Pittsburgh Pirates: Change of Scenery Trade Deadline Targets

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 15: Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres reacts during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 15, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 15: Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres reacts during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 15, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 15: Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres reacts during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 15, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 15: Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres reacts during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 15, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

LHP Ryan Weathers

The San Diego Padres have said before that they’re willing to deal from their pitching depth, and the Padres are also looking to shed some of the contracts on their payroll. By no means is this an endorsement to take on a massive contract like Eric Hosmer’s albatross, but something like Drew Pomeranz or Dinelson Lamet would be much more reasonable.

If the Pirates, or any team for that matter, would get in talks about taking on a contract from the Padres, Ryan Weathers’ name would almost certainly come up. The 22-year-old was a first-round pick by San Diego in 2018, going seventh overall. Weathers put up some insane numbers in high school, having a 0.09 ERA (yes, you read that correctly) and 148 strikeouts in just 76 innings of work.

Weathers worked his way up the Padres’ minor league system and, going into the 2021 campaign, was considered a top 100 prospect. Weathers skipped two levels of the minor leagues and only made two starts at Triple-A before making his major league debut. But the rush to the majors likely affected his performance.

Weathers worked a total of 94.1 innings in 2021 with the major league team, pitching to the tune of a 5.32 ERA, 5.44 FIP, and 1.38 WHIP. He only allowed 7.5% of batters faced to reach base on free passes, but that was the only silver lining of his season. He posted just an 18% K-rate and gave up homers at a 1.9 per-9 rate. He was also in the bottom 17th percentile of hard hit and exit velocity.

The southpaw has mostly worked at Triple-A this year but has struggled. In 84.1 innings, he has a 6.83 ERA, 6.46 FIP, and 1.80 WHIP. His strikeout rate has fallen even further down to just 14.2%, while his walk rate sits at 9.9%. Home runs have been a persistent issue, with him having a 1.6 HR/9.

Weathers has struggled, yes, but he’s also a 22-year-old who essentially skipped three levels of the minor leagues (two unless you want to count those 10 innings at Triple-A) and was rushed to the bigs. Most kids Weathers’ age are still at Double-A, let alone already having their rookie status broken. In the event that a Weathers-plus-Pomeranz or Weathers-plus-Lamet offer is on the table, it’s something the Pirates should go after.

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