Pittsburgh Pirates: Top Five Position Player Trade Targets

Who are the top five position players the Pirates should pursue in trade?
Sep 10, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; San Diego Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim (7) bats during the
Sep 10, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; San Diego Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim (7) bats during the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Honorable Mentions

Harold Ramirez

You remember Harold Ramirez, right? The Pirates traded him as part of the much criticized Francisco Liriano salary dump. Ramirez’s first few years in the big leagues were pretty unimpressive. But he has hit .306/.338/.432 with a .338 wOBA, and 123 wRC+ over the last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Rays. Ramirez would be a candidate to fill in at first base and right field, as he’s played these two positions the most the last two seasons. However, it’s far from a guarantee that the Rays trade him as he has two years of control remaining. 

Andrew Vaughn

The White Sox could look to trade some of their young players this off-season. They did so with Jake Burger at the trade deadline, and they could listen to offers on former first round pick Andrew Vaughn. Vaughn has been about a slightly above league average hitter the last two seasons, batting .264/.317/.429 with a 107 wRC+. But his defense has been poor at first base with -3 DRS and -9 OAA in ‘22-’23. The White Sox don’t seem like they’re going to commit to a complete tear down, at least not this off-season. Plus also don’t have much to lose by seeing if Vaughn can break out. After all, he was one of the best prospects in baseball just a few years ago.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

This is a big and bold one. I’d be ecstatic if the Pirates sought after and acquired Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Guerrero Jr. is coming off a down season, by his lofty standards. He hit .264/.345/.444 with a 118 wRC+. Of course, those are still above-average numbers, but considering he was an MVP caliber hitter two years ago, and was still at an All-Star level in 2022, it is a tad low. He also had -13 OAA at first base. There are some positives, such as his .374 xwOBA, .291 xBA, .494 xSLG%, and the fact he is controlled via arbitration in 2024-2025. But, even if the Blue Jays listen to offers involving Guerrero Jr., they’ll probably be looking for a lot more than what his 2023 season was worth. I’m confident the Jays will try and compete again in 2024, and they probably see Guerrero Jr. as a part of their line-up, at least for the ‘24 season. But on the off chance they are willing to part with Guerrero for a reasonable price, the Pirates should really consider it.

Seth Brown

Seth Brown is another first baseman from the Oakland Athletics. Brown was a solid hitter in 2021-2022, with a 112 wRC+ and 45 home runs while slashing .224/.294/.457. He hit for very good power, with an ISO of .233. However, Brown missed a good portion of the 2023 season. He isn’t a free agent until after 2026, so the A’s may not move Brown right now in hopes of him rebounding to his 2021-2022 peaks.

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