Pirates trade pitching prospect Jackson Wolf back to the Padres

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What an 8 months it has been for left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf. The West Virginia University product was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a deadline deal with the San Diego Padres in 2023. The Pirates trade veteran starter Rich Hill and lefty hitter Ji-man Choi to the Padres in exchange for prospects Estuar Suero, Jackson Wolf, and Alfonso Rivas.

Now it is being reported and confirmed by the Clubs that the Pirates will be trading Wolf back to the Padres.

It is a 1-for1 deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates acquiring infield prospect Kervin Perchado. The 22-year-old infielder, who plays the left side, hit .257 with a .772 OPS between High-A and Double-A in 2023.

This is in a way not surprising, at least the part about Wolf being traded. In a somewhat surprising move, the Pittsburgh Pirates designated him for assignment following Spring Training. The team had to make 40-man roster space for pitching prospect Jared Jones and bullpen arms Ryder Ryan and Hunter Stratton.

Some were surprised that Wolf was the one who was designated for assignment and not Bailey Falter. In a perfect world that is probably the case, but the Pirates wanted a pitcher who could act as a stop gap now. Wolf, who did make a spot start debut for the Padres in 2023 for the Padres, put up pedestrian numbers in his 8 starts for Double-A Altoona. The 6'7'' lefty posted a 4.25 ERA across 36 innings.

One area that was concerning was the fact that he only struck out 30 batters. This is likely due to a poor fastball that is graded as a 40/40 pitch. This means it sits in the high 80s and touches 90 at times. Wolf likely looks to be a relief candidate at the Big League level eventually. So this is not exactly a position of need in the near term future. Consider Jose Hernandez is at the Triple-A level, a lefty who throws 93-95. This deal comes not long after the JT Brubaker trade.