In an expected move just days before the trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to part ways with veteran Carlos Santana. The team is sending him to the Milwaukee Brewers in a 1-for-1 deal. In return, the Pittsburgh Pirates are adding a promising young talent to their Organization in the form of infield prospect Jhonny Severino. Severino signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as an International Free Agent as part of their 2022 class. He signed for a relatively large bonus of $1.2 million and was their top signee that year.
Severino is an interesting addition to the farm system. He was ranked as the 21st-best International Prospect in the 2022 class by MLB Pipeline. This year in 12 games at the Arizona Complex League, Severino .250/.289/.583. At first many, including myself, were underwhelmed to see an 18-year-old prospect be the main piece of the deal. However, there is something that stood out to me when looking into him.
The Pittsburgh Pirates put together a very strong 2022 International Class, bringing in Tony Blanco Jr. and Yordany De Los Santos, ranked 11th and 12th respectively. While adding Severino may not be someone who can help this team in the near-term future, it definitely signifies a few other things. First, the team must have really liked him and wanted to sign him originally. Second, he is now the 3rd prominent prospect from that class. This gives them an impressive trio to have moving up the system together.
Veteran Carlos Santana was a huge part of the Pittsburgh Pirates this year and now he will get another shot at the playoffs.
He is everything the team needed him to be in 2023. He was a leader on and off the field, played gold glove-caliber defense, and continued to provide offense even at the age of 36. Santana finished with a .235/.321/.412 slash line with 12 home runs. When the Bucs fell out of contention many expected this would be the case. Even so, Santana publicly said that he wanted to stay in Pittsburgh. Who knows maybe another deal can be worked out this upcoming offseason.
This trade signifies the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates sell-off. As the trade deadline approaches, fans are eagerly anticipating further moves by the team. Next on the list of players to be traded will most likely be Rich Hill, but Austin Hedges and Ji-Man Choi could also be dealt before the 1st.