The Pittsburgh Pirates look to be one of the primary sellers coming out of the National League. Could they trade away one of their better starters?
Right now, the Pittsburgh Pirates look to be aiming for the worst record in the National League if not the MLB. Combine that with the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline less than a week away and the team will be looking to sell. This has not been the question, but rather who will they be able to trade?
Well, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Pittsburgh Pirates are receiving interest in their veteran starters. More specifically, Morosi says the Toronto Blue Jays have been monitoring two of the Pittsburgh Pirates starters. Morosi dropped this news late Monday night in an article at MLB.com and is putting this out there based on what sources have told him:
"The Blue Jays have emerged as buyers ahead of Monday’s Trade Deadline, and sources say Pirates right-handers Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl are among the rotation upgrades they are considering."
This should come as no surprise on all fronts. First and foremost, the Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates make a lot of sense to match up on a deal. If there is a team that Ben Cherington would be comfortable acquiring prospects from it would be the Blue Jays. This is especially true in a year that has been void of Minor League Baseball for the most part and acquiring prospects may be riskier than even before.
Secondly, after Joe Musgrove went down with an injury, promptly ending his pre-deadline season, Williams became the team’s ace. He has pitched up to that bill as well throwing to a 3.70 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 24 innings. While this is not exactly ace quality, there is something to be said for inning eaters who have a strong track record. Williams has been one of the more reliable starters pitching to a sub 4 ERA in 2 of his last 3 seasons.
Chad Kulh would be a little more surprising to see moved. With him working back from Tommy-John it would be shocking to see a lot of conversations be had about him. Still, a team like the Blue Jays who have become very analytically driven likely see what Kuhl’s ceiling. This is one of those things, Cherington will likely have to be blown away by as Kuhl continue to build back up and continue to develop.
This is likely just the start of what will be a very busy week for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ben Cherington. There have been multiple reports already that the trade discussions are active and deals will be made. Hopefully, the Bucs are able to make a couple of prominent moves that will get this rebuild really kickstarted.