Pittsburgh Pirates: An Extremely Bold Mock Trade Proposal to Bolster the Rotation

Let's take a look at an extremely bold mock trade proposal between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Heading back to the Mariners

Jared Triolo would be heading back to the Mariners as the headliner in this deal. Triolo made a nice first impression in 2023, batting .298/.388/.398 through his first 209 MLB plate appearances. Although he had a sub-par 30.1% strikeout rate, he also had an outstanding 11.5% walk rate, leading to a .350 wOBA and overall wRC+ of 118.

However, Triolo had a .440 batting average on balls in play, the highest mark ever in a single season (min. 200 plate appearances). His BABIP during September was over .500. But as I covered before, it might not be as bad as it may seem on paper. it was a small sample size, and Triolo saw his barrel rate go from only 2.5% to 12.8% from his first promotion to his second call-up. His BABIP over the last three minor league seasons is also fairly high at .359.

Triolo would fill in one of the Mariners’ biggest needs: infielders. They traded Eugenio Suarez this off-season to the Arizona Diamondbacks; Luis Urias is the only addition to their infield depth chart. Jared Triolo primarily plays third base, but he also logged innings at second and first base. He looked like he could win a Gold Glove at any of the three infield positions. Triolo also has nearly 500 innings at shortstop throughout the minor leagues. Right now, the only sure answers for the M’s in the infield are J.P. Crawford at short and Ty France at first base.

Now that the Pirates have signed Aroldis Chapman, they can play around a little bit with their relief pitching depth. I have Colin Selby heading back to Seattle. Selby had a 9.00 ERA, 13.2% walk rate, and 1.83 WHIP. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Selby was crushed by a .385 batting average on balls in play despite an above-average 88.1 MPH exit velocity and 48.5% ground ball rate. Selby had a quality 26.3% strikeout rate, and his 1.50 HR/9 could go down next year. Along with a strong exit velocity and grounder rate, his HR/FB ratio was 21.1%. Selby’s underlying numbers were much kinder to him. He had a 3.94 xFIP, 4.25 SIERA, and 94 DRA- (203 ERA-).

There’s no question that Selby has good stuff. His Stuff+ rating was 114, which puts him on the same level as Devin Williams and just slightly below Camilio Doval (116). His sinker sat at 96.6 MPH. His slider had 6.1 inches of horizontal movement. His third most used offering, his curveball, had over 55 inches of drop and 12 inches of break.

The Mariners already have a pretty good bullpen. Andres Munoz is their closing pitcher, backed by multiple breakout stars. That includes Gabe Speier, Matt Brash, Justin Topa, and Tyler Saucedo. They also have rookie Prelander Berroa. Because they have such a deep pen, offering Colin Holderman may not be as enticing as some may think. Talent-wise, Selby has it. He just needs to put it together.

Parting with Triolo would be tough, and while I said that he should be the starting second baseman to open 2024, if it means getting a young starter back, then the Pirates should be all for it. Triolo slots into the Mariners’ line-up now as their second or third baseman. Woo would be one of the Pirates starting pitchers going into the year. This trade is meant to be very bold for the Pirates, and I think it’s just that.

Next. chapman expectations. Setting Expectations for Aroldis Chapman in 2024. dark