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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Trevor Rogers

Trevor Rogers broke onto the scene in 2021 when he pitched 133 innings for the Marlins, working to a strong 2.64 ERA, 2.55 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP. The southpaw had an 8.4% walk rate but an outstanding 28.5% strikeout rate and a home run-per-9 rate of 0.41. Opponents only managed an 87.7 MPH exit velocity against him, with a barrel rate of 5%, which was in the 89th percentile.

Rogers looked like he may solidify himself a rotation spot for the long run, but the last two years haven’t been all that great for him. He’s only pitched 125 innings in 2022-23 and has pitched to a mediocre 5.26 ERA, 4.35 FIP, and 1.46 WHIP. Some of that has to do with some bad luck. He has had a .324 batting average on balls in play, but his strikeout rate has decreased to just 22.5%, his walk rate has gone up to 9.2%, and his HR/9 has rocketed toward 1.22-per-9.

Of those 125 innings over the last two years, over 100 of them came in 2022. He only tossed 18 innings in four starts last season. The lefty didn’t throw a pitch in either the Majors or Minors after June 4th. He missed most of the year, suffering from a right lat tear and a left bicep strain. However, recent reports state that he should be ready to go for Spring Training in 2024.

But Rogers is still young. He just turned 26 in November and looked like an ace not all that long ago. Rogers is controlled via arbitration for each of the next three seasons. He may be more of a buy-low rebound candidate compared to other pitchers on the trade market, but he certainly has the ace potential that he displayed in 2021. If healthy, I think he could regain that sort of talent.

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