Pittsburgh Pirates – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-07-04T23:31:10Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 7/2/20]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=201012 2020-07-03T19:36:19Z 2020-07-03T04:00:08Z Let’s round up the latest draft signings …

  • The Reds have inked Christian Roa to an at-slot deal, MLB.com’s Jim Callis reports on Twitter. The Texas A&M righty takes home just over $1.5MM to go pro. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen was rather bullish on his outlook, grading Roa the 34th-best player available. It seems the Reds were also optimistic that Roa’s growing velocity would stick as he enters the Cincinnati system.
  • Two more Giants draft picks have gone under contract, with the team announcing the under-slot signings and Callis covering the bonuses (Twitter links). Supplemental second-rounder Jimmy Glowenke, a middle infielder out of Dallas Baptist, went for $600K ($953,100 slot value). Fifth-rounder Ryan Murphy, a right-hander from Le Moyne, secures $25K ($379K slot value). Glowenke placed 110th on the Baseball America board on the basis of his strong hit tool, reasonable power outlook, and solid defensive chops.
  • The Diamondbacks inked fourth-rounder A.J. Vukovich to a $1.25MM bonus, per Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (Twitter link). That’s well north of the $483K pool allocation. He had been slated to head to Louisville to play third base, but will instead enter the Arizona system. MLB.com ranked Vukovich as the 86th-best player in the draft pool, explaining that the athletic youngster has existing and projectable power.
  • The Pirates also went over-slot, locking up third-round choice Nick Garcia, Callis reports via Twitter. He lands a $1.2MM bonus after being taken 79th overall ($780,400 slot value), thus completing the Pittsburgh draft business. The Bucs obviously felt the Chapman University righty was worth a little extra coin. Most draft pundits graded him as a late-second round talent. BA was highest at #56, citing the D-III performer’s “stuff, delivery, youth and fresh arm.”
  • Joining the Angels is David Calabrese, who secured the $744,200 slot value associated with his third-round selection, Callis tweets. The Canadian high-school outfielder will forgo his commitment to University of Arkansas. He could just be the steal of the draft, if the analysis of Keith Law of The Athletic proves correct. Law was far higher on Calabrese than the rest of the draft pundit cohort. Calabrese is quite youthful and exceptionally fast, making for an intriguing blend of baseline characteristics. Law believes that Calabrese has the makings of a quality hitter and could grow into some pop.
Steve Adams <![CDATA[Pirates Sign Two Draft Picks]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200815 2020-07-02T19:20:06Z 2020-07-02T19:20:06Z The Pirates have signed supplemental first-round pick Carmen Mlodzinski and second-round selection Jared Jones, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter links). Mlodzinski receives a $2.05MM bonus that comes in a bit shy of his $2.31MM slot value at No. 31, while Jones’ $2.2MM bonus trounces his No. 44 selection’s $1.689MM slot value. Jones’ agreement was initially reported a couple weeks back, but his bonus wasn’t known until today.

Mlodzinski, 21, didn’t post gaudy numbers in his freshman or sophomore year at South Carolina — a broken foot wiped out much of his sophomore campaign —  but he tore through the Cape Cod League last summer. Encouragingly, he continued those gains early in 2020 before the NCAA season was halted. In 54 2/3 innings between the Cape and his early 2020 showing, he posted a combined 2.47 ERA with a 62-to-12 K/BB ratio.

MLB.com rated Mlodzinski as the No. 21 player in this year’s draft, and Baseball America wasn’t far behind at No. 25. He fell within the top 50 players on the lists from FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and The Athletic’s Keith Law, too. He’s still relatively new to pitching, having played infield until his senior year of high school, Law notes. Mlodzinski sits in the mid-90s with a heavy sinker that induces plenty of grounders, and he reached the upper 90s last summer in the Cape Cod League. Reports on his secondary pitches are more mixed, but he’s seen as a potential mid-rotation arm.

