2017 Topps Opening Day #157 Gregory Polanco Baseball Card - Pittsburgh  Pirates

Today’s post, “Braves and Pirates Hypothetical Trades”, is part 11 in our series focusing on teams that could be sellers or have some expiring contracts that could be attractive options for the Braves. If you’re just catching up, here are the previous 10 pieces:

Those poor Pirates. I mean, what do you do when you’re the worst team in the majors, have little to no money, have a farm that’s middle of the pack, and will likely not have much income for the 2021 season. You sell. You definitely sell.

Unfortunately, the Pirates don’t really have much left to sell. The talent pool is more like a kiddie pool and won’t bring back much in return. However, the Pirates need bodies and if there ever was a team that would take a chance on lottery tickets with team control, the Pirates are that team. They’ve already sold low on Josh Bell and I don’t expect it to stop there.

Trade Value of Colin Moran

Colin Moran is not a perfect player. His defense is a little below average. His sprint speed might compete, sloth-like. However, what he does well is hit the ball HARD, especially against RHP. His exit velocity ranks in the 89th percentile. His hard hit % in the 86th percentile. The one reason that he’s not gotten elite production might be due to his launch angle. Marcell Ozuna was in that same boat before he came to the Braves in 2020. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we as Braves fans seriously undervalue Kevin Seitzer. If Moran came to the Braves and could add 4.5 degrees of lift to the ball, look out. His trade value is $5.1MM

Trade Value of Gregory Polanco

Polanco has always been a case of the what-ifs. Even before the shoulder injury, he was mostly potential and lesser production. However, poor arm and all, Polanco was fine in the OF in 2020, but not fine at the plate. His K-rate spiked, his BABIP plummeted, and he was very, very bad. However, his exit velo and hard hit % skyrocketed to the 95th and 93rd percentile. There might be nothing there, but if nothing is the cost? His trade value is -$13.5MM

Trade Value of Richard Rodriguez

In 2020, Rodriguez did what a lot of pitchers have done recently and that is to increase the usage of offspeed, decrease the usage of the fastball, and consolidate pitches to increase effectiveness. It worked as both his cutter and fastball graded out well and while it could be the small sample of a 60-game season, his K-rate soared, and walk rate plummeted. His trade value comes in at $2MM.

Fake Trade Number 1

Breakdown: As stated before, the Pirates should be the kind of team that is able to utilize and test out lottery tickets. Both guys above have 1st round draft pick pedigree and need a regular opportunity at the bigs.

Fake Trade Number 2

Breakdown: Braves get rid of Ender’s salary and grab Polanco to see if they can fix him. If they can’t, no big deal as it just cost them Ender’s dead $ anyway. Newcomb gets a fresh start in an org that should have a little more patience with his ups and downs.

Fake Trade Number 3

Breakdown: Pirates sell high on a 31 year old and get a good prospect that will immediately be in their top-20.

Thanks for reading “Braves and Pirates Hypothetical Trades”. Thoughts?