Pittsburgh Pirates: Players Who Were Traded At The Right Time

The Pirates traded these former veterans right before they took a dip in production.
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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Jacob Stallings

Jacob Stallings had a career year in 2021. In 427 plate appearances, he batted .246/.335/.369 with a .312 wOBA, and 92 wRC+. Stallings did have an above-average 11.5% walk rate and 19.2% strikeout rate. Those numbers are below average overall but decent for a backstop. However, most of Stallings’ value came from his glove, for which he won a Gold Glove. He racked up +21 defensive runs saved, the most by any defender. In terms of framing, he saved +8.8 runs.

Many people, including me, weren’t happy that they had just traded such an integral part of the team to the Miami Marlins for three players, including Zach Thompson, Kyle Nicolas, and Connor Scott, especially considering so many young pitchers were up and coming. But it turns out the Pirates traded Stallings right in the nick of time.

Stallings spent 2022 and 2023 with Miami, batting a meager .210/.287/.290. Stallings has seen his walk rate fall to 8.5% while his strikeout rate has risen to 22.7%. While Stallings was never a power hitter, he has hit just seven home runs over his last 660 plate appearances with an isolated slugging percentage of .080. In 2021, he hit eight home runs with a .123 ISO. Stallings has just a .262 wOBA, and 63 wRC+ the last two seasons. There is only one catcher with a lower OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ the last two seasons with 500+ plate appearances. That is Austin Hedges.

But what about his defense? That was his calling card, after all. Along with his offense, his glove has plummeted. He has -9 DRS and -5.3 framing runs over 2022-2023. With his horrible offense and declining defense, Stallings had just -1.5 fWAR for the Marlins, making him the least valuable catcher and the 4th least valuable position player since the trade.

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