 26 and the contract length is perfect fit how ever the dollar amount isn't. If Atlanta takes on some of the salary it could be a great pickup.
Julio Teheran (RHP) - 2.73 ERA/1.107 WHIP/56 IP/9 Games
Notes: one of the few bright spots in Atlanta. Signed through 2019 with a 2020 team option at a very modest price should be a staple of anyone's rotation the next 5 years.
Why: He would come in and make an impact day one at the top of the rotation with Cole. His contract is good enough to where if you wanted to trade one of your higher pitching prospects to get him you can with out crippling the teams future and his salary is great for his skill level.
Who do you think the Pirates should be targeting?