3 expendable Pirates players Pittsburgh can move at the trade deadline for offense

The Pirates should look to add some offense and these assets could become expendable.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Toronto Blue Jays
Pittsburgh Pirates v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Pirates are going to have one of the better pitching staffs in baseball for a long time. Even before No. 1 overall prospect Paul Skenes made his debut, they still had a very formidable one-two punch. They may not have the household names yet (outside of Skenes), but people are starting to recognize that the Bucs have one of the better staffs in the game. The emergence of Jared Jones and the debut of Skenes has this rotation, one through three, as good as any in the game.

As the Pirates start to realize their playoff aspirations may not be that far out of their grasp, rumors are starting to run wild. This team is a few pieces short of being a playoff favorite in a pretty weak, but very competitive, NL Central, and they should be extremely active at this year's trade deadline.

As we sit here and discuss all of these options for the Pirates to add, like bats that could come in and make a huge impact for this offense, we often overlook names that could be on their way out. Which Pirates players are expendable and could be on the move to add to this lineup?

The Pirates need to trade defense for offense in centerfield

Michael A. Taylor has put together some pretty solid seasons in his 11-year career. He has never been an above average hitter, but has consistently been one of the better defensive outfielders in the game, earning a Gold Glove in 2021 with the Kansas City Royals.

When the Pirates added Taylor this offseason, they were hoping to get the Gold Glove-level defender with the offense production like the 21 home runs and 13 stolen bases he provided the Twins in 2023. Unfortunately for the Bucs, Taylor is hitting just a tick above the "Mendoza Line" while slugging just .254 with only one home run. The Pirates centerfield position has been one of the worst in all of baseball offensively. While his offense hasn't been as productive as last years, his defensive metrics are still elite.

The Pirates aren't in need of a defensive centerfielder as much as they need offensive production. Taylor could become a casualty, getting sent to a contender looking for a defensive specialist or a fourth outfielder. Pittsburgh should really look to swap the defensive value for the offensive value that someone else might provide.

Jared Triolo has found himself on the outside looking in

Jared Triolo came into the year as the Pirates best option at second base. He had produced a very solid 2023 season that saw him hit .298/.388/.398. The slugging percentage and lack of power is a little disappointing for someone that provided at least average to slightly above average power throughout the minor leagues, but his ability to get on base was good enough to earn him the nod at second.

His solid cup of coffee still earned him a shot to stake his claim as the everyday second baseman for the Pirates. It just hasn't worked out for Triolo thus far. The 26-year-old's wRC+ is just over half of what he put up last year, and he is hitting just .215 with a lack of power production, similar to last year. Triolo's baseball savant page doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in things changing either. He has posted below-average bat speed, exit velocities, barrel rates and expected stats. Triolo is an above-average defender, but as we just talked about, the Pirates need offense more than defense.

With Triolo's struggles, and an injury to Ke'Bryan Hayes, the Bucs were forced to call upon different options and their most recent decision, to give the job to Nick Gonzales, has proved to be a genius move. Gonzales has absolutely taken over, showing that the future of Pittsburgh's second base position is all his.

Triolo still has value, it just might lie with a different team. Maybe another team is willing to take the chance on him figuring it out offensively, it just shouldn't be with the Pirates. As Pittsburgh looks to add offense at the trade deadline, Triolo could find himself in the middle of a lot of packages to add a more proven bat.

A veteran lefty could be dealt for a bat

Like we said, the Pirates' pitching has been extremely good in 2024, especially since the promotion of Paul Skenes. Since the top Pirates pitching prospect debuted, their starting pitching staff has the seventh-best ERA in all of baseball. There is no doubt this is a staff that can go toe-to-toe with any National League team come playoff time. The offense is a little bit different story.

The Pirates offense has struggled and, though they have been performing better of late, they could really make some noise in the National League with another solid bat or two. This is where they could really capitalize on their starting pitching to add some offense.

One name that could be popular over the coming weeks is Martin Perez. The Bucs signed the veteran lefty this offseason to a one-year deal for $8 million and Perez has been a solid back-of-the-rotation arm. He could be a mid-rotation option for a team that is hoping to make a playoff push. Given the fact that he is on a one-year deal, Pittsburgh could look to capitalize on his value and add some offense.