Monday, July 29, 2019

Trade Deadline Decisions

After losing 8 straight and having a 2-15 record since the All-Star break, the Pirates should be clear sellers at this year's deadline. 

During the 2017 off-season the Pirates had a very difficult decision to make coming off a second sub .500 season and knowing the contracts and rights of star players Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole would be expiring soon.

The Pirates made a very difficult decision of a small market team by trading away their ace pitcher, Gerrit Cole who was a former number 1 pick of the organization.  A few days later they said goodbye to the face of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen.

General manager, Neal Huntington, noted that he was acquiring long term assets for these former Pirates stars and noted that the players sent off brought Pittsburgh back into the postseason and he was hoping and believed that the players they brought in would help push the Pirates back into the postseason again after two underwhelming seasons (2016 and 2017).

The two players brought back for one year of Andrew McCutchen's service have already given the Pirates 3 Wins Above Replacement.  Reliever Kyle Crick appeared to be a late inning stopper last year when he posted a miniscule 2.39 ERA over 64 games while also posting a 9.7K/9 rate.  This year hasn't been as kind to Crick as he has   seen his WHIP (walks hit per inning pitched) climb to a ridiculous 1.55WHIP.

The player that has really shined for this year's Pirates team that isn't named Josh Bell or Felipe Vazquez is Bryan Reynolds.  Prior to the season he wasn't being labeled as an elite prospect on any top 100 lists, but in his time since being called up he is one of the NL's top 10 hitters in batting average. If not for some of the other NL rookies having incredible seasons, Reynolds may get some more consideration for NL Rookie of Year. 

The Pirates also got an additional four prospects from the Astros when they sent away Gerrit Cole.  Cole has obviously blossomed into the pitcher the Pirates hoped for in Houston under the tutelage under Justin Verlander.  In two seasons with the Astros he has been an American League All-Star and is a likely candidate for the 2019 AL Cy Young award this year as he has already topped 200 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched.

Joe Musgrove (1.5), Colin Moran (0.7), Jason Martin (-0.4), and Michael Feliz (0.2) have combined for 2 Wins Above Replacement compared to Cole's 3.4 WAR. Obviously the strength of this argument notes that the Pirates have the above 4 players for 4 more year's minimum compared to Cole who becomes a Free Agent after this year.

Here are some of my cards of the players mentioned in this post.

Bryan Reynolds

 If you aren't familar with the I Am Second movement, visit  It is a social media movement for people who want to put Jesus Christ first.

This is Bryan Reynolds ONLY card produced for 2019 thus far.  With so many releases, it is actually nice to see a player get so few cards produced.  This will likely change when 2019 Topps Update arrives.

This is the turkey parallel from 2017 Bowman Holiday mega boxes. 
It is numbered to only 35 copies and features a freaking 🦃 🦃 🦃 turkey 🦃 🦃 🦃 in foil on the front of the card.  It was my first Reynolds card.

I like Reynolds a lot and think that it is because of him that the Pirates felt they could move Austin Meadows at last year's trade deadline.  Reynolds has blossomed into a fan favorite as the switch hitting outfielder has been atop the Pirates lineup since his debut.

Kyle Crick

I have a magenta card of Crick but am saving it for my SaveSecondBase event.

Joe Musgrove

This is my only nonbase card of Musgrove.  It is an ugly sticker auto of Big Joe.  Does anyone see how that signature says Joe Musgrove because I clearly am missing something.

Colin Moran

Another bad signature, but I can at least make out the initials as being proper (CM). Colin had on card autographs for 2019 Gypsy Queen and 2019 Topps Series 1 1984 insert.

Jason Martin and Michael Feliz

I don't have any cards of Martin or Feliz, but Jason Martin is pictured congratulating Josh Bell on this Throwback Thursday 91 Stadium Club Topps Online exclusive card.


  1. The return the Pirates got for Cole and what they gave up to get Archer is... something.

    1. At least they reset the .500 mark again with an 82-79 record last year.

  2. Nice to see Bell finally breakout. He's fun to watch.

  3. Cool to see current players like Bell on a card featuring the 1991 Stadium Club design. The turkey? Not quite as cool.