Following the trade of Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals, who could the Pittsburgh Pirates trade next this offseason?
Ben Cherington kicked off what is expected to be a busy offseason of trades for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Christmas Eve when he traded Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals. In return for Bell, Cherington received right-handed pitchers Eddy Yean and Wil Crowe.
Following the trade of Bell it was made clear that the Pittsburgh Pirates are not done just yet on the trade market. Cherington told reporters that “this probably won’t be the last one,” when discussing trades.
So, who could be the next player, or players, traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates? There is certainly more than one possibility.
The most likely is starting pitcher Joe Musgrove. Throughout the offseason Musgrove has drawn interest on the trade market, this comes after the Priates nearly traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays last August.
There are teams acorss baseball that could have interest in Musgrove. After seeing the hefty haul the Texas Rangers got in return for Lance Lynn, who is a pretty equal pitcher to Musgrove but with one less year of control, it is reasonable to believe the Pirates could get an impressive return for Musgrove. It seems unlikely that Musgrove will start the 2021 season in Pittsburgh. Even the Bell trade may in a way indicate this, as Crowe could have been someone who interested the Pirates as a potential rotation replacement for Musgrove.
Another player that appears to be a safe bet to be traded is second baseman Adam Frazier. Like Musgrove, Frazier has had trade rumor swirling around him since this past summer. Factor in the Pirate log jam in the middle infield, and the front office’s desire to see what Cole Tucker can do with an extended look at shortstop, and Frazier also appears to be close to a lock to be traded this offseason.
Another factor with Frazier is that he, like Musgrove, has just two years of team control remaining. With the Pittsburgh Pirates unlikely to be serious contenders again until 2023 it makes little sense to hold onto any players that are not under team control that long, and may currently have any trade value.
Starting pitcher Steven Brault is another name that has popped up in trade rumors this offseason. Relievers Richard Rodriguez and Chris Stratton are two other names to monitor as well. Both have a good track record and come with multiple years of contorl. As a reliever, that can net good value on the trade market.
There is little doubt that the Pirates are not done yet on the trade market. The bigger question is who will be traded next? While it could be one of four or five different players, either Musgrove or Frazier seem like the most likely players to be next to go.