Jones, a high schooler out of California, is a two-way player who’s more highly regarded as a pitcher. Baseball America ranked him 41st in the class and noted that he has an 80-grade arm from the outfield but was a borderline first-round talent as a pitcher. MLB.com writes that his future is “definitely” on the mound, touting a 96-97 mph heater and a slider that looks to be an above-average offering as well. He’d been committed to Texas but will instead turn pro.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Derek Shelton On Pirates' Third Base Plans]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200700 2020-07-02T06:05:33Z 2020-07-02T06:05:33Z
  • The Pirates have one of baseball’s top prospects in third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, who’s part of their 60-man player pool, but first-year manager Derek Shelton will ease him into a regular role slowly. Pittsburgh’s currently planning on sticking with Colin Moran at the hot corner, per Shelton, who said (via Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic): I don’t think it’s an open competition. You’re going to see Colin there a lot. I think you’re going to see other people there … but you’re going to see Colin there.” The 27-year-old Moran, acquired from the Astros in the teams’ January 2018 Gerrit Cole trade, was the Pirates’ primary option at third during the previous two seasons. Moran only produced 0.8 fWAR in 968 plate appearances, in which he batted .277/.331/.419. Nevertheless, the Pirates believe it’s best for Hayes to continue his development as an understudy. The 23-year-old did reach Triple-A for the first time in 2019, but his .265/.336/.415 line across 480 PA was 8 percent below the International League average, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pirates Sign Fourth-Rounder Jack Hartman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200308 2020-07-01T02:02:02Z 2020-07-01T02:01:44Z
  • The Pirates have signed fourth-round righty Jack Hartman for $60K (Twitter link). That sums checks in well below the $538,200 value of Hartman’s selection, No. 108. The ex-Appalachian State hurler pumps high-90s heat, possesses a high-spin curveball and is on track to be a reliever in the majors, Callis writes.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pirates Outright Yacksel Rios]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200202 2020-06-30T04:20:31Z 2020-06-30T04:20:31Z The Pirates outrighted hurler Yacksel Rios to Triple-A Indianapolis over the weekend, Adam Berry of MLB.com was among those to report. Rios has not been outrighted previously, and he doesn’t have the necessary service time to reject the assignment, so he’ll stay with the Pirates.

    A 12th-round pick of the Phillies in 2011, the right-handed, hard-throwing Rios debuted with Philadelphia in 2017, though he has since had immense difficulty preventing runs at the major league level. After Rios posted a 6.38 ERA/5.64 FIP over 55 innings and parts of three seasons in its uniform, Philadelphia designated Rios for assignment last summer.

    When the in-state rival Phillies booted the 27-year-old Rios from their roster, the Pirates took a flyer on him via the waiver wire. Rios went on to throw 10 1/3 frames across 10 appearances as a Pirate in 2019, but he yielded six earned runs on 10 hits (including two homers) and five walks, also totaling 10 strikeouts.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Pirates’ Edgar Santana Issued 80-Game PED Suspension]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200004 2020-06-28T22:26:13Z 2020-06-28T22:26:13Z Pirates right-hander Edgar Santana has been suspended for 80 games for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, as per a league press release.  Santana tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone, and will now miss the entire 2020 season as well as the first 20 games of the 2021 campaign.

    Santana posted a 3.31 ERA, 3.08 K/BB rate, and 7.9 K/9 over 84 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh in 2017-18, all as a relief pitcher.  This promising beginning to his big league career was cut short by Tommy John surgery in September 2018, which sidelined him for the entire 2019 campaign.

    During Spring Training, Santana appeared to be in good form returning from that long layoff, tossing five scoreless innings in Grapefruit League action prior to the league shutdown.  There was plenty of opportunity for a healthy Santana to re-establish himself in the Pirates’ bullpen and set himself up for his first arbitration-eligible year in 2021, though he’ll now his service clock stalled while also forfeiting his salary for the 2020 season.

