Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 17, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well you can add the Pittsburgh Pirates to the list of teams that are rebuilding. The Pirates made that clear by dealing their #1 starter and a former M.V.P. outfielder within a few days of each other.

There where quite a few rumors that the Pirates would be interested in trading starting pitcher Gerrit Cole and they finally made the move when they sent him to the Houston Astros for four players.

Cole is 27 years old and has been with the Pirates for 5 years. He was 59-42 with an E.R.A. of 3.50 in 127 starts for Pittsburgh. Cole has always been looked at as a top of the rotation starter and he’ll be added to an Astros rotation that features Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. This deal could give the Astros the best starting rotation in baseball and should increase their chances of repeating as World series champions.

In return for the Cole the Pirates received two pitchers, Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, a 3rd baseman Colin Moran and an outfielder Jason Martin. There where a lot of baseball people who didn’t like this deal and didn’t think that the Pirates got enough in return for Cole. I thought it was a pretty good deal for the Pirates as three of the players they acquired should be with the major league club in 2018.

Musgrove is 25 years old and has pitched in 49 games 25 of which where starts over two seasons with the Astros. He was 11-12 with a 4.52 E.R.A. and has 2 saves over 171 1/3rd innings. He also made 7 relief appearances for the Astros last post season Musgrove has been looked at as a guy who could develop into a top of the rotation starter and he’ll get the chance to do that with the Pirates.

Feliz is just 24 years old and has pitched in 98 games all in relief over the last two seasons for Houston. Feliz is 12-3 with an E.R.A, of 5.13 over 121 innings. Feliz puts up bug strikeout numbers as he averages just under two strikeouts per inning.

Moran is 25 years old and was the 6th overall pick in the 2013 draft. Alex Bregman has locked down 3rd base in Houston; so Moran became a trade piece for them. Moran has very little major league experience appearing in just 9 games in 2016 and 7 games last season, but he’s looked at as the Pirates starter at 3rd base coming into this season. Moran hit .301 in 82 minor league games with 18 home runs and 65 RBI’s last season.

Martin is 22 years old and split last season between high Class A and Double A. Martin hit .278 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI’s in a combined 125 games. Martin also added 16 steals. Martin is probably the one player in this trade we won’t see in Pittsburgh next season, but he’s a career .269 hitter and his power numbers have improved the last two seasons; so maybe he’ll develop for the Pirates.

The other trade the Pirates made saw them send what has to be considered the face of their franchise Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Kyle Crick and outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 dollars worth in international pool money.

After a down year in 2016 McCutchen bounced back and hit .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBI’s last season. The Pirates are going to pick up $2.5 million dollars of the $14.5 million dollars McCutchen will make this season which is also the last year of his contract.

Right now it looks as though McCutchen will play centerfield for the Giants, but there are some reports out there that San Francisco is still looking to add a centerfielder. If the Giants do add a centerfielder McCutchen would move over to rightfield like the Pirates where planning to do with him and then Hunter Pence would move over to leftfield.

In this deal the Pirates acquired another young pitcher. Crick is 25 years old and has just 30 games of major league experience, all last season. Crick made 30 relief appearances for the Giants last season covering 32 1/3rd innings, he was 0-0 with an E.R.A. of 3.06. Crick had always been looked at as a starter, but last season pitched solely in relief. Will have to see where the Pirates decides he best suits their needs.

Reynolds is a 22 year old outfielder who spent all of the last season at high Class A. He played in 125 games hitting .312 with 10 home runs and 63 RBI’s. Reynolds played all three outfield positions last season, but played the most games 50 in centerfield.

I mentioned earlier that a lot of baseball experts didn’t like the Cole deal, but all in all the Pirates got what a lot teams look for, young controllable pitching. Pittsburgh has done a very good job of getting quality out of their pitchers.

The Pirates will feature a very young rotation with Ivan Nova being the oldest at 31. Jameson Taillon is 26 years old while Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams, Musgrove and Crick are all 25.

Who could be the next player to be traded by the Pirates? Josh Harrison has asked to be dealt; so maybe he’s the next to go. They have some other veterans, but I’m not sure how much someone like David Freese, Sean Rodriquez, Jordy Mercer or Francisco Cervelli would bring in a deal. Now if the Pirates do decided that outfielder Starling Marte is available they could add some more young talent to their roster.

It appears as though the Pirates that their closer Felipo Rivero will be part of their rebuild as he was signed to a 4 year $22 million dollar deal the day after the McCutchen trade.

Rivero took over as Pirates closer a little after mid-season in 2017 and picked up 21 saves, For the season he pitched in 73 games with a 1.67 E.R.A. over 75 1/3rd innings.

The Chicago Cubs brought back one of their free agent, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of. It was announced this morning that the Cubs have reached and agreement on a 2 year $7 million dollar deal with Brian Duensing. Duensing was very good for the Cubs last season appearing in 68 games going 1-1 with a 2.74 E.R.A. over 62 1/3rd innings.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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