A look at last year’s Pittsburgh Pirates trade deadline acquisitions

How are the Pirates acquisitions from last year's trade deadline working out?
May 24, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Bailey Falter (26) delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Bailey Falter (26) delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a few notable trades around the deadline. They traded Rich Hill and Ji-Man Choi, both to the San Diego Padres in the same deal, along with Rodolfo Castro to the Philadelphia Phillies, Austin Hedges to the Texas Rangers, and Carlos Santana to the Milwaukee Brewers. Of those four deals, three brought players back. So, how are those players doing for the Pirates right now?

Of course, Bailey Falter, whom the Pirates acquired for Castro, has been far and away the best, and it didn’t always look that way. Falter was very up and down during the home stretch of 2023, then allowed six earned runs in his first start of the year against the Miami Marlins. But since then, he’s been money out of the rotation. Even after getting roughed up by the LA Dodgers, Falter still owns a strong 3.08 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 4.35 FIP over his last 11 starts. Falter might not have a great HR/9 at 1.26 nor an impressive strikeout rate at 16.8%, but he has just a 6% walk rate. He’s the definition of a guy who just induces outs.

Jhonny Severino was acquired for Santana, and he’s been one of the best Florida Complex League hitters. Through 98 plate appearances, Severino batted .298/.396/.607 with five home runs, leading to a .453 wOBA and 155 wRC+. He’s posting a respectable 20.8% strikeout rate and 13.9% walk rate so far. Severino is currently tied with three other players for the most homers but has the 10th-best OPS. Severino hitting for power isn’t a big surprise. After all, that is his calling card. But the above-average strikeout rate is promising, even if it is only in the FCL.

The Pirates got three players back for Choi and Hill. Alfonso Rivas was let go at the end of the season while they DFA’d Jackson Wolf at the end of Spring Training and was then traded back to the Padres. He’s been about average in the PCL this season. That leaves Estuar Suero as the lone member of this trade still on the Pirates.

How have the Pirates' trades from last year's deadline worked out?

Suero is a 6’6”, switch-hitting outfielder with some very promising, but very raw, tools. Suero has only had five hits in 24 plate appearances at the FCL. He has struck out nine times and has drawn zero walks so far. Suero has missed some time because of injury, however, so we haven’t seen him back at full strength just yet.

Although Hedges didn’t directly bring a player into the organization, the international money the Pirates received for the veteran backstop led to them signing some of their top international prospects, including Brayln Brazoban and Anthony Sosa. Nephew of infamous Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, Anthony is an infielder/outfielder. Brazoban was one of the best international prospects and he’s off to a good start to his pro career, with four hits in his first 14 plate appearances. Both are currently on the Pirates’ Dominican Summer League affiliates’ rosters.

Falter has been great this year, and Severino has shown some promise. Suero is still figuring things out, but he is young and it might take a minute for him to refine his very good, but very raw talent. We will see how each of these three players continue to play, but so far, the return from last year’s deadline is looking decent. Hopefully, the international money the Pirates used from the Hedges deal was invested well.