    George Miller <![CDATA[Pirates Announce Initial 60-Man Player Pool]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199913 2020-06-28T21:21:50Z 2020-06-28T20:55:50Z Today marks the deadline for teams to submit to Major League Baseball their initial spring training player pools, which can comprise up to 60 players. Players are not eligible to participate in either a spring training or regular season game until they are included in the pool. Teams are free to change the makeup of the pools as they see fit. However, players removed from a team’s 60-man (for reasons unrelated to injury, suspension, etc.) must be exposed to other organizations via trade or waivers.

    Not all players within a team’s pool are ticketed for MLB playing time, of course. Most teams will include well-regarded but still far-off prospects as a means of getting them training reps with no intention of running them onto a major league diamond this season. A comprehensive review of 2020’s unique set of rules can be found here.

    The Pirates’ initial player pool consists of the following players.

    Right-handed pitchers

    Left-handed pitchers




    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/27/20]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199811 2020-06-29T02:39:54Z 2020-06-28T02:19:21Z The latest draft signings…

    Latest News

    • The Brewers have signed third-rounder Zavier Warren, who made the news official today on his own Twitter feed.  Warren will receive “slightly” less than the $637.6K slot value attached to the 92nd overall pick, Tony Paul of the Detroit News reports (Twitter link).  Milwaukee is also reportedly close to an official agreement with fifth-round pick Hayden Cantrelle, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that Cantrelle took his physical earlier this week and will receive a below-slot deal.  Cantrelle’s 151st overall draft position has a $353.7K slot value.  [UPDATE: Cantrelle has signed for $300K, as per Robert Murray]

    Earlier Today

    • The Reds inked third-round pick Bryce Bonnin and fifth-rounder Joe Boyle, as reported by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Details on Boyle’s bonus aren’t yet known, though Bonnin signed for $700K, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis.  This falls slightly below the $721.9K slot value attached to the 84th overall pick.  Bonnin is a right-handed pitcher from Texas who previously went to the Cubs as a 26th-rounder in 2017. After attending Arkansas, Bonnin transferred to Texas Tech and became their Sunday starter in 2019, helping his club to a 12-1 record on days he took the hill. He finished the year with a 4.08 ERA before struggling over his four starts in 2020 (7.36 ERA).
    • Second-round pick Logan Allen signed yesterday with the Indians, but the financial details of his deal have come in. Allen signed for $1.125MM, a touch below slot ($1,276,400), tweets Callis. Allen was a two-way player in college, but like the Indians’ other Logan Allen, the southpaw’s most likely future is on the hill.
    • The Pirates announced today that they’ve signed fifth-round pick Logan Hofmann, with details first reported by Marc Delucchi and confirmed by Callis. Hofmann will receive a $125K signing bonus, which is under the $402K slot value for the 138th overall selection. Hofmann is a right-handed pitcher from Northwestern State, where he didn’t concede an earned run in 28 IP this spring.
    • The White Sox have signed fifth-rounder Bailey Horn, according to Callis. Horn, a left-handed pitcher from Auburn, will earn $150K, which comes in at less than half of the $386,600 slot value for the 142nd pick. Per Callis, Horn features a four-pitch mix, of which the slider is his best offering. By signing Horn and second-rounder Jared Kelley today, the White Sox now have all five of their draft picks under contract.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Pirates Making Significant Personnel Changes In Business, Baseball Operations Departments]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199743 2020-06-27T02:05:54Z 2020-06-27T02:04:17Z 9:04pm: Jeff Banister was among those the Pirates laid off, Mackey tweets. Banister was once a player and coach in the organization, but he most recently worked as a special assistant in their front office. He’s better known around the game for his run as the Rangers’ manager from 2015-18. Banister also interviewed for the Astros’ managerial vacancy during the offseason, though that job went to Dusty Baker.

    5:34pm: The Pirates are making sweeping changes in both their business operations and baseball operations departments, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Upwards of 25 members of the business operations team were laid off yesterday, and as many as 15 members of the baseball ops team were let go Friday, he adds via Twitter.

