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

Oakland Athletics v Arizona Diamondbacks
Oakland Athletics v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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After the Pirates buy two positions of need, they should also look to sell a few veterans on expiring contracts. Players like Yasmani Grandal and Michael A. Taylor are likely candidates to be designated for assignment, but as we saw with Austin Hedges in 2023, they could net a cheap return. Two other players on one-year deals that the Pirates need to keep are Tellez and Andrew McCutchen.

Two candidates for the Pirates to sell at the deadline are Martin Perez and Aroldis Chapman.

Martín Pérez has been a solid starter in the Pirates rotation, but rising rookies such as Paul Skenes and Jared Jones have made it hard for him to keep a spot. Other arms like Bailey Falter and Luis Ortiz are also making strong cases to remain in the rotation. Marco Gonzales is another arm returning from injury, so Pérez is losing a spot on the team down the stretch, it would seem.

This season, Pérez has a 1-4 record with a 4.72 earned run average in 68.2 innings pitched and has struck out 52 batters. Opponents are batting .302 against him, and his WHIP is at 1.54. He has one of the lowest walk percentages in his career at 7.3%, but batters are hitting the ball well off of him. He has not been great, but he definitely could go on a hot streak now that he is healthy.

A team like Houston, in desperate need of pitching, could make sense for Pérez. The Pirates would be looking to acquire a prospect, but one that is close to the majors. The Astros' 26th-ranked prospect, Pedro Leon, makes sense for the Pirates to target, as he has been great in Triple-A this season, but is struggling to find a spot on Houston's team.

Another rental from the Pirates that could be dealt at the deadline is Aroldis Chapman. This is a difficult one, as the Pirates need a strong left-hander in the bullpen, but with Ryan Borucki coming back, Chapman could be a player to sell.

This season, Chapman has a 1-3 record with an earned run average of 3.66 in 32 innings pitched and has struck out 52 batters. Opponents are batting just .184 against him, but his WHIP is very high at 1.56. That WHIP is a career high, and it is all due to his control. He is walking batters at a career-high 20.1% clip.

Despite the struggling season, many teams would take a chance on Chapman, as he has historically been a great reliever, which may get him into Cooperstown.

With many teams likely to be on Chapman's radar, the Pirates could get a haul for him. The Dodgers seem like a likely team that could target the veteran. The Dodgers' 10th-ranked prospect, Kendall George, and 25th-ranked prospect, Austin Gauthier, make a lot of sense for a return for Chapman. Gauthier is a utility player that has a solid bat and is close to the majors, while George is a 19-year-old outfielder who has an 80-graded run tool. A lottery type of player, sure, but he has a lot of potential.

If the Pirates got rid of Chapman, they could acquire another, cheap left-hander that could help the team a lot. AJ Puk from the Marlins has struggled this season as a starter, but has found a groove as a reliever. He would be a cheap replacement with bounce back potential.

With the Wild Card race remaining very close, the Pirates are going to need to do something to remain in it. Their offense has been bad, but a few additions could give them an edge and get them on a win streak. The deadline is less than a month away, but this laid-out plan could improve the team a lot without depleting too much of the farm.