Pittsburgh Pirates: Players Who Could Still be Traded

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 14: Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 14, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 14: Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 14, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Infielder Kevin Newman

Prior to the start of the work stoppage Kevin Newman‘s name was one that was being mentioned in trade rumors. With teams searching for middle infield help Newman’s name was one that popped up. However, there was no trade to be made. At least, not yet.

Defensively Newman was terrific in 2021. He posted a career best +7 Defensive Runs Saved and +4 Outs Above Average at shortstop. These were both career bests as Newman enter the season with a negative career DRS and OAA. Newman’s defensive efforts led to him being a Gold Glove Award finalist at shortstop.

While Newman is a shortstop, he can also play second base and third base. To be honest, despite his 2021 season, Newman’s best defensive position is likely second base. So he could help fill a hole at multiple positions for a team.

The Pittsburgh Pirates could also be motivated to move Newman. Outside of 2019 when Newman posted a 109 wRC+ he has always been a poor hitter. His wRC+ each of the past two seasons has been 54, and he owns a lifetime .257/.300/.353 slash line to go with a 74 wRC+ in 1354 career plate appearances.

With Newman not looking like a long-term answer for the Pirates they may want to give someone like Diego Castillo or Tucupita Marcano at look at shortstop to start the 2022 season. There is also highly touted prospect Oneil Cruz who made his MLB debut last season, and should become a regular in 2022, as well as Liover Peguero who are closing in on unseating Newman.

Prior to the non-tender deadline last month the Pittsburgh Pirates and Newman agreed to a contract for the 2022 season, avoiding arbitration. This could also be a factor in a potential Newman trade after the work stoppage ends as any inquiring teams will now know what Newman’s salary will be for the 2022 season.

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