    Some of the employees who were cut loose were already on furlough and have now been told they won’t return. Those who were let go will keep their benefits through at least Oct. 31 and receive severance packages, per Mackey. The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel reports (also via Twitter) that the 15 baseball ops personnel who were let go will be paid their salaries and retain their benefits through Oct. 31 as well. Names aren’t known at this point, although Biertempfel adds that scouting director Joe DelliCarri and farm director Larry Broadway remain on staff.

    Broad-reaching organizational changes are common following a front-office shakeup, and that seemed particularly likely to be true in the case of the Pirates. Owner Bob Nutting cleaned house after the 2019 season — albeit in somewhat odd fashion. Manager Clint Hurdle was dismissed just days after publicly stating that he’d been assured he would return in 2020. Longtime pitching coach Ray Searage and bench coach Tom Prince were ousted, too. A search for a new skipper began, headed up by GM Neal Huntington … until Nutting fired Huntington nearly a month into the interview process.

    Along the way, president Frank Coonelly and the club “mutually” agreed to part ways. Travis Williams took over as team president, Ben Cherington was hired to replace his friend and former Indians colleague, and the club ultimately settled on Twins bench coach Derek Shelton as its next manager.

    The road taken to get to the end result was rather bizarre, but it was abundantly clear that Nutting felt dramatic change was necessary. That’s now trickled down into the operations department. The COVID-19 pandemic surely played a role in the mass layoffs, but substantial turnover always stood out as a possibility.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[First-Rounder Nick Gonzales Plans To Sign With Pirates]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199476 2020-06-23T21:04:20Z 2020-06-23T20:19:55Z Pirates first-round pick Nick Gonzales will take a physical on Wednesday, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Assuming there aren’t any issues, Gonzales plans to sign with the team, according to Mackey. As the seventh overall pick, he’s expected to sign for the slot value of $5,432,400, per Mackey.

    The 21-year-old Gonzales was a star at New Mexico State, where he played in the middle infield (primarily second base) and slashed .399/.502/.747 with 37 home runs in 596 plate appearances from 2018-20.

    On the heels of his stellar college career, Gonzales entered the draft as a top seven prospect according to MLB.com (No. 5), Baseball America (No. 5), FanGraphs (No. 6) and Keith Law of The Athletic (No. 7). Gonzales “has as much pure hitting ability as just about any bat in the 2020 class,” per MLB.com, which notes that some compare him to Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pirates Have Minimal Post-2020 Payroll Commitments]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199133 2020-06-19T00:30:11Z 2020-06-19T00:30:11Z 2020 salary terms still need to be hammered out. But what about what’s owed to players beyond that point? The near-term economic picture remains questionable at best. That’ll make teams all the more cautious with guaranteed future salaries.

    Every organization has some amount of future cash committed to players, all of it done before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. There are several different ways to look at salaries; for instance, for purposes of calculating the luxury tax, the average annual value is the touchstone, with up-front bonuses spread over the life of the deal. For this exercise, we’ll focus on actual cash outlays that still have yet to be paid.

    We’ll run through every team, with a big assist from the Cot’s Baseball Contracts database. Prior entries can be found here. Next up is the Pirates:

    *Includes buyouts on club options over Chris Archer and Gregory Polanco

    *Does not include remaining contractual obligations to Felipe Vazquez (on restricted list and facing multiple criminal charges in multiple jurisdictions)

    (click to expand/view detail list)

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pirates, 2nd-Rounder Jared Jones Agree To Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=198998 2020-06-16T19:35:31Z 2020-06-16T19:35:31Z The Pirates have agreed to terms with second-round pick Jared Jones, Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was among those to report. Financial details of the deal aren’t known yet, but Jones’ pick, No. 44, comes with a recommended slot value of $1,689,500. The Pirates are fifth in the majors in available bonus pool space at $11,154,500.

    The high school right-hander from California had a fallback in the University of Texas – to which he committed before the draft – had he been unable to reach an agreement with the team that picked him. Jones will instead continue his development as a pro after a dominant run as a high school pitcher and hitter. The 18-year-old logged a 0.89 ERA with 255 strikeouts and 78 walks in 180 1/3 innings, and he slashed .394/.473/.566 at the plate, according to Gorman.

