While the Pittsburgh Pirates did not make any trades on Monday prior to the 4:00 PM EST trade deadline, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic the team came close to trading a starting pitcher
In a surprising turn of events, the Pittsburgh Pirates did not trade any players on Monday prior to MLB’s trade deadline. With the Pirates being the lone National League club not in postseason contention and having what appeared to be several tradeable players, it was a surprise the Pirates did not make a move.
Even though there were no trades made, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Pirates came very close to trading starting pitcher Joe Musgrove.
Trading Musgrove to the Toronto Blue Jays would have made sense. The Blue Jays entered deadline day in need of starting pitching help, and Musgrove is under team control through 2023. Furthermore, new Pirate general manager Ben Cherington had spent the previous three seasons as the vice-president of baseball operations in Toronto. So, Cherington knows their farm system and potential trade targets well.
While it is not known why the deal fell through, concerns over Musgrove’s health could have been it. He is currently on the injured list and has made just three starts this season. In those three starts, Musgrove posted a 6.75 ERA, 6.50 DRA, 16.2% walk rate, and a 25.0% strikeout rate.
Musgrove is, however, coming off the best season of his career. In 2019 he had a career high in games (32), starts (31), innings pitched (170.1), to go with a strong 5.4% walk rate and a career-high 21.9% strikeout rate. He also posted a strong 3.59 DRA, and a career-high 3.3 fWAR.
We will never know what the Pittsburgh Pirates would have received in the proposed Musgrove trade that nearly took place. That said, this near deal combined with other teams, such as the Atlanta Braves, scouting Musgrove leading up to the deadline it appears Musgrove will be a hot trade commodity this off-season.