Pittsburgh Pirates: Which Team Would Make The Best Trade Partner?

Both the Marlins and Mariners make good trade patners for the Pirates, but which one is the better fit?

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox / Jim Rogash/GettyImages
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Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are coming off an 88-74 season, falling just shy of both the American League West and American League Wild Card. They won 88 games on the back of their deep pitching staff, led by the three-headed beast of Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, and George Kirby. But they have a trio of young starters they might listen to offers regarding.

Of the three, Bryce Miller got the most MLB playing time in. He pitched 131.1 innings across 25 starts, working to a solid 4.32 ERA, 3.98 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP. Miller’s 22.3% strikeout rate was just 0.4% worse than the league average, while his 1.23 HR/9 was average on the dot. However, he had a walk rate of just 4.8%. The Mariners seem to specialize in starters with extreme command, as he was one of three M’s pitchers with 20+ games started and a sub-5% walk rate.

Overall, Miller had the 9th lowest BB% among pitchers with 130+ frames tossed. It is also the 6th lowest walk rate among any player in their rookie season over the last decade (min. 100 innings pitched). His low walk rate led to a robust 4.58 K:BB ratio, which also ranked top 15 among pitchers with 130+ innings in 2023.

The next starter is Bryan Woo. He pitched 87 innings last year while owing a 4.21 ERA, 4.36 FIP, and 1.21 WHIP. Woo struck out just over a quarter of the batters he faced at 25.1% with a respectable 8.3% walk rate. His 1.33 HR/9 was slightly below the league average, but he could definitely see that move in the right direction next season. He was above the 80th percentile of both exit velocity (87.4 MPH) and hard-hit rate (33.8%) while having a barrel rate of just 6.3% (top 77th percentile).

Emmerson Hancock is the third and final starter, who is still a prospect. The 2020 first-round pick only pitched 12 big league innings last season, spending most of his season at Double-A. In 98 innings for the M’s Double-A affiliate, Hancock had a 4.32 ERA, 4.08 FIP, and 1.23 WHIP. He got a healthy amount of strikeouts with a 26% strikeout rate while also having an above-league average 9.2% walk rate and 0.75 HR/9 rate.

Between the three, I think Miller is my favorite. He had the best Stuff+ rating at an impressive 117, which was in the top ten in the league. However, he might be the most expensive of the three, given not only how good his stuff was but also because he has the most MLB experience and did not struggle when given consistent starts.