    Prior to the draft, Jones came in 41st at Baseball America, 51st in the rankings of ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, 55th at MLB.com, 85th in the rankings of Keith Law of The Athletic, and 91st at FanGraphs. Despite his prowess as a two-way player, MLB.com writes that Jones’ “future is definitely on the mound,” as he owns a repertoire that consists of a high-90s fastball with a promising slider and changeup.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Charlie Tilson, Jake Elmore, Luis Escobar Among Pirates’ Minor League Releases]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=198622 2020-06-10T21:18:25Z 2020-06-10T21:18:25Z The Pirates released 39 minor league players this week, as first reported by John Dreker of PiratesProspects.com. Outfielder Charlie Tilson, utilityman Jake Elmore, right-hander Luis Escobar and infielder Sherman Johnson stand out as players with prior big league experience.

    Tilson, 27, joined the Bucs on a minor league deal this winter after spending the past four seasons in the White Sox organization. Acquired by Chicago in the 2016 swap that sent lefty Zach Duke to the Cardinals, Tilson made his MLB debut shortly after that trade. However, a torn hamstring suffered in his debut game required surgery, and he’s been plagued by a series of leg and ankle injuries ever since. In 280 Major League plate appearances, the former second-round pick carries just a .246/.310/.290 batting line. Tilson was known for his speed early in his career, but the 46 stolen bases he recorded in 134 games back in 2015 dwarf the eight bags he swiped in a combined 115 games between Triple-A and the Majors last year.

    The 32-year-old Elmore has the most MLB experience of the group, having appeared in 217 games and logged 527 plate appearances. Elmore is just a .215/.292/.275 hitter in that time, but he’s demonstrated substantial versatility; in 2013, the Astros used him at every position on the diamond — including catcher and pitcher. Elmore has at least 106 innings at all four infield spots, 234 innings in the outfield (including 14 in center) and has also caught 4 1/3 innings and pitched two frames (one run allowed) in the Majors.

    Escobar, 24, made his big league debut last year and received 60 grades on his fastball while coming up through the minors. He averaged 95.1 mph on that heater in his 5 2/3-inning cup of coffee last year, although he also walked four batters, hit another and threw a wild pitch in that short time. Escobar’s 2019 results in Triple-A were solid, particularly considering how hitter-friendly that league was last year: 4.09 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, 1.15 HR/9 and a 46.6 percent grounder rate. That said, it’s not exactly a huge surprise that he was cut loose; Escobar did go unclaimed on waivers back in November.

    As for the 29-year-old Johnson, he’s an eight-year minor league veteran who received the briefest of looks with the Angels back in 2018, appearing in 10 games but going hitless in 11 plate appearances. He has at least 450 innings at all four infield positions and, while he’s never shown much power, has been a consistent on-base threat with fairly low strikeout rates in his minor league career.

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Each NL Team’s Top Recent Draft Class]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=198484 2020-06-07T19:50:02Z 2020-06-07T17:29:18Z With the MLB draft scheduled for next week, let’s take a look at each National League team’s most successful draft class in recent memory. Using Baseball Reference’s draft tracker, we can sum the combined career bWAR of each player selected by each team in a given year. It’s a simple shorthand, not a perfect measure, but it’ll give some insight into which teams have really hit on their picks in certain years.

    First, a quick note on the methodology. For simplicity, we’re limiting this search to the 2006-2015 classes. A player’s value is only included if he signed with the club, although he needn’t have actually played for his drafting team in the majors. (So, the 2008 Yankees don’t get credit for drafting but failing to sign Gerrit Cole, while the 2007 Red Sox do get credit for drafting and signing Anthony Rizzo, even though he was traded before ever playing an MLB game for Boston). Of course, a player drafted in 2006 has had more time to rack up value than one drafted in 2015, so we’ll note in each team’s capsule if a more recent class is on the verge of taking over from an older class. On to the results…

