Thursday, May 19, 2016

Which Pirates should be on the trading block?

A couple days ago we went through a few top prospects the Pirates should consider trading, now we are going to look at which MLB players they should consider trading.

John Jaso (1B) - .287/.354/.434
Notes: This catcher turned first basemen has done an excellent job transitioning making very few mistakes. John has been the primary lead off man, while he doesn't have the speed you would normally like to see at the lead off spot he does get on base and seems to see quite a few pitches.  Many teams passed on him because he could not longer be a catcher due to concussion issues but he has rebuilt value as a first basemen on a reasonably priced 2 year $4 Million contract.
Why: IF (note the capital letters) the Pirates feel Josh Bell is ready for prime time at first base John's future with the team is in question.

David Freeze (3B/1B) - .280/.362/.384
Notes: David was brought in to cover third base while Jung Ho Kang was recovering from knee surgery and as extra insurance for Jaso should he have issues at first.  He has done everything we could hope for.
Why: Kang is back, Jaso is doing well at first.  The Pirates have Alen Hanson, Josh Harrison and Sean Rodriguez that can move around to cover those two positions should the injury bug hit.  Freeze has good value as a slightly above average player and is on a 1 year $3 million contract.

Jon Niese (LHP) - 5.28 ERA/1.543 WHIP/4W 2L
Notes: By far the worst performing starting pitcher in the rotation so far but the team still has won 6 of his 8 starts. Most would agree that he is better than his stats so far this season but he just hasn't shown it yet. He is still fairly young at 29 with 2 more years of control with team options and cheap buy outs and he is a lefty there is still some value.
Why:  IF the Pirates feel their prospects will be better in a few more weeks and the Pirates are willing to eat or salary swap his contract it is a logical choice.

Jason Rogers (1B/3B/OF) - MiLB .293/.370/.476
Notes: No longer a prospect due to fairly significant time in previous years.  Solid hitting in the minors and in previous years a bit above average.  Not the best fielder and tons of control left despite his age.
Why: For the same reasons as Jaso and Freeze only Rogers probably would appeal more to those teams in a rebuild phase as he is at near league minimum salary.

Andrew McCutchen (CF) - .248/.337/.471
Notes: MVP, Silver Slugger,Gold Glover and All-Star. Off to a fairly typical slow start to the season but has started to rebound already. Really don't need to explain how good he is and how cheap his contract is. Pittsburgh would flip if he should be traded.
Why: Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Austin Meadows, Harold Ramirez, Josh Bell.  Trading an MVP caliber player would bring back multiple Grade A/A+ prospects and MLB talent, Pirates probably cannot afford to extend him.

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