The Pittsburgh Pirates are in desperate need of starting pitching. The most realistic way to obtain quality starting pitching this offseason is via trade. Here are three trade targets the Pirates must consider during the winter to improve this rotation.
1. Trade for Jesus Luzardo - Miami Marlins
It has been rumored this offseason that the Miami Marlins are listening to offers for Jesus Luzardo. The Pittsburgh Pirates should get aggressive and make an offer the Marlins cannot refuse in order to get Luzardo to Pittsburgh for the 2024 season. This would not only immediately strengthen their rotation for the upcoming season, but also for many years that follow.
Last season with the Marlins, Luzardo had a 10-10 record starting in 32 games with an ERA of 3.58. He pitched a total of 178.2 innings accumulating 208 strikeouts and finished with a 1.21 WHIP during that span. He is exactly what the Pittsburgh Pirates need.
Luzardo is currently on his second year of arbitration and is set to only make $5.9 million for the 2024 season. He will not become a free agent until 2027. This would give Ben Cherington plenty of time to build around Luzardo and also work on extending Mitch Keller, knowing he has another quality pitcher for a long period of time in their rotation.
Luzardo would come with a hefty price tag. The Pirates would need to give up at least one of their top young talents to get this deal done. Henry Davis would be a good candidate for this trade because the Marlins need a catcher and the Pirates have Endy Rodriguez to fill that position of need. Add Colin Holderman to the trade and I think it would be a very good deal for both sides.