A Potential Blockbuster Trade for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte is the centerpiece of the Pirates’ offer to the Giants. Marte is 31 and has two more years of affordable control on his contract. As I wrote recently, Marte slashed .295/.342/.503/.845 with 23 home runs and 25 stolen bases last year, and these numbers would have been even better if not for a late season injury. A past All-Star and multi-Gold Glove winner, Marte brings a lot to the table and would immediate help the Giants. Marte can fill any of the top three positions in a lineup, while providing above average speed and power for his position.
Marte fills a large need for the Giants who are desperately looking for outfield help after parting ways with Kevin Pillar and receiving below average production from both RF and CF. In fact, rumors are already linking the Giants to multiple outfielders, including Nicholas Castellanos. At $11.5 and $12.5 million dollars over his next two seasons, Marte would allow the Giants to still pursue many of the top free agent pitchers that they are linked with and are interested in signing.
Adam Frazier solves another large need for the Giants as a pseudo utility man who specializes at 2nd base. Frazier is signed for another 3 years at an extremely affordable rate, and is coming off a 2.7 WAR season where he slashed .278/.336/.417/.753 with a surprising 10 HRs for his size. It is well documented that the Giants need help in the middle infield, and I am sure that the Giants are one of the teams who have called to inquire about Frazier already. Last season the Giants Joe Panik was a negative war player and was traded away. Mauricio Dubon filled in at 2nd for the rest of the season and may be the long term solution for the Giants, but he is still extremely young. If Dubon grows into the position, then Frazier can move to the outfield for the Giants where he has played for well over 100 Major League games.
Finally, in this deal the Giants will gain a Major League ready power bat that will push Brandon Belt and help the Giants evaluate Belt’s future with the club as he has struggled now for 3 years in a row. Will Craig is the Pirates #10 prospect who is currently being blocked by Josh Bell on the Pirates’ roster. Craig put in a full season at AAA last year and slashed .249/.326/.435/.761 with 23 HRs. While last season was Craig’s worst in his minor league career, he is a project-able big power bat who most likely needs to get out of Josh Bell’s shadow to truly thrive. Craig may truly be the deciding factor in this deal and will either be seen by the Giants as a potential future first baseman or someone that they are not willing to risk trading for.
While I openly admit that this trade is most likely not going to happen, it would not surprise me at all if Marte, Frazier or Craig ended up with the Giants as the Pirates are looking to move all three players. It is still fun to speculate and I would love to hear thoughts from both Pirates’ and Giants’ fans about what they think of the trade!