The big news in baseball yesterday was the firing of Mets new general manager Jared Porter so this trade went a little under the radar. The Pirates, Mets, and Padres completed a three team deal to send Joe Musgrove to San Diego, Joey Lucchesi to the Mets, and five prospects back to Pittsburgh. This may not seem like much as Pirates fans are used to their best players being shipped off for not much in return but the new front office have earned my trust in being able to make the right moves so far. Josh Bell was traded last month to the Nationals in exchange for two prospects. Bell had half a good season in 2019 that earned him his first trip to the all star game. Since then, we saw a different player for the next year and a half. The Nationals still had the belief that he could be that elite player so they traded their 10th ranked prospect and a 19 year old arm that is the more appealing piece of the trade. The farm system for the Pirates was weak on the mound so adding someone that could possibly step in now and have someone for the future is a good return for a player who’s trade value plummeted in 2020.
Ben Cherrington continued the rebuild by trading Joe Musgrove in a bit of a shocking move. I knew he had been in trade talks but I did not think the value was there to have much of a return. The Padres are continuing to try and boalster their rotation. Behind Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Dinelson Lamet, there won’t be a much better 4-5 combination than Chris Paddack and Musgrove.
Musgrove, Pittsburgh’s Opening Day starter, went 1-5 last year with a 3.86 ERA in only eight starts during the shortened season last year. At 28, he has a 29-38 record with a 4.33 ERA over 108 appearances. He will get to play close to his hometown of El Cajon, California.
The Pirates get back five players that include outfielder Hudson Head, right hander David Bednar, left hander Omar Cruz, right hander Drake Fellows, and catcher/outfielder Endy Rodriguez. Head is the big name here. He signed a $3 million deal which was a record for a third round draft choice at that time. The Padres thought enough of how he played in rookie ball to include him on their 60 man roster this year.
The 19 year old shows a nice left handed swing with a little pop. The Padres believe that he could turn into a five tool outfielder but believed that they needed one more arm in the rotation to go for the World Series this year. You can see what Baseball Factory had to say about him before the 2019 draft below.
Don’t be discouraged Pirates fans. Ben Cherrington will do his best to build something here. He is already doing something that Neal Huntington was never willing to do. Huntington wanted to win games to keep fans in the seats but continue to sell players off before they were due a big contract. The willingness to be mediocre was extremely frustrating. Cherrington is tearing it down to the studs, getting as many prospects as he can, and try to build this thing from the ground up. It is going to look rough for a few years but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.