Top 5 Best Trades in Pittsburgh Pirates History

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Mar 13, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; A general view of McKechnie Field during the fourth inning of the game between the Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates . Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Aug. 26, 2003 — Pirates receive Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Corey Stewart from the Padres for Brian Giles.

Brian Giles was an immensely popular player in his time in Pittsburgh and I am sure many fans were angry when he was traded to the Padres mid 2003, especially for a couple of relative unknowns. Corey Stewart never appeared in a game with the Pirates during his two seasons with the organization, but Jason Bay and Oliver Perez were huge pieces for the Pirates during their tenures.

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Jason Bay in particular was the Pirates franchise player during his time with the organization. In his six seasons with the Pirates from 2003 until 2008, Bay slashed .281/.375/.515/.890/131OPS+ and accumulated 15.0WAR.

Oliver Perez was the other main piece in this trade and while he was wildly inconsistent, you cannot deny that for a couple seasons he was one of the most electric pitchers in all of baseball when he was on. His 2004 season alone was worth the price of admission. He went 12-10 with a 2.98ERA. In addition to his stellar ERA, he lead the league in strikeouts per inning with 11, struck out 239 batters and had an ERA+ of 143.

Brian Giles was an absolute machine with the Pirates from 1999-2003. In his time with the Pirates he hit 165 home runs and slashed .308/.426/.591/1.018/158OPS+ He also accumulated 26.0WAR as a member of the Pirates. After the trade, Giles continued to be a solid player with the Padres, but was not nearly as dynamic as he was with the Pirates. In his career with San Diego he hit 83 home runs and slashed .279/.380/.435/.815OPS/122OPS+ and was worth 17.3WAR.

Jason Bay alone was worth more with the Pirates than Brian Giles with the Padres, but couple his WAR with Oliver Perez’s 4.2WAR and it isn’t even close, this is a very clear victory for the Pirates.

We now go to number four on the all time great Pirates trades…

Next: Number 4