Pittsburgh Pirates Rumor Mill – looting the Milwaukee Brewers
By Tyler Waite
Welcome to another edition of the Pittsburgh Pirates Rumor Mill, where we break down all of the latest trade rumors, signings, promotions, demotions, injury updates, and other news and notes from around the Pirates organization. This week, we take a look at which Milwaukee Brewers’ players the Pirates could target at the trade deadline, investigate the status of a few players on the disabled list, and analyze an intriguing contract clause for a certain player.
First, we look at the 16 games under .500 Brewers, who will most certainly be sellers at the trade deadline. Zack Minasian, pro scouting director for the Brewers, understands this, and he knows the team is prepared to move a multitude of players. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of who they will trade in the coming weeks. The Brewers, for all of their struggles, definitely have some players that will be coveted by teams looking to add. Here are a couple names in particular that stand out.
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Jean Segura originally came to the Brewers from the Angels in a trade that sent then-Brewer Zack Greinke to the Halos. He’s young, team-controlled, and still has a lot of potential at shortstop. Most likely, Milwaukee won’t deal him, but if the team wanted to make a big splash at the deadline, or if a team knocked their doors off with an offer, Segura could be moved. For the Pirates to truly even consider Segura, Jordy Mercer would have to cool down from his recent hot streak and Jung Ho Kang would have to keep sliding offensively. Plus, Neal Huntington would have to step out of his comfort zone and not have any confidence in the current crop of shortstop options his team has.
This season, Segura is batting .249/.277/.333 with three home runs and 21 RBIs. He’s been a negative win player, and it would be interesting to see what the selling price would be for him. Last season, he only batted .246 with just 31 RBIs and was barely more than a replacement-level player. He made a name for himself in 2013 when he batted .294 with 44 stolen bases and made the National League All-Star team. He’s only 25 and he still has multiple years of team control left.
Segura can be had. He’s had a rough couple of years and the Brewers don’t have many veterans or players on expiring contracts that are playing well that they could focus on trading instead. He’s one of the team’s few tradeable assets, but Milwaukee could be selling low on him. It would be a monumental surprise if Huntington pursued Segura, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
The Pirates aren’t getting a lot out of the first base position. At least, they’re not getting what they should be getting. Pedro Alvarez has power, but that’s it. Each of his 11 home runs this year has come with no one on base, and he’s been a detriment to the team defensively. Adam Bittner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes Pedro’s defensive woes this year, and suggests Adam Lind as a possible trade target for the Pirates this season. This wouldn’t be a bad idea in the slightest.
Lind, 31, would be a solid upgrade over Pedro. Lind is batting .292/.365/.496 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs. Lind also only has only three errors in the field compared to Pedro’s 10. The Pirates could attempt to flip Pedro, who is only 28, in a trade for Lind, who the Brewers don’t need and should sell high on. Lind is making $7.5 million this year with a club option for next year at $8 million with a $500k buyout. He’s worth targeting to hold over first base until Josh Bell is ready to take over. There’s no reason Huntington shouldn’t explore Lind as an option at first.
Other names that could be on the move for the Brewers include Francisco Rodriguez, who is on pace to have the best season of his career at age 33, Carlos Gomez, who, like Segura, is most likely a long shot to be moved, and Aramis Ramirez, who may be making too much money for someone to take on for his below-average production. The Pirates won’t go after the latter two of these three, but adding additional arms never hurts, and K-Rod would be a tremendous arm out of the Pirate bullpen. It’s unlikely, but it doesn’t hurt to look into it.
26-year-old Deolis Guerra was recently called up to the majors and has worked out of the pen for the Pirates. He earned the first win of his major league career in Tuesday night’s 5-4 win over the Tigers. This was a corresponding move as the Pirates placed Rob Scahill on the 15-day DL with right forearm tightness. Andrew Lambo‘s move to the 60-day DL is a minor one, and it’s easy to wonder if Lambo will see any more time at the big league level this season.
Jose Tabata also cleared waivers (as expected) and was outrighted to Triple-A. John Holdzkom and Hunter Morris are now on the disabled list and Alen Hanson has been taken off the DL. This season at Indianapolis, Holdzkom has a 3.38 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched and has battled with time on the DL for much of the season. He was the victim of having options at the beginning of the season, and hasn’t seen big league time so far this year.
RHP Jeff Inman and INF Gift Ngoepe promoted to Triple-A
At Double-A Altoona this year, Jeff Inman had a 2.79 ERA in 19.1 innings while throwing 20 strikeouts to just five walks. Gift Ngoepe was batting .260/.338/.362 with three home runs and 25 RBIs at Altoona before being called up. Neither player has seen the majors after over six years in the minors.
Corey Hart begins rehab assignment
Corey Hart was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list, and many fans and experts speculated that this might spell the end for his time as a Pirate. He recently began his rehab assignment at Triple-A. It’ll be interesting to see what the team ends up doing with him.
Clayton Richard and his funky contract
Clayton Richard has been performing admirably for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians this season, posting a 2.09 ERA in nine starts. According to JConline, in a clause in Richard’s contract that triggered on Tuesday, July 1st, the Pirates have a 72-hour window in which all other teams must be notified that Richard is available to be claimed. If another team claims him, the Pirates must either promote him to Pittsburgh or send him to that other team. This is an under the radar process to definitely keep an eye on this week.
That has been it for this week’s edition of the Pittsburgh Pirates Rumor Mill. Make sure to tune in next week at the same time to hear about all of the latest Pirates’ rumors, trades, signings, promotions, demotions, injury updates, and other news and notes. The trade deadline is right around the corner, so trade rumors are just beginning to heat up, so don’t forget to tune in!