    • Braves: 2007 (76.6 bWAR) – Hitting on Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman in the first two rounds goes a long way. Heyward has been a disappointment with the Cubs but had some electrifying seasons in his early days in Atlanta (and his year in St. Louis), while Freeman has emerged as a fixture in the Braves’ lineup as one of the best hitters in baseball over the past decade.
    • Brewers: 2009 (30.7 bWAR) – This was period of some underwhelming draft returns for Milwaukee. The 2009 class tops the list thanks to Khris DavisMike Fiers and Scooter Gennettall of whom are better known for their play (or whistleblowing, in Fiers’ case) elsewhere.
    • Cardinals: 2006 (56.3 bWAR) – By virtue of putting up baseball’s best record in 2005, the Cardinals sat at the back of every round in 2006. No matter, as they managed to find a handful of highly productive big leaguers. First-rounder Adam Ottavino didn’t work out in St. Louis but went on to a strong career as a reliever in Colorado. Tommy Pham (16th round) and Jon Jay (2nd round) have each carved out strong careers, while Allen Craig (8th round) had a brief but productive peak.
    • Cubs: 2007 (54.4 bWAR) – Unfortunately for the Cubs, this class is almost all about Josh Donaldson, who did none of his damage in a Chicago uniform. Perhaps Javier Báez (2012 draft) or Kris Bryant (2013 draft) will match or exceed Donaldson’s stellar career in time.
    • Diamondbacks: 2009 (73.1 bWAR) – Paul Goldschmidt (8th round) went on to become the top position player in franchise history. First-rounder AJ Pollock had a couple star-level seasons of his own before injuries knocked him off track, while Chase Anderson (9th round) has emerged as a solid back-of-the-rotation starter.
    • Dodgers: 2006 (70.6 bWAR) – The Dodgers only signed two big leaguers from the 2006 class. When one of them goes on to become arguably the best pitcher of his generation, you can more than get away with it. Clayton Kershaw’s Hall of Fame plaque will boast at least three Cy Young Awards and an NL MVP.
    • Giants: 2008 (65.6 bWAR) – The late-2000’s draft classes set up the crux of the Giants’ three World Series titles the first half of the next decade. None was more impactful than 2008, when SF grabbed Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford in the first and fourth rounds, respectively.
    • Marlins: 2010 (56.1 bWAR) – Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto have matured into two of the best players in baseball, so the Marlins’ 2010 class (which also boasted late-blooming A’s slugger Mark Canha) has a chance to be really special. Of course, none of those players are still in Miami.
    • Mets: 2010 (50.5 bWAR) – Seventh overall pick Matt Harvey was briefly the ace the Mets hoped they were adding in 2010. As it turns out, Jacob deGrom (9th round) had a lot more staying power atop their rotation.
    • Nationals: 2009 (44.9 bWAR) – First overall pick Stephen Strasburg has more than made good on that selection, culminating in a World Series MVP effort in 2019. The 2009 class also brought in a handful of role players, including Drew Storen and Michael Taylor.
    • Padres: 2007  (38.9 bWAR) – Another team for whom the top player simply got away, the crown jewel of the Padres’ 2007 class was Corey Kluber (4th round). Obviously, even San Diego didn’t him expect him to go on to win a pair of Cy Young Awards.
    • Phillies: 2014 (24.2 bWAR) – There were some tough results for the Phillies on draft day in recent seasons, but 2014 looks to be a notable exception. Aaron Nola went seventh overall and has emerged as a high-level starter, while Rhys Hoskins (fifth round) looks like the Phils’ long-term answer at first base.
    • Pirates: 2011 (29.7 bWAR) – The Pirates’ 2011 class is almost exclusively about the contributions of first overall pick Gerrit Cole, but he obviously reached his peak after being traded to Houston. Josh Bell (2nd round) looked to have turned the corner at the plate in the first half of 2019.
    • Reds: 2007 (43.1 bWAR) – The Reds found three future everyday players in the 2007 class. Todd Frazier (supplemental first-round), Zack Cozart (2nd round) and Devin Mesoraco (1st round) all went on to become productive players in Cincinnati.
    • Rockies: 2009 (47.4 bWAR) – The Rockies graduated six players from the 2009 class to the big leagues, although only one proved a smashing success. Finding a player of Nolan Arenado’s caliber in the second round makes for a great draft even if the rest of the players taken underwhelm.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[The Other Chris Archer Trades]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=198437 2020-06-06T02:40:39Z 2020-06-06T02:24:01Z Pirates right-hander Chris Archer has been among the most prominent major leaguers in the news this week. Archer just underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, meaning he won’t pitch until at least 2021. It also means his tenure could be done in Pittsburgh, which will have to decide between an $11MM club option and a $250K buyout next winter.

