Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Years Later, Re-Visiting the Josh Bell Trade

3 years ago today the Pirates traded Josh Bell
Sep 27, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first basemen Josh Bell (55) fields the ball
Sep 27, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first basemen Josh Bell (55) fields the ball / David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Three years later, the Josh Bell trade continues to be one of the worst for Ben Cherington as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates

On Christmas Eve 2020, Pittsburgh Pirate general manager Ben Cherington made a splash trade. This trade saw the Pirates send first baseman Josh Bell to the Washington National. Unfortunately, this trade has not worked out at all.

Since leaving the Pirates, Bell has been a really strong hitter. Bell has 1832 palte appearances since being traded. In those 1832 PAs, he's hit for a 2.58/.345/.438 slash line to go with a 11.4% walk rate, 18.4% strikeout rate, and a 116 wRC+.

In exchange for Bell, the Pirates received a bunch of crap. The big piece for the Pirates in the trade was right-handed pitcher Eddy Yean. Repeating the High-A level, Yean posted a 5.01 ERA, 10.2% walk rate, and a 19.5% strikeout rate with the Bradenton Marauders last season. Not good! Especially for a soon to be 23-year-old pitcher in their second season at the High-A level.

In the trade, the Pirates also acquired Wil Crowe. Between both the starting rotation and the bullpen Crowe never found traction with the Pirates. He is currently a free agent after being released by the Pirates in November.

Crowe pitched 202.1 innings with the Pirates. He owned a 5.03 ERA, 5.17 FIP, 11.5% walk rate, and a 20.8% strikeout rate during his time with the Pirates. Far from strong results for Crowe. There is a reason he was designated for assignment last summer ahead of being released.

Since the trade was made, Bell has been far more valuable than the paleyrs the Pirates acquired. Bell owns a 4.4 fWAR since being traded, while Crowe owns an fWAR of -0.6 and Yean will likely never pitch in the majors.

To be blunt, this trade was a disaster for Cherington. Just one in a long list of bad moves by Cherington as GM of the Pirates. Hopefully, future moves, as well as those made thus far this offseason, will work out better for Cherington than the Bell trade.

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