Pirates fans need to look at big picture with recent trades


The Pittsburgh Pirates compete in the National League of Major League Baseball. Image Via Pinterest

Joey Shields, Staff Writer

For years, the Pirates have been incredibly cautious in the trade market, rarely making a big splash, but last season, they broke their tradition my making four blockbusters trades, with mixed results.

The team’s separate trades of Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, initially blasted by fans who thought the Bucs did not receive enough in return, currently look as if they are the better of the four trades.

Kyle Crick, Joe Musgrove, and Colin Moran have each made instant impacts on the team, while rookies Bryan Reynolds and Jason Martin will help the team for years to come.

Cole was outstanding last year for the Astros, playing a huge role in their successful season, and he has continued that success. McCutchen, however, is far from his peak form, as he has been only slightly above average these past two seasons.

Many consider the trades of these two players, who were likely to be free agent departures anyways, to be successes. However, the team’s other trades have been less fruitful.

The Chris Archer trade, likely their biggest and most consequential trade of the past season, has seen absolutely terrible results to this point. Archer has been a below-average pitcher this year, with an ERA of 5.55 and a record of 1-4, but the worst parts of the trade aren’t what the team received, but what they gave up.

Tyler Glasnow has been outstanding for his new team, the Tampa Bay Rays. Even though he currently sits on the IL with a forearm injury, his ERA leads the league at 1.86, and he has a record of 6-1. The Pirates also traded Austin Meadows, who has hit nine home runs with a .340 batting average, and top prospect Shane Baz, making this an incredibly lopsided trade.

The acquisition of Keone Kela has yet to produce any results, as both Kela and former Pirates prospect Taylor Hearn have struggled a bit in their new homes.

The initial reactions to these trades certainly do not mirror the current outlooks of fans, who now show appreciation for the trades of Cole and McCutchen, and have soured on the Archer acquisition.

After years of clamoring for big moves, fans seem willing now to sit back and watch the Pirates stay stagnant because of one failure.

Realistically, the mixed bag presented by these four trades shows how the MLB’s trade market works: Sometimes you win, and other times you get burned. The tragedy of the Archer trade should not overshadow the successes of the others in the eyes of both fans and the front office, and the Pirates should continue to make moves like these in the future, based on their current results.