The Pirates and Brewers have agreed to a trade sending outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. and righty Jandel Gustave from Pittsburgh to Milwaukee in exchange for 17-year-old catcher Samuel Escudero, according to a team announcement out of Milwaukee. Stokes and Gustave have both been assigned to Triple-A Nashville for the time being.
It’s a bit of an oddball trade between two division rivals, as neither Stokes nor Gustave are on the 40-man roster for the rebuilding Pirates. Stokes, 25, was originally a fourth-round pick by the Brewers back in 2014 but made his way to the Pirates via a pair of waiver claims over the past couple seasons. He made his MLB debut earlier this season with Pittsburgh, appearing in eight games and 2-for-18, but he’s since been outrighted off the 40-man roster.
Stokes hasn’t been hitting particularly well in Triple-A Indianapolis since being removed from the 40-man roster. He’s logged 29 games and 84 plate appearances with a tepid .169/.298/.310 slash, dropping his career slash at the Triple-A level to .221/.333/.372 in 465 plate appearances. He’ll give some upper-level outfield depth to a team that traded Billy McKinney to the Mets last month and currently has Lorenzo Cain on the injured list. Milwaukee also recently designated outfielder Derek Fisher for assignment, and if he ends up elsewhere that’d only further deplete their outfield depth.
For the Brewers, the acquisition of Gustave could be the greater focus. Milwaukee’s acquisition of Willy Adames from the Rays bolstered its defense and lineup, but the Brewers had to part with righties J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen in order to get that deal done. Righty Trevor Richards came to Milwaukee in that deal and has thrown well, but they’re down a reliever on their depth chart following that swap.
President of baseball ops David Stearns suggested in an interview with The Athletic’s Will Sammon this week that looking for some complementary bullpen arms might be on the to-do list as the deadline approaches. “Where we’ve struggled is finding those complementary players who can round out a pitching staff and provide consistent performance,” Stearns told Sammon.
Acquiring Gustave certainly seems to mesh with Stearns’ comments. The former Astros and Giants righty was once a prospect of some note, going with the top pick in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft. Tommy John surgery limited him to five innings with the ’Stros in 2017 and wiped out his entire 2018 campaign. He made it back to the big leagues with the Giants in 2019 and tossed 24 1/3 innings of 2.96 ERA ball, albeit with a lowly 14.1 percent strikeout rate and a 9.1 percent walk rate.
Gustave didn’t pitch in the Majors last year. Though he started the season on the Giants’ 40-man roster, he wasn’t added to their initial 60-man player pool and was designated for assignment in early August. He inked a minor league deal with Pittsburgh over the winter and has thrown well in Indianapolis, holding opponents to six runs on a dozen hits and five walks with 18 punchouts through 15 frames (3.60 ERA).
While Gustave hasn’t missed too many bats in the big leagues, he’s whiffed 29 percent of his opponents in Triple-A this season and 23 percent in parts of three career campaigns there. The right-hander carries a 3.43 ERA in 44 2/3 innings at the MLB level and a 4.39 mark in 98 1/3 innings of Triple-A work. At the very least, he gives the Brewers another depth arm with some experience should they need to tap further into the minor league reservoir.
As for the Pirates’ return, there’s not much publicly available data on the young backstop. The Brewers signed him as an amateur out of Venezuela back in January, and the Pirates have assigned him to their affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. Given that the Bucs are trading away a player who cleared waivers a month ago and a second non-roster player who was acquired on a minor league contract, getting even a far-off lottery ticket who’s just setting out on his pro career is a nice pickup.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
Why? Don’t the Brewers have an unlimited supply of outfielders
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
Pretty uncommon trade. Two triple A depth guys packaged for a prospect. Interesting to see
“packaged” are they going to use FEDEX or UPS.
UISPS…… no idea where the package is….
“More to come” hahaha
Stokes – not much value
Gustave – having a decent year at AAA but he’s 29yrs old
The 17yr old C – total lottery ticket
Guatave’s stuff is amazing. It’s too bad he couldn’t put it all together.
You mean stokes has no value. I mean if he has to be packaged with another player just to acquire a 17 year old tells you all you need to know
UPS or FEDEX for the package.
Plot twist that 17 yr old is stokes legitimate son!
Id rather hear “Brewers acquire Trevor Story in exchange for a PTBNL”
Why? The Brewers got Adames who is crushing the ball and is more than just a rental. He said he could never see at the Trop (home/road splits confirm) and now he’s a 850 OPS guy. Seems counter active unless Story goes to 3B. Brewers should inquire about Seager from Seattle.
With Seager, if he’s traded, his option for next year is automatically picked up. So he’s not a rental. But the Brewers should pick up a 3B/1B option and/or a complimentary piece to the rotation. If they replaced Brett Anderson’s spot in the rotation with a more reliable option, they’d be tough to beat on any given day. Let’s hope Hiura can possibly show signs of having it together to take care of the 1B spot.