    Archer’s surgery came as the latest disastrous development during his time with the Pirates, who made an ill-fated trade with the Rays to acquire him in July 2018. For the sake of Pirates fans, who have witnessed Archer struggle mightily in their favorite team’s uniform and have seen two of the players their club gave up flourish as Rays, we’re not going to recap that trade for the umpteenth time. But we are going to look back at other trades involving Archer. Long before he became a Pirate, Archer was part of a couple other notable deals.

    First off, Archer entered the pros as a 17-year-old and a fifth-round pick of the Indians in 2006. Archer struggled to prevent runs as part of the Indians’ system through 2008, and after that season, the club traded him, righty Jeff Stevens and lefty John Gaub to the Cubs for infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa. Cleveland didn’t get a full season out of DeRosa, whom the team flipped to the Cardinals in June 2009 after he batted a solid .270/.342/.457 in 314 plate appearances and 71 games as an Indian.

    What of the Cubs’ return for DeRosa? Stevens combined for 37 1/3 innings of 6.27 ERA ball as a Cub from 2009-11. Gaub made even less of an impact in Chicago, with which he threw the only 2 2/3 innings of his career in 2011. Archer never appeared in the majors with the organization, but he turned around his fortunes as a Cubs minor leaguer and began cracking top 100 prospects lists as a member of the franchise. Still, that wasn’t enough for the Cubs to keep him.

    After the 2010 season, when Archer topped out as Baseball America’s 27th-best prospect, the Cubs dealt him to the Rays in a blockbuster. Along with Archer, the Cubs surrendered shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos, and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer for righty Matt Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez and lefty Zac Rosscup.

    The Cubs got nothing from Perez, who never appeared in the majors with them, and very little from Rosscup (he posted a 5.32 ERA over 47 1/3 frames and parts of four seasons in their uniform). On the other hand, Garza was effective in Chicago from 2011-13. Though the team failed to push for the playoffs during that stretch, Garza turned in 372 2/3 innings of 3.45 ERA pitching with 8.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. However, as a non-contender in July 2013, Chicago sent Garza – a soon-to-be free agent – to Texas for third baseman Mike Olt and the righty trio of Carl Edwards Jr., Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez.

    As for the Rays’ return, Lee never made it to MLB, even though he was a highly regarded prospect in his younger days. He’s now playing with the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization. Chirinos has evolved into a fine offensive catcher, though he only took 60 plate appearances with the Rays in 2011 before they traded him to the Rangers two years later. Fuld played from 2011-13 in Tampa Bay, where he batted .230/.301/.326 in 653 attempts. Guyer appeared with the Rays in parts of four seasons from ’11-15 and slashed .255/.341/.396 over 978 PA.

    While none of Lee, Chirinos, Fuld or Guyer offered especially valuable production as Rays, Archer thrived. He piled up 177 starts and amassed 1,063 innings of 3.69 ERA/3.48 FIP ball with 9.7 K/9 and 2.94 BB/9 as part of the team from 2011-18, during which he earned two All-Star nods and signed the six-year, $25.5MM extension he’s still playing under.

    Many have been tough on Archer on account of what has been a rough run in Pittsburgh, but he’s the same player who once made the Rays look like geniuses for adding him. That makes his recent fall from grace all the more surprising, and it’s anyone’s guess whether a rebound will be in store in the wake of TOS surgery.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.