No. 1 - Adam Frazier Trade
The best trade Ben Cherington has made during his time in Pittsburgh was dealing Adam Frazier and cash to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Jack Suwinski, ucupita Marcano, and Michell Miliano in July 2021.
Tucupita Marcano was the headliner in this trade. He was one of the top prospects in the Padres system at the time. He was only 21 years old when the trade happened, but was already in Triple-A with San Diego. He also saw action with the big league team. He was immediately put on Indianapolis' roster but struggled during his time here slashing just .230/.325/.279 in 45 games.
In 2022, he saw action on the big league team at the age of 22 where he continued to struggle. In 49 games in Pittsburgh he slashed .206/.256/.306 and looked like he was not ready for the big leagues. During the off-season he changed his approach and stance at the plate and has shown great imporvement. in 2023, he started the season in Triple-A where he played in just 11 games slashing .422/.458/.689 with a home run, a triple, and seven doubles before getting called up to Pittsburgh.
With Oneil Cruz going down with a fractured ankle, Marcano has stepped up and has taken the starting shortstop position. So far this season he is slashing .260/.311/.439 with three home runs, a triple, and 11 doubles in 47 games. He has played very well defensively and with his improvement at the plate, he looks like he is viable major league player.
Jack Suwinski was another piece in this deal that has been huge for the organization. The Pirates have been missing a power bat in their lineup for quite sometime. Suwinski has filled that void so far in his short time here.
In 2022, Suwinski made his major league debut with the Pirates and finshed his rookie season tied with the most homeruns among all qualified rookies in the NL with 19 in just 106 games. He did have his struggles however. He struckout 114 times and slashed .202/.298/.411 with an OPS of .709.
In his second year with Pittsburgh, he has been one of the best hitters in the National League. In 55 games this season, he is slashing .244/.354/.517 with 13 home runs and eight doubles. He has walked 30 times this season which equates to a 14.6% walk rate. That is a 3.6% incease from last season. His strikeout % is still very high though. He is striking out 32% of the time this season, but if he can continue to show power and plate discipline, then it won't be as much of an issue. His OPS is currently at .871 and is the 17th highest in all of baseball.
With Marcano and Suwinski in this trade, it ranks as the best trade Ben Cherington has made as GM for the Pittsburgh Pirates. These three trades have been major impacts to the big league team and that is what you are looking for when it comes to rebuilding and making the franchise better for the future. The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently in first place in their division and have a lot of young talent in the wings. Maybe Cherington can make a few more deals that can top these trades in the future.