Pittsburgh Pirates: Looking at Four Baseball Trade Values Trades

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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AMARILLO, TEXAS – JULY 25: Pitcher Cole Ragans #14 of the Frisco RoughRiders pitches during the game against the Amarillo Sod Poodles at HODGETOWN Stadium on July 25, 2021 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
AMARILLO, TEXAS – JULY 25: Pitcher Cole Ragans #14 of the Frisco RoughRiders pitches during the game against the Amarillo Sod Poodles at HODGETOWN Stadium on July 25, 2021 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

The second trade proposal we will look at today was posted by Pittsburghbob69 on BBTV. In this proposal, the Pittsburgh Pirates would be sending Chris Stratton to the Texas Rangers. In exchange for the reliever, the Pirates would receive left-handed pitching prospect, Cole Ragans.

The Rangers are in a spot where they’re close enough they could gun for a Wild Card spot but also retool. However, with their indication that they are not too keen on trading starting pitcher Martin Perez, it’s entirely possible they might end up buying some small pieces to improve the current situation and the 2023 team.

The Rangers’ bullpen has been pretty good, but they are out a valuable contributor in closer Joe Barlow. He is currently serving a 15-day IL stint. Matt Moore, Matt Bush, Brett Martin, and Brock Burke have been good, but you can never have enough pitching. Plus, the likes of John King, Garrett Richards, and Jose LeClerc haven’t pitched up to expectations.

So who is Cole Ragans? Ragans was the Rangers’ first-round selection back in 2016. However, he missed three years, from 2018 through 2020, because of Tommy John surgery and the suspended COVID season. The now 24-year-old lefty is back and is pitching better than ever.

In 82.2 innings of work between Double-A and Triple-A, Ragans has a 3.38 ERA, 4.01 FIP, and 1.17 WHIP. He’s held opponents to just a batting average of .229 and has struck out 29% of all batters faced. He’s also only allowed 7.6% to draw a walk. The worst number on Ragans’ line is his .98 HR/9. Although Ragans has had some struggles at Triple-A, he still has a 4.86 K:BB ratio, a sub-1.0 HR/9 rate, and his batted ball rates are relatively the same.

Ragans isn’t a hard thrower. He only sits around 90-94 MPH but can hit 95 when he needs to. His slider has improved over time, and his changeup is considered elite. His curveball is a ‘get-me-over’ type of pitch, so he doesn’t use it that often. Ragans steep delivery gives his fastball a little more oomph, which helps him get more out of the low-velocity four-seamer.

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