No. 2 - Josh Bell Trade
On Christmas Eve 2020 Cherington swung a trade with the Washington Nationals. In the trade Cherington and the Pirates sent slugging first baseman Josh Bell to the nation's capital in return for a pair of pitchers - Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean.
When Crowe was initially acquried it appeared it could be for him to work as an innings eating sarting pitcher, something the Pirates would desperately need in the 2021 season. That is exactly what Crowe did in 2021 logging 116.2 innings in a team leading 26 starts, posting a 5.48 ERA and a 5.67 FIP.
For the 2022 season Crowe transitioned to the bullpen. Following a strong first six weeks of the season, Crowe has struggled in his relief role. Since the start of last season Crowe owns a 4.41 ERA, 4.48 FIP, and a 13% walk rate in 85.2 innings pitched. He is currently on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder issue.
Yean was viewed as the big piece in the trade. Unfortunately, Yean has not panned out at all for the Pirates thus far. Having struggled throughout his time in the Pirate organization, Yean no longer works as a starting pitcher and is solely a relief pitcher.
Yean is currently pitching out of the bullpen for High-A Greensboro. This season he has posted a 7.59 ERA and a 4.79 FIP in 21.1 innings pitched. What might be most concerning is that this is his second straight season in the High-A bullpen and he's sill struggling mightily.
Bell now plays for the Cleveland Guardians. Since leaving Pittsburgh, he has hit 50 home runs to go with a .258/.350/.435 slash line and a 116 wRC+. Trading that type of production for a bad MLB reliever and a pitching prospect who has completely flamed out and looks like they'll never even reach Double-A is, well, bad.