The Pittsburgh Pirates are attempting to navigate through a tricky 2018 non-waiver trade deadline. Here, we will update one post with all of the trade rumors and moves you need to know about, all in one place.
We knew the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline would be a tricky one for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This time of year can be dizzying, so we thought it would be a good idea to round up all of the 2018 trade deadline activity - whether it be rumors, consummated deals, deals of note, anything really - in one place for everyone to comment on.
This post will be updated periodically as news and rumors break.
4.5 hours to go - Tuesday July 31 11:30 AM EST
The Pittsburgh Pirates seem to still be in the mix for Chris Archer, even as other teams are falling off:
As of late last night, according to a source, the Pirates were linked to Archer in significant fashion.— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) July 31, 2018
pirates definitely remain in the mix for chris archer. who figured they'd be a star of this deadline? may turn out that way. @BrinkPG is on it— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2018
Buckle up, everybody.
As an aside, here are some selected peripherals from Archer I pointed out on Twitter, wondering what everyone thinks about these?
#Pirates fans, tell me what you would think about this pitcher.— Jason Rollison (@jrollisonpgh) July 31, 2018
K% - BB %
'15 - 29% / 7.6%
'16 - 27.4% / 7.9%
'17 - 29.2% / 7.0%
'18 - 25.6% / 7.5%
AVERAGE EXIT VELO on all Fastballs:
'15 - 90.6
'16 - 90.6
'17 - 93.2
'18 - 93.5
6.5 hours to go - Tuesday July 31 9:30 AM EST
Things are set to ramp back up as the deadline approaches in earnest today. Here is a snapshot look at where things stand with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ deadline day plans:
Chris Archer Update - Pretty much status quo since last night. The Pirates have not been explicitly listed as one of the “finalists” for Archer’s services, there has not been any word that they are firmly out of the running. Additionally, Jim Bowden tweets that a deal is now expected:
UPDATE on my UPDATE: So, Jon Heyman just tweeted that Pirates are still in:
archer has routinely been on block for years. but as he said this time it feels different. plus, folks in the rays org seem to suggest it has a good chance of happening. padres seen as favorites. brewers, braves, pirates, dodgers, yankees (tho they seem set now w/ happ/lynn)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2018
Starting Pitching still desired?
In a word, maybe? We have not heard anything to spell out that the Pirates have moved on from acquiring a controllable starting pitcher, as Ken Rosenthal expressed that the club was interested in doing.
I will fully cop to spit balling here, but one wonders if the Yankees might make Sonny Gray available after acquiring Lance Lynn yesterday. Gray could come at a much cheaper price than someone like Kevin Gausman, though at this point any general manager dealing with Brian Cashman needs to always think twice on any deal with Cashman’s winning streak lately.
An old friend is on the move.
I won’t provide any commentary here, but I will say this: How hard would it have been just a couple of seasons ago, hell even just last year, to imagine that McCutchen would be traded twice in one calendar year?
Pirates acquire RHP Keone Kela- Tuesday July 31 2:30 A.M. EST
The Pirates announced they acquired RHP Keone Kela from the Texas Rangers Tuesday morning in exchange for LHP Taylor Hearn and a player to be named later.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan was the first to report the trade. The Pirates had been connected to the Rangers and Kela for a week, with Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first to report on the Bucs’ interest.
Kela is 3-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 2.97 FIP and 24 saves in 25 opportunities this year in his first look as a closer. Kela’s 1.22 WPA mark is 34th in baseball among relievers and trails only Kelvin Herrera among bullpen arms who have been dealt midseason so far. He has struck out 29% of his batters faced this season (10.80 K/9) while walking 9.2% (3.44 BB/9).
Pirates Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington on the addition of Kela. pic.twitter.com/dJ7KRpklj1— Pirates (@Pirates) July 31, 2018
Kela is under team control via arbitration through the 2020 season.
Hearn was the Pirates’ seventh ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He started the AA All-Star game earlier this month, earning the nod by recording a 3.12 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 104 innings.
MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted the Rangers know who the other player they are getting in the deal is and that the PTBNL label is a formality since it is too late to contact him. As for early speculation on my part, Rosenthal had previously reported on July 26 that the Rangers were doing homework on RHPs Tyler Eppler and Dovydas Neverauskas, OF Jordan Luplow and SS Kevin Newman.
The Pirates have not announced a corresponding move on the 25 man or 40 man roster.
What we know so far - Monday July 30 8:30 PM EST -
The day started off with my take on why the Pittsburgh Pirates might be interested in Kevin Gausman.
However, Jon Heyman threw a wet blanket on that idea:
There are definite sign Pirates are in on Archer (h/t @Joelsherman1) but they don’t appear to be in on Gausman, despite reports— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 30, 2018
Jon Heyman is in the Mount Rushmore of plugged in national guys, but there is no reason not to take him at his word. But this news flies in the face of reports from myself, from Rob Biertempfel, and from Stephen Nesbitt.
But anyway, the bigger news awaits.
Will this be the year?
After seemingly being “in” on Chris Archer at each deadline in recent memory, the Pittsburgh Pirates are reported as being in the mix for Chris Archer.
1. Lots of teams still asking about Archer, my biggest surprise was to hear #Pirates have inquired. Also #Braves, #Padres. Belief that #Brewers, #Athletics and #Yankees also have touched base, at minimum.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 30, 2018
Things got serious enough that the Rays asked for “final offers” from any team interested.
Final offers were requested, w/ 6 or so teams seriously interested as #Rays get down to decision time on Archer. But, still, will they do it ?— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 31, 2018
Also, Romo, Ramos, Hechavarria are in play #Braves #Padres #Dodgers #Cardinals #Yankees #Pirates #Cubs #Phillieshttps://t.co/jUX8YouxWU
As Topkin notes in his piece, the Rays have some other pieces available, including Sergio Romo who has been enjoying a solid season in Tampa after an up and down 2017. Should Romo be included in the deal, it might lure the Pittsburgh Pirates into paying the prospect cost needed to land Archer.
The surprise entrant in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2018 Royal Rumble is...the San Diego Padres?
As Ken notes, the team has had interest in Craig Stammen in the past. That seems to be about the only arm from the Padres that makes sense, lest the Pirates want to also cash in on other rumors of seasons past and bring in Tyson Ross as a rental.
Yet, that would not jive with any of the reports or rumors that the Pirates have been linked to. If anything, the only thing to take away from this particular nugget is that the club has not forgotten the relief pitching that was on its shopping list before the madness began.