Josh Bell finally seemed to get his bat worked out putting his contact and power together. Giving us the offensive potential we where looking for the past few years.
But now, there are many talking that the Pirates should blow up the roster. This idea is to fill up the farm system with near MLB players to open another window in 2021 or 2022. I don’t like that idea nor do I think it is realistic but it is a possibility.
Josh’s bat is very valuable after finally having a break out season pulling a .936 OPS. Add into that 37 home runs 116 RBIs he is a run producing machine. On top of that his .277 average and .367 OBP. All together, lead him to scoring 94 runs on the season.
If Josh is put on the trading block with his three years of control he would be of great value… riiiight? Wait for it.
Josh’s defense at first has continued to decline through out his career. It’s not the lack of hard work, it just doesn’t seem to be his position. It is barely better than Pedro Alverez‘s ill fated attempt at playing first base in 2015 but still better.
Putting his defense into the mix, the trade partners would be primarily in the American League as a designated hitter. Just eyeballing which teams that could be making a run that doesn’t already have a decent DH already the selection is pretty short.
The A’s currently have Khris Davis who had a pretty horrible year last season. If they feel that Khris is going over the hill, they may try to off load his contract for a cheaper option.
The Indians got Jordan Luplow who had a break out 85 games last season, but they might put him in the outfield and Bobby Bradley as the DH. Josh is an option, but with the Indians prospects not much to entice Pittsburgh with.
White Sox I have doubts they’re seriously going to push this year, but if they’re looking in the next year or two they might go for it. They definitely have some top near ready prospects in the ’21/’22 window but the the most desirable is Michael Kopech who had Tommy John and missed the season.
The Blue Jays are talking about adding on to make a run while they have control of some darn good players and a batter of Josh’s caliber would go a long way. But I have doubts this year is their year. There is a fair shot though given Ben’s recently relationship with Toronto. (see below)
Lastly the Rays, they used Meadows there often but with Garcia moving on they may put him back in the outfield. They also have Mckay who they are looking to make a two way player as a DH, so far doesn’t look too promising.
Of those, The A’s and Rays seem like the best fit and then only if Oakland can get rid of most of Khris’s contract. So pretty much the Rays.
The Rays Certainly have the prospects to pull it off. Also prospects that are not a long way off. They’re not going to give up Franco, Mckay or Brujan so take them off the board, which is understandable.
Liberatore, Baz and Hernandez should be on the table. All three not totally out of the question. Not only are those three positions of need they have a time frame of promotion if you are doing a quick rebuild. If you recall, Baz was drafted by the Pirates and traded to Tampa as a player to be named later in the Chris Archer deal.
Other options as ‘change’ are Josh Lowe 3b turned quality center fielder who has shown some power. Pitchers Riley O’Brien and Joe Ryan Look promising. Probably the high light of the fringy prospects Jake Cronenworth SS/Relief.
If I was the General Manager I would ask for Liberatore, Baz, Hernandez and Cronenworth but settle with out Baz and take two other fringy type like Lowe and Ryan.
The A’s are my second most likely trade partner if they can make room for him. The A’s prospect class is thin do to most of their better prospects being promoted last season and after them they don’t have much in the way of higher quality to make a trade happen. Between Davis and lack of available prospects I just don’t see it happening.
We do need to mention Toronto. With Ben’s insight to their farm system and likely fair relationship with the front office any deal could potentially happen there. The prospect status of the farm isn’t the greatest. If you assume Nate Pearson isn’t available what would you ask for?
Jordan Groshans looks very good for third base or possibly second if he can make the turn. Yes primarily third because again, Hayes’s bat hasn’t shown up to the party. Pitcher Alek Manoah, hasn’t seen a lot of time yet. Gabriel Moreno catcher was killing the ball in single A. Lastly Reese McGuire, trading him to begin with was a mistake. Getting him back would be great.
Really thats not enough for Josh’s bat. But with Ben’s ties to Toronto and helping to develop some of these players. Picking these guys up plus another couple I don’t think I would be overly upset.
Now, I know earlier I said that Bell’s value isn’t as strong as many think it could or should be. What I would be asking for from the Rays is a high price. However, the Pirates are poised to make a run in 2020 if they can add the right pieces. Even more so in 2021 if Keller improves, Taillon and Burdi come back 100% and Hayes finds his bat. To get Bell out of my line up and forfeiting the next two+ years would take quite a bit.