The Pirates need to acquire a catcher at the MLB Trade Deadline

The Pirates catchers have played poorly to this point in the season. With the MLB trade deadline approaching, the Pirates must look to acquire another catcher.
Cleveland Guardians v Colorado Rockies
Cleveland Guardians v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The Pirates' offense in 2024 has performed far below expectation, which has put Pittsburg three games below .500. One of the biggest holes in the team's offense is at the catcher position. Only one of the five catchers the Pirates have give turns, Joey Bart, has been productive at the plate, but he is currently on the injured list with no expected return in place. Aside from Bart, this catching group has been very poor, starting with a former No. 1 overall pick, Henry Davis.

Davis has been among the worst hitters in baseball this season. Through 29 games played, Davis has a .153 average with one home run and five RBI. He also has an OPS of .503, which includes an on-base percentage of .267 and a slugging percentage of .235. His wRC+ is very low at 50 and his strikeout percentage is very high at 39.2%.

Davis was optioned to Triple-A to work out of his slump and get consistent at-bats. Just when it looked like he was turning things around, he got promoted, but began to play poorly again in the majors. He likely was nearing another demotion, but landed on the 7-day IL with a concussion.

The other catcher who has played very poorly this season is the veteran Yasmani Grandal, who's also battled injury. Not only has his offense been unproductive, but he has made various mistakes on defense that have costed runs.

In his short amount of time in Pittsburgh, Grandal has a .180 batting average with two home runs and 13 runs batted in. He also has an OPS of .487, which includes an on-base percentage of .207 and a slugging percentage of .281. His wRC+ is very low at 35 and his strikeout percentage is decent at 19.4%.

If the Pirates really want to make a run at a Wild Card spot, they'll need a productive catcher. With the trade deadline coming up, who could they target to add some power to the backstop?

How should the Pirates resolve their lack of production from catcher?

In response to this poor play behind the plate, the Pirates should look to reunite with a former Pirate who spent years behind the plate at PNC. This reunion would be with Elías Díaz, the Rockies' All-Star catcher. Díaz is on the final year of his contract in Colorado and is looking like a probable candidate to be traded this deadline.

This season, Díaz has a batting average of .303 with five home runs and 28 RBI. He also has an OPS of .791, which includes an on-base percentage of .352 and a slugging percentage of .439. His wRC+ is solid at 108 and his strikeout percentage is solid at 17.6%. Díaz is the fifth-ranked catcher in fWAR in the National League with 1.3.

Acquiring Díaz would be a significant boost to the Pirates' catching room. A battery of Díaz and Bart behind the plate would be excellent for Pittsburgh, as both have solid bats and are good defensively.

Neither Davis and Grandal have been good enough to help this team win. If the Pirates could get anything for Grandal, then they should take it — A lottery player, international bonus space, or even cash. Davis should just be optioned to Triple-A to get consistent at-bats and continue to develop.

The Pirates are are still floating around .500 and with the deadline approaching, they could improve by welcoming Díaz back.