The Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking to sell their veteran pieces at this year’s deadline, and they could pair with the New York Yankees in a trade once again.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are going to be sellers ahead of the July trade deadline. While this won’t be like last year’s deadline where they were one of the very few sellers available, they still have some worthwhile pieces. Richard Rodriguez, Tyler Anderson and Adam Frazier will surely get some bites on the market. Other relief pitchers such as Chris Stratton, Clay Holmes and Kyle Crick may also be available.
One of the teams the Pittsburgh Pirates have a long history of trades with is the New York Yankees. The two sides have made plenty of trades in the last handful of years. Most recently, the Bucs sent Jameson Taillon to the Yankees for a four-player prospect package. They also got Francisco Cervelli in the 2014-2015 offseason, A.J. Burnett in the 2011-2012 offseason and the likes of Jose Tabata and Jeff Karstens back in 2008.
Overall, trades between the Yankees and Pirates have worked out quite well for the Bucs. This upcoming summer, the teams should reconvene on another trade as the Pittsburgh Pirates have multiple players that might intrigue the Yankees.
One is Adam Frazier. Frazier, who’s a second baseman by trade, can also play the outfield. While he hasn’t been all that great of a defender this year, he’s been a finalist for the National League second baseman Gold Glove the past two seasons. He isn’t a bad defender in the grass either. He’s also been an average or better bat throughout his career. While his defense hasn’t been up to snuff this year, he’s been one of the best bats at the position. Currently, Frazier is hitting .332/.395/.451 with a .371 wOBA and 138 wRC+.
The Yankees on the other hand haven’t gotten much production from their second basemen. Yankee keystone bats have only hit .238/.324/.348 with a .301 wOBA and 92 wRC+. Two-time American League top-5 MVP finalist D.J. LeMahieu has hit just .260/.347/.347 with a .311 wOBA and 99 wRC+ through 199 plate appearances. Long-time Texas second baseman, Rougned Odor, who they acquired early in the season, hasn’t done much either. He’s only hitting .165/.267/.342 with a .274 wOBA and 74 wRC+.
Not only have they not gotten great production at second base, but they also haven’t gotten any offense from first base either, a position they could place LeMahieu at. They’ve been missing the big bat of Luke Voit for almost the entire season. He’s only stepped to the plate 50 times and has just 8 hits. The Yankees have used a mix of the aforementioned LeMahieu and Mike Ford at first. All told, their first basemen are hitting just .215/.314/.417 with a .285 wOBA and 82 wRC+.
It also hasn’t helped their left fielder, Clint Frazier has struggled. He’s followed up his outstanding 2020 breakout season with a .183/.299/.330 line, .286 wOBA, and 82 wRC+. Their center fielder, Aaron Hicks, has also been out with an injury. However, he was only hitting .194/.294/.333 with a .282 wOBA and 80 wRC+.
The Yankees could also use another starting pitcher. They recently lost Corey Kluber to a rotator cuff injury. He’ll miss up to 8 weeks recovering. Though they’ve gotten pretty solid production out of their rotation overall, a guy like Tyler Anderson could help fill that void for the time being while also help bridge the gap for top prospect Deivi Garcia.
Anderson currently owns a 4.63 ERA, 4.28 FIP, 23.3% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate and 1.21 WHIP. He’s only really struggled in one start this season, which severely inflated his bottom line numbers. Throughout his first 8 starts of the season, he only gave up more than 3 runs once and went 5 innings in each. In his most recent start he should have only allowed 2 runs in 5 innings if not for Will Craig’s unfathomable play at first base. Anderson has kept the Bucs in the game during all but one of his starts this year.
Given the Yankees need for a pitcher, an infield and/or outfield capable position player, and the history between the two teams in trades, the Pittsburgh Pirates should be looking into the Yankees as a potential trade partner again.