The third proposal was created by ajcapGM, who has the Pittsburgh Pirates sending outfielder Ben Gamel and minor league right-hander Braxton Ashcraft to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed starter Yonny Chirinos. So how realistic would this offering be?
The Rays could be looking for some short-term outfield depth down the stretch. Manuel Margot, Kevin Kiermaier, and former Pirates prospect Harold Ramirez are all on the injured list. This leaves them with Randy Arrozerena, Josh Lowe, and Brett Phillips as their primary outfield options right now.
Gamel would fill that immediate, short-term outfield hole. He’s been a solid hitter this year, batting .239/.335/.384 in 209 trips to the plate. Gamel is putting up a career-best 11% walk rate. His .320 wOBA and 106 wRC+ are only slightly below his career bests. Gamel receives mixed reviews for his outfield defense, having -3 DRS and -3 outs above average but a strong 12.1 UZR/150. Gamel isn’t a Gold Glover by any means, but he gets the job done. Gamel might not be a hot commodity, but he fills the basic needs for a team looking for outfield help.
The other player going to the Rays in this trade is right-hander Braxton Ashcraft. Ashcraft hasn’t pitched yet this year, having undergone UCL surgery. The former second-round pick has mostly struggled in his minor league career, clocking in with a 5.60 ERA, 4.82 FIP, and 1.29 WHIP. There’s nothing he particularly excels in either, having a 20.5% K-rate, 8.7% walk rate, and 1.13 HR/9.
In return, the Pirates would get veteran right-hander Yonny Chirinos. Chirinos established himself as a quality starter for the Rays in 2018-2019, pitching to the tune of a 3.71 ERA, 4.07 FIP, and 1.12 WHIP. Although Chirinos only had a 21% strikeout rate, he put up a phenomenal 5.9% walk rate. Chirinos’ 88.5 MPH exit velo and 35.4% hard-hit rate aren’t going to jump off the page, nor will his 43.5% ground ball rate. Chirinos underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2020 but is back and starting his rehab. He also comes with control through 2023 and 2024.
This would give the Pittsburgh Pirates what they need: another major league starting pitcher with control remaining. This trade fills the needs of both the Pirates and the Rays. If Ashcraft isn’t the right guy, he’s easily interchangeable with someone like Hoy Park, Omar Cruz, or Santiago Florez. But this is the Rays we’re talking about. Nobody likes trading with the Rays, and if the Rays want a struggling pitching prospect, every team would be wary of the trade.