So 3rd be solved for next year too ? Bet if u get another batter who can actual hit the ball yelich might hit above 230
Not a Brewers fan by any means, but lookin at their production from 3B over the last few years I think the extra year of Seager still works. Plus I’ve been reading articles that say Seager would more than likely agree to a buyout after this season if he could finally reach the playoffs. I think the Brewers are the team to beat in the Central regardless of their pitiful offense, ( they seem to always be able to pick it up come September ) that pitching is deadly and any given night could give up 0 runs 3 hits and 2 BB.
Let’s wait to see how they do against real competition. They haven’t play a team with a winning record in a month. They’ve played 8 against Arizona, 6 against Colorado and 3 against Pittsburgh. Three of the worst teams in baseball. The only decent team they faced were the Reds and the went 2-4. A little premature to label them the team to beat.
If we’re doing trades that won’t ever happen, why stop at Story? Why not Trout or Tatis or the Ghost of Baba Ruth?
Well there’s a completely pointless and useless trade. Thanks Stearns. Guess you and the Pittsburgh GM were just bored and decided to swap some worthless players that wont even have a positive effect on the minor league team their assigned to. Congratulations, fine work boys!
Pirates Atleast got a lottery ticket for nothing. No one thought much of German Marquez when he was sent from COL to TB for Corey Dickerson. Pirates so thin on catcher that even a 17 year old with no known information helps the organizations catcher depth.
That last sentence is so sad but so true.
It’s more than BigAl Avila has done for the TIGERS!
Guess I was hoping for an answer to our absolutely pathetic production from 1st and 3rd base instead, but this is what we get. I still cannot figure out why Stearns did not re-sign Jedd Gyorko….who’s now coaching some semi-pro team somewhere. He was arguably our best hitter last year and plays both positions, but for some reason you let him go despite the fact that he wasn’t going to cost much money at all. Strange logic, if that’s what you want to call it
Gyorko is coaching the West Virginia Black Bears of the MLB Draft League in Morgantown, WV.
Brew Crew loves player-club reunions…next up, a call to the Marlins’ front office to negotiate a trade for Jesus Aguilar, Garrett Cooper, etc.
I think Lucroy and Axford would be available for cheap.
Reminiscent of the 2015 trade- Keon Broxton and Trey Supak to the Brewers for Jason Rogers (no word of him since that trade when he hit .295 for the brewers in 2015)
Rogers got traded to the pirates and took 25 ABs to a .080 average lol.
My gut feeling is nothing for nothing!
A 17-year-old catching prospect? This is reminiscent of the Cubs’ return in the Darvish trade other than Davies. Realistically it would be 6 or 7 years before this guy sees the light of day. In 5 years or so I can hear a Bucs fan say, “Hey, whatever happened to that teenage catcher we got in the Troy Stokes trade?” Most common answer: “Who’s Troy Stokes?”
Opening up AAA spots for Cruz and Contreras.
Exactly. Castro should be moving on up too. getting something for guys that they would be releasing anyway. Stakes and Gustave were not part of the future and just holding spots.
Need to think big picture. Nashville is important to. Their team because of the Brewer injury’s and teams grabbing players we release because their out of options has left Nashville bare. The Brewers aren’t going to promote guys to AAA until their ready so they truly just needed to add guys there. Simply realize Stearns has more then the major league team to worry about.
The Adames trade is one of the few that’s been incredible for both sides.
I guess the Pirates think their current bullpen in fine and no more injuries will occur if they are giving a pitcher away.
The Bucs bullpen has been mostly solid, and they already have a few guys on the 40-man who were being shuttled up and down depending on the situation. Gustave supposedly has nice stuff and was putting up good numbers, but he was unlikely to be called up barring a major rash of injuries.
Love it for Pirates. Know nothing of the prospect but Pirates gave up nothing to get him. Pirates staff has been good with pitching evaluation so don’t see the reliever as a huge loss though he could be solid. Pirates have plenty of relief depth.
Congrats to Samuel Escudero on being the only baseball player in the world that nobody has a scouting report beyond his name, age and nationality. Very impressed by him already, love the trade.
Y’all act like making this trade means the Brewers wont still trade for a corner IF lol. This was just a depth move because their AAA roster was being depleted from injuries. Smh, its not a big deal. Also, they have plenty of catching prospect depth.
great pick up for the pirates. Pirates need to be stocking some catchers in their system. He is a long way out and way too early to tell but even if he ends up being a bust the pirates save some cash and have something that has more value than a possible fourth out fielder and an possible mid relief who hasn’t played in the MLB since 2019… well for a rebuilding team anyway.