Per MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Pittsburgh Pirates will likely be sellers at the trade deadline, adding another potential partner to pair with the Braves.
The #Pirates are likely to be deadline sellers.
Andrew McCutchen, enjoying his best offensive year since 2015, is a fascinating trade candidate.
McCutchen, 36, has never played in a World Series.
One option for Bucs: a summer trade and winter reunion.@MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 26, 2023
Pittsburgh was a fun story to start the season, but their winning ways were never sustainable. Their roster is deficient of the type of talent necessary to seriously compete, even in the abysmal NL Central. The Pirates currently sit 5.5 games back of first place and have lost nine of their last ten. They were always destined to sell, and they have some intriguing pieces to offer competing clubs.
As I said in a piece earlier today, the Braves really only have one glaring need heading into the trade deadline, and that is the bullpen. Their offense is the best in baseball, and their rotation should be just fine as it continues to get healthy. So, the bullpen is going to continue to be my primary focus when doing these articles.
With the Pirates still at least a couple of years away from competing, David Bednar is going to be on a lot of team’s radars over the next month. He’s one of the best relievers in baseball and is under team control through 2026. A team like the Pirates doesn’t need a dominant closer, and it makes sense for them to get as much as they can for Bednar right now, who owns a 1.50 ERA and 1.73 FIP this season.
Whether the Braves have the necessary prospect capital for such a trade remains uncertain, but Bednar is undeniably the type of arm I hope they’re targeting. Adding a closer would free Raisel Iglesias to command the eighth inning and alleviate a lot of pressure off the shoulders of the rest of the bullpen. This move could transform the Braves relief core into arguably the league’s finest. His talent is such that I would consider depleting the entire farm system, especially given that his contract would keep him in Atlanta for three more seasons.
Bednar’s the crowned jewel that the Pirates could potentially make available. Outside of him, there’s not a whole lot I see the Braves being interested in, given their needs. However, Rich Hill is an intriguing starting pitcher that makes some sense.
At 43-years-old, it’s wild that Hill remains in the league and is having decent success. He owns a respectable 4.34 ERA and is a veteran that has pitched in every situation possible. A competing team will make a move for him, and it should cost next to nothing in terms of prospect capital. If the Braves want to add another veteran option to their group of starting pitchers in case of injury, Hill could be a target.