What Could the Bucs Get?
One thing that the Dodgers have done a great job of is building up their farm system. According to MLB.com, the Dodgers have the fifth best farm system in baseball. This includes many top international prospect who they have signed. Much has been written about what the Pirates could get for McCutchen from the Dodgers. There has been a few common names among all the articles. First, they list Jose De Leon as part of a deal. De Leon has been considered the Dodgers second best pitching prospect, and in general a top 35 prospect in baseball.
De Leon has electric stuff, with a fastball that sits 93-94 late into starts, and sharp slider that he produces ground-balls with when it is down in the zone. His best pitch might be his change-up however. He keeps great arms speed while throwing it which allows for late break in the zone. His change-up is effective when he is getting swings and misses or weak hit grounders because of the late movement or weak. The electric righty threw to a 7-1 record in 16 starts at Triple-A this year. He compiled an unbelievable 111 strikeouts to just 20 walks while keeping opponent hitters to a .194 average. He held a solid 2.66 earned run average in his time at Triple-A also. De Leon did make four starts for the Dodgers down the stretch and earned two wins with no losses. He is big league ready.
Other names that has been mentioned are two top 5 prospects in the Dodger’s system. First is their top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo. Verdugo ranks as their #3 overall prospect. The Bucs seem intent on targeting not only young pitching but also a highly touted outfield prospect. The former second round pick is ranked as the #45 prospect in baseball and his .273 with 13 home runs in 2016.
The second player is hard throwing pitcher Yadier Alvarez. Alvarez ranks as their #5 prospect, and likely projects as a future closer. His arm is rated 70 on the 20-80 scale. His fastball has topped out as high as 100 miles per hour, so he would definitely be an intriguing prospect to acquire. Other prospects who could be sent along with De Leon in a trade include pitcher Jordan Sheffield (#8), catcher Will Smith (#11), or Omar Estevev (#12). If De leon was acquired at least one these players would likely come along as well.