4 trades Pirates should consider as hybrid buyers, sellers at 2024 MLB Trade Deadline

Oakland Athletics v Arizona Diamondbacks
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The annual MLB Trade Deadline is an exciting time of year, especially for the teams trying to bulk up their rosters for a postseason push. The Pirates are finally in position to add to their roster as they look to compete for a Wild Card spot.

With the way their roster currently sits, not only could they be buyers at the deadline, but they could also sell a few of their players that are on expiring contracts. Let's take a look at a possible trade deadline plan, consisting of four trades, that would help the Pirates this year and in the future.

The number one positional need for the Pirates is center field, and acquiring JJ Bleday would fix that need for years to come.

JJ Bleday is a center fielder who will not be a free agent until after the 2028 regular season. He is still in pre-arbitration, and that is exactly the type of player the Pirates are after. The former first-round pick is having his best season of his short career. He is finally getting consistent playing time at the big league level and he is showing great progression.

This season, Bleday has a .237 batting average with 11 home runs and 30 runs batted in. He also has an OPS of .747, which includes an on-base percentage of .318 and a slugging percentage of .429. His wRC+ is solid at 115, and his strikeout percentage is the lowest in his career at 18.5%. His growth at the plate shows promise for improvement moving forward.

According to Statcast metrics, Bleday has actually gotten unlucky at the plate. His expected batting average sits at .257. He also shows great plate discipline, which has resulted in a 23.1% chase rate and a walk percentage of 10.2%. Both are above the 75th percentile in all of baseball.

Defensively, Bleday is average in center, but he has been improving from his first two seasons. He currently has negative two defensive runs saved and negative one outs above average. His arm value is ranked in the 82nd percentile in the MLB.

Among qualified center fielders in the MLB, Bleday is the sixth-best with an fWAR of 1.6. Acquiring Bleday would solve a problem and help the Pirates get to the playoffs in 2024, along with getting them a player locked in for years to come.

The Pirates would need to formulate a package to be able to acquire the young outfielder. A package of Michael Kennedy, the Pirates' 13th-ranked prospect, along with Tres Gonzales, the Pirates' 25th-ranked prospect, and a big-league ready player in Ji Hwan Bae could potentially get a deal done.