Pirates Rumors: Jazz Chisholm trade buzz is the exact wrong direction for Pittsburgh

Chisholm could bring a spark to the Pirates' sputtering lineup, but at what cost?
Boston Red Sox v Miami Marlins
Boston Red Sox v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

According to Craig Mish of the Miami Herald, there is "a growing belief" that 26-year-old outfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. will be part of the Marlins' expected fire sale this summer, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly one of the top candidates to land him in a trade.

On the surface, the prospect of Chisholm playing in Pittsburgh sounds pretty appealing. He is entering his second offseason of arbitration eligibility, meaning he is still under team control for two more seasons and won't hit free agency until 2027. This would make Chisholm more of an investment than a rental for a Pirates team with a young core that is likely to be competitive in the next three years or so.

Chisholm would also bring a much-needed bat to a Pirates lineup that ranks 27th in the league in OPS (.670) and 28th in OPS from center field (.571). This season, he has notched a career-best .328 OBP and a .745 OPS, which ranks among the top 70 in the league. The kind of run support that Chisholm could provide to Pirates flamethrowers Mitch Keller, Paul Skenes and Jared Jones would undoubtedly put Pittsburgh in a better position to be competitive for the next few years.

Chisholm has a good bat, good potential and a good contract. Unfortunately, that sets his trade value extremely high – and what he would bring to the Pirates likely wouldn't be worth the cost of what they would have to give up in order to get him.

Trading for Jazz Chisholm would ultimately set the Pirates back

While there are plenty of reasons that a Chisholm trade would make sense for the Pirates, there are also plenty of reasons it wouldn't. First, there's his injury history – he hasn't played more than 100 games in a season since 2021. He played 60 games in 2022 and 97 last year. He has appeared in 79 games with 327 plate appearances so far this season, which is an anomaly.

The biggest issue with Chisholm, however, is that he isn't going to be cheap. In the Pirates' case, that means they would likely have to include one or more top pitching prospects in a trade package – think Thomas Harrington or Braxton Ashcraft – or maybe even Bubba Chandler.

For general manager Ben Cherington and the Pirates, that astronomical price has to be a non-starter. Sacrificing multiple arms for one bat – especially one with a less-than-ideal injury history – is not worth it. If the Pirates want to be competitive for more than just the next pair of seasons, their top prospects have to be part of the equation.