Pittsburgh Pirates: Top Post-Winter Meetings Trade Targets to Pursue

The Winter Meetings may be over, but the Pirates should keep an eye on these three potential trade targets.
Aug 6, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Jake Cronenworth (9) is
Aug 6, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Jake Cronenworth (9) is / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Edward Cabrera

Edward Cabrera is one of the Miami Marlins multiple starting pitching options. The hard-throwing right-hander has been in the rumor mill recently, along with another one of his teammates, who we will mention later. Cabrera is a young and talented pitcher who would slot right into the Pirates’ starting rotation right now.

Cabrera is the definition of effectively wild. Despite his 15.2% walk rate and 1.44 WHIP, he did everything else at an average to above-average level. Cabrera finished out the 2023 season with a 4.24 ERA and 4.43 FIP, along with a 27.2% strikeout rate and an HR/9 of 0.99. Cabrera is a groundball machine that induces soft contact at a high rate as well.

He was in the 75th percentile of hard hit rate at 35.4%, the 78th percentile of exit velocity at 87.6 MPH, and the 68th percentile of barrel rate, clocking in at 6.9%. Cabrera had a 54.3% ground ball rate in 99.2 innings. Only 14 pitchers last year had a ground ball rate over 50% in 90+ frames. Cabrera ranked seventh among those 14 arms. Logan Webb, Marcus Stroman, Alex Cobb, Cristopher Sanchez, Bryan Bello, and David Peterson were the only other pitchers with a higher ground ball rate than Cabrera.

Cabrera is affordably controllable through 2028. His first year of arbitration won’t be until 2026. He’s a young arm who turns 26 in mid-April. Cabrera was also a consensus top-100 prospect each season from 2020 through 2022. Cabrera may struggle with walks, but he does everything else very well. It might not be cheap to acquire him, but it's definitely a name the Pirates should be on.