The Pittsburgh Pirates Face A Tough Decision With Felipe Vazquez


General manager Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in a tough spot with Felipe Vazquez as the trade deadline approaches

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the MLB Trade Deadline will arrive. With this being the first year of no waiver wire trades in August, it should make for a busy day around baseball. There is a good chance this will include the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Outfielders Corey Dickerson and Melky Cabrera, as well as reliever Francisco Liriano are set to hit free agency at the end of the season. This will lead to the Pirates looking to trade all three of these players before 4 p.m. on Wednesday. However, the team’s biggest trade chip is closer Felipe Vazquez.

A strong argument can be made that Vazquez is the best reliever in all of baseball. Combine this with Vazquez being under control through 2023 for a total of just $31.5 million. This is incredible value for a pitcher like Vazquez.

Right now, the Pirates are going nowhere. Owning a 47-60 record the Pirates are far out of contention this season. So, trying to sell high on Vazquez only makes sense.

It has been reported from multiple outlets that Pirates main target in trade talks surrounding Vazquez is top Dodger prospect Gavin Lux. However, the Dodgers are unwilling to move Lux. Many fans will not be happy with any Vazquez trade unless it involves Lux, and this is the wrong way to view things.

The Pirates have also been connected to catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Dustin May in trade talks. Ruiz is arguably the top catching prospect in all of baseball, while May is the Dodgers top pitching prospects and a top-35 overall prospect.

Landing a package for Vazquez that is built around Ruiz and May would be more than fair. In all honesty, that would likely be an overpay by the Dodgers. However, many Pirate fans would not be happy with this return. Which puts Neal Huntington and the Pirates in a tough spot.

The fact of the matter is if the deal Huntington does not want is not on the table, he should hold onto Vazquez. Due to his contract, the Pirates do not have to trade him. Instead, they can make him part of the core they build around moving forward. That, or, they can look to trade him in the future when the deal they want is offered.

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If the Pirates do not trade Vazquez before 4 p.m. Wednesday, many Pirate fans will be angry. If he is traded and Lux is not involved, which is all but a guarantee, many Pirate fans will be angry. This puts Huntington in a tough spot. Hopefully, he will do what he views as being best for the Pirate franchise.