What Will The Pirates Have Tp Give Up?
I have broken down my list of possible trade targets down into 4 groups and will briefly discuss what I believe it would take to get the players in each group.
This is the big splash category, the move the Pirates should make if they believe now is the time to strike and if they believe that this team with this addition can be a true World Series contender. These moves would at least improve the team this year and ideally for 1 or 2 years to come. There was only one player I listed who fits this category and in my opinion trading for him now or making any move like this now would be foolish. That player is Justin Upton.
To get Justin Upton or a similar go for it all player (Jon Lester?) the Pirates would have to be willing to part with two of their top prospects. Specifically for Justin Upton I see it being either Taillon/Marte or Cole/Hanson. In addition other good prospects / young major league players would need included. Likely two guys like Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens, Willy Garcia, Alex Dickerson, Jared Hughes, etc. The smaller pieces of the trade would be largely dependent on what the other team was looking for (ie high upside, major league ready starters, bullpen help, etc).
Not quite the home run play but a solid acquisition which will definitely improve the club this season and ideally for seasons down the road. An acquisition that represents a triple isn’t necessarily flashy but could under the right circumstances pay just as big as dividends. There are a few players I listed as possible triple acquisitions and they are Chase Headley, Josh Willingham, Denard Span, Yunel Escobar, Jed Lowrie.
To acquire a player in this mold is going to cost an awful lot. I would expect the team trading these players to start off by asking for a package centered around one of Cole, Taillon or Marte. Smaller pieces would also be involved but that would essentially be the starting point. Realistically these players will likely cost a top prospects plus other pieces but that top prospects shouldn’t be among the elite. A trade including centered around a prospect like Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco or Robbie Grossman would probably be enough to acquire these players. One other high-end guys like Indianapolis’ three left handers, Alex Dickerson, Matt Curry, Colton Cain and Nicholas Kingham would probably have to be included as well. In addition I would also expect one or two smaller pieces.
This is a mid range move. A double can include anything from getting a high-end rental (and not overpaying) to getting a player under control for additional years who looks to be nothing more than a solid piece. Basically think acquiring a #3 or #4 starter for the rest of this season and all of next season or about acquiring a guy who will hit 2nd, 6th or 7th for the same amount of time and do so in an unspectacular but useful way. This is also the category that a low-cost high reward project would fall under. In my previous article I mentioned three players who would fall into this category: Jason Vargas, Paul Maholm and Gaby Sanchez.
To acquire of player of this ilk I believe it would take a good but not great prospect. Essentially take the Pirates top 7 guys off the table and then build a package around one of the remaining guys. The package would feature a prospect like Owens, Locke, Wilson, Grossman, Sanchez, McPherson, Kingham, etc. Another secondary piece would likely have to be added as well.
Essentially a single would be your typical low to mid range rental player or maybe a very low impact guy under contract for next season as well. These players would give the team a modest boost while not crippling the farm. Like the above categories the value of this group varies drastically depending on the player but my goal here is to given a general idea. The candidates I mentioned as possibilities are Brandon McCarthy, Francisco Liriano, David DeJesus, Shane Victorino, Carlos Quentin and Kevin Millwood.
Ideally I believe these players go for two C grade prospects like say Jarek Cunningham and Zack Dodson, however in this market I could see some of these guys fetching the price something similar to what I value the doubles at. For example I could see the cost of Carlos Quentin being Robbie Grossman and lets say a guy like Casey Sadler. For some players, notably on my list, Quentin and McCarthy, I would be ok with a slight overpay like that but for others I think the risk isn’t worth the reward.
My goal here was to provide what I believe is a reasonable price to pay for the four different type of acquisitions I listed but considering we are in a seller’s market the prices very well may be slightly higher than what I have listed and going beyond in some cases makes sense and in others it doesn’t. So below is not an absolute of the value I would define to each group but more of a guideline of what I feel the Pirates should offer prior to competition settling in. The packages I list below are just examples of what I think it would cost, the packages would of course need adjusted based on team need and market competition.
Home Run: Jameson Taillon/ Starling Marte/ Rudy Owens/ Willy Garcia
Triple: Gregory Polanco/ Jeff Locke/ Zach Von Rosenberg
Double: Robbie Grossman/ Clay Holmes
Single: Jarek Cunningham/ Zach Dodson
Just for fun here is what I think market inflation could do to this.
Home Run: Gerrit Cole/ Alen Hanson/ Gregory Polanco/ Rudy Owens
Triple: Starling Marte/Justin Wilson/ Matt Curry
Double: Robbie Grossman/ Kyle McPherson/ Victor Black
Single: Jeff Locke/ Mel Rojas