Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Recap: Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 25: Wil Crowe #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game at Target Field on April 25, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 25: Wil Crowe #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game at Target Field on April 25, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 25: Wil Crowe #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 25: Wil Crowe #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Outlook

Bell pretty much is what he is at this point. He’s a solid power hitter but has his inconsistencies at the plate. Plus, his best position is still designated hitter. While the value is there, he’s still a 1.5-2.0 fWAR kind of player in the National League, maybe a 2.0-3.0 fWAR player in the American League where his defense won’t be a factor.

The Nationals may end up trading Bell. After a poor 2021 season in which they sold off longtime ace Max Scherzer and MVP-caliber shortstop Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline, Bell maybe next given that he’s only controlled through the 2022 season.

On the Pirate end, Crowe is still only a back-end starter at best. Crowe’s chance for the best success log-term likely remains in the bullpen. While a move to the ‘pen may end up helping Crowe, but only time will tell what his long-term role with the Pittsburgh Pirates is if he becomes a long-term piece for the team.

Examining Zach Thompson. dark. Next

Yean on the other hand is a talent that I think many overlook. He has a good fastball, breaking ball, and change-up. He needs to improve his command, but there’s a lot of good talent there. If he ends up as a starting pitcher, I think he could be a solid 2.0-2.5 fWAR arm. He has the offerings and stuff to be a mid-rotation arm. His stuff may play up out of the bullpen, but the point is the talent for a solid pitcher is there.

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