Pittsburgh Pirates: Four Chris Stratton Trades With Values

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Stratton #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 26, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Stratton #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 26, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 01: Joe Girardi #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on during the game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on October 01, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 01: Joe Girardi #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on during the game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on October 01, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies have had their fair share of bullpen woes over the past few years. In 2020, their bullpen’s ERA of 7.06 was the 5th worst in baseball history since the end of World War II. Last season, their pen had a worse ERA, FIP, and identical fWAR to the Pirates’. So, needless to say, they might be a team willing to give up a pretty penny to acquire Stratton.

The first player in this trade heading back to the Pittsburgh Pirates would be youngster Jean Cabrera. The Venezuelan-born right-hander had a phenomenal showing in the Dominican Summer League. Through 52.2 innings of work, Cabrera had a 1.54 ERA, 2.29 FIP, and 0.83 WHIP. Cabrera struck out 31.1% of batters faced while only allowing them to reach 5.1% of the time via free pass. Plus, with a 49.2% ground ball rate, Cabrera was great at limiting home runs, and he gave up just a single long ball.

Cabrera’s fastball already sits around the 93-94 MPH range before he turns 21-years-old. It’s an offering that has elite potential. He also throws a slider in the low-80’s and a change-up for a third offering. According to FanGraphs, his two secondary offerings are “behind the developmental curve for a 20-year-old prospect”.

He’s very much of a body-projection type arm. He’s a lanky and thin 6’0″, 145 pounds. If he adds some muscle and reaches 155-160 LBS, he could get enough strength to get his four-seamer into the mid-90’s, closer to the 94-96 MPH range. He’s a very projectable type arm, and the Pirates would be taking on some risk.

But you can’t deny that his first taste of professional action wouldn’t catch your eye. While it was less than 100 innings at the lowest level of affiliated ball, you can’t help but be impressed by a sub-2.00 ERA, K/BB ratio over 6, and a WHIP below .900. He’s a gamble, but there’s a good pitcher within Cabrera if he reaches his potential.

The second player the Pittsburgh Pirates would be recieving is Andrew Baker. Baker is a 16th round pick and is one of those high-risk/high-reward relief prospects. He has an elite fastball that comes in around 96 MPH and tops out at 99 MPH. He also throws a wicked curveball. But like with most relief prospects, command is always an issue. He dished out 17 walks in only 10 innings duirng his small 2021 sample size.

If Baker can even get his command to a 40-45 level, he would be a pheonminal reliever. Again, he’s a high-risk/high-reward kind of prospect. If he gets his stuff under control, he’ll be dominant. If he can’t, he’ll just fall into the sea of other relief prospects who fit a similar bill.  While Baseball Trade Values puts his value over Cabrera, the latter would more likely be the headliner of the deal with Baker being a nice addition.

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