Five Best Potential Trading Partners for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Josh Bell

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SURPRISE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 27: General view of Surprise Stadium during a Cactus League spring training game between the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers on February 27, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 27: General view of Surprise Stadium during a Cactus League spring training game between the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers on February 27, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Texas Rangers

The Rangers current first base situation is not pretty. 25-year-old Ronald Guzman has not even come close to living up to the expectations that come with being a top 100 prospect. In 737 plate appearances, Guzman has a career.229/.307/.415 line, and an 85 OPS+. While his defense is decent with a +6 DRS, the position requires more offensive production. Danny Santana could take over at first base after a breakout 2019 season, but he nearly struck out 30% of the time to oppose a 4.9% walk rate, all while carrying a .353 batting average on balls in play. Plus, he is seen as the team’s primary center field option for the 2020 season.

Designated hitter could also be an issue. In the event that first base gets really bad and the Rangers need somebody to play it, slugger Willie Calhoun could slot over at first base if need be. However, having Bell as the team’s primary first baseman could really give them the power bat they need.

The Rangers have a very interesting piece that the Pirates would likely bring up: Sam Huff. The catching prospect slashed a strong .278/.335/.509 in 519 plate appearances (114 in Low-A, 405 in High-A) with 28 long balls. Huff is mainly known for his power, as he slugged 18 home runs in 2018, and has a raw power grade of 70 with a future of 80 by FanGraphs. Although he isn’t the best fielder, he does decent enough. MLB.com gives him a 50 fielding grade, and caught 48% of all runners trying to take an extra base on him.

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