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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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 01: Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers watches the game against the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Field on September 1, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 01: Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers watches the game against the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Field on September 1, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers have been quite active this offseason. They signed top infield free agents, including Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. They also picked up Jon Gray to further solidify the starting rotation. But they might still be in the market for a reliever.

The Ranger bullpen was about middle of the road last season, posting a 4.13 ERA, 4.20 FIP, and 1.32 WHIP. Overall, they had a +2.4 fWAR. So could the Rangers look into Stratton? It’s a possibility, and this trade could line up for the two teams.

Going back the Pittsburgh Pirates way would be right-handed pitcher Cody Bradford. A 6th round pick by the Rangers in 2019, Bradford had a nice debut season in 2021. In 96.1 innings between Double-A and High-A, Bradford had a 4.11 ERA, but almost everything else pointed to a great season. He had a 3.10 FIP and a 1.21 WHIP. The right-hander struck out nearly a third of batters faced with a 31.4% K-rate, but he wasn’t just a big strikeout pitcher with no command. He only walked 5.1% of opponents with a 0.93 HR/9 rate.

There is some slight concern with Bradford. He had so-so batted ball rates, including a sub-40% ground ball rate, line drive rate over 26%, and fly ball rate of 38.4%. Though he makes up for some eye-brow-raising batted ball rates with plus-plus command.

Bradford is a similar pitcher to Seminaris. MLB Pipeline describes the southpaw as a “crafty left-hander.” His fastball lacks velocity as he only averages around 88-91 MPH. Still, it plays up as an above-average offering because of his excellent command, late life in the zone, and deception. His best pitch is a change-up which he throws with some sink. His two breaking balls, a curveball and slider are two more solid offerings he can throw for strikes.

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Bradford is one of those high-floor, low-ceiling type pitchers. The lefty has the floor of a higher-end #4 pitcher but a ceiling of a no. 3 pitcher. If he keeps up his ability to strike out his fair share of batters, he could raise both. Bradford has already pitched at Double-A, so he would get things started at Triple-A, giving the Pirates another notable pitching prospect in the upper minors.

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