Last week, Kody took a look at Ben Cherington's three best trades thus far as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now let's take a look at which have been his three worst.
Ben Cherington has been general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates since November 2019. During his time as GM of the Pirates Cherington has made plenty of trades and roster moves as he's overhauled things in Pittsburgh.
Last week, Kody took a look at his three best trades thus far. As is the case with every GM in any sport Cherington has also made poor trades in addition to his good trades. Today, we will take a look at Cherington's three worst trades thus far.
No. 3 - Jacob Stallings Trade
When the Pirates traded Jacob Stallings they wre moving the catcher when his value was at an all-time high. Stallings was coming off a 2021 season that saw him hit for a .246/.335/.369 slash line with a career-high 94 wRC+. Stallings was among the best catchers in baseball in 2021 as he also took home a Gold Glove Award.
Stallings was 821 plate appearances into his MLB career when he was traded. In these 821 PAs he owned a .249/.328/.366 slash line, 10.1% walk rate, 21.2% strikeout rate, and an 87 wRC+. More than good enough for a catcher with the defensive prowess of Stallings. Furthermore, when he was traded to Miami he took three years of team control for him.
Well, the return for Stallings has not really panned out.
The Pirates received Zach Thompson who joined the team's starting rotation. After struggling mightily he was moved to the bullpen, then eventually back to the rotation. Thompson pitched 121.2 innings for the Pirates in 29 appearances, 22 of which were starts. He posted a 5.18 ERA and a 4.87 FIP before being designated for assignment in the offseason. Thompson now pitches at Triple-A for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Pitcher Kyle Nicolas and outfielder Connor Scott were the two main pieces in the trade. Unfortunately, neither have met the expectations that Cherington and the Pirates likely had for them when they were acquired.
Nicolas recently made his Triple-A debut, allowing 5 runs on eight hits, two walks, and a home run in just 4 innings pitched. Since joining the Pirate organization Nicolas has msotly pitched for Double-A Altoona. His latest start is the only one that did not come with the Curve.
In total, Nicolas has pitched 148.1 minor league innings since joining the Pirates. While he has a strong 26.1% strikeout rate, he's walked 11.1% of batters faced while allowing 18 home runs. He's posted a 4.31 ERA and a 4.35 FIP, which are not terrible numbers by any means. However, it looks as if the best home for Nicolas in the future could be as a reliever.
Scott was the 13th overall pick in the 2018 draft. So, he came to Pittsburgh with some pretty good pedigree. Unfortunately, Scott has been awful since joining the Pirate organization. In 596 plate appearances, all at Double-A, Scott has hit for a .232/.291/.368 slash line. His wRC+ is a woeful 78, to go wit ha 22% striekout rate and just a 7.6% walk rate.
At this point Scott appears to be on his way to non-prospect status. Esepecially since he has taken a step backward this season, hitting for a .196/.250/.316 slash line with a wRC+ of just 50. Scott has turned into a complete bust.
The Pirates traded a Gold Glove winning catcher, who had multiple seasons under his belt of elite defense, with slightly below average offense and three years of team control. It appears the best case scenario for the return is a potential back of the rotation starter in Nicolas. Ooof.