Pirates Bolster OF By Acquiring Corey Dickerson


The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays to acquire outfielder Corey Dickerson for Daniel Hudson, a minor leaguer, and cash considerations.

The Pirates seemingly endless spring of looking to add an outfielder signing Daniel Nava and Michael Saunders to minor league deals and trading for Bryce Bentz – the club has found their third starting outfielder to go with Starling Marte and Gregory PolancoAfter Corey Dickerson was designated for assignment a few days ago, the Pirates made a low risk move and made a trade with the Rays to acquire the outfielder in exchange for Daniel Hudson, Tristan Gray, and cash.

The club is sending over $1 million for Dickerson,  which is what the Rays would have paid him if a trade didn’t occur.  Overall for next year he will make $5.9 million, essentially a wash of the $5.5 million owed to Hudson.  Dickerson on the 2017 season hit .282/.325/.490 and hit 64 extra base hits en route to being an all-star for the first time in his career.  Neal Huntington mentioned his power when discussing the trade, and it’s something that is desperately needed for a club who finished 29th in home runs.

PECOTA projects Dickerson to hit 15 home runs and be worth 1.3 WARP in 2018, and that’s with just 353 plate appearances, which he will get more than that as a starting corner outfield in Pittsburgh.  His 90th percentile projection is 2.8 WARP in 406 plate appearances and his 10th percentile projection is -0.3 WARP in 300 plate appearances.  There’s a higher ceiling, and his floor is about a league average player, and in the worst possible scenario he is a replacement player and the team cuts bait with him.  He’ll have two years of control, with next being his last year of arbitration.

On the flip side the Pirates traded Daniel Hudson, who just didn’t work out in Pittsburgh last season.  Hudson posted a 4.38 ERA, 4.34 FIP, and 4.57 DRA.  I personally think there’s more in there than what played last year, but the Pirates pen is crowded with higher and younger upside.  Getting out of the $5.5 million for an average to above average outfielder is huge.

Next: Pirates Prospects: Number 18

The Pirates also included Tristan Gray, a left-handed hitting middle infielder the team drafted out of Rice in the 13th round, in the trade.  In 234 plate appearances last year in Low-A, Gray hit .269/.329/.486.  He doesn’t appear on any major list, though he is mentioned as an other by Fangraphs.

Overall the Pirates didn’t really trade anything of value and they were still able to improve the current 25 man roster.  Dickerson has two years of control, and can provide a proven starter in case Polanco or Austin Meadows struggle or are hurt.  This move can really only be a net plus.

*Numbers from Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus