Pirates Trade Bryan Morris to Marlins For a Draft Pick

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded reliever Bryan Morris to the Miami Marlins for the 39th overall pick in the upcoming draft. The pick is a competitive balance pick, which means it can be traded.

Pittsburgh was going to have to make a roster decision when Stolmy Pimentel returns from the disabled list and it looks like Morris was the odd man out. He has a 3.80 ERA in 21 appearances this year, posting a 1.56 WHIP and a 12/14 BB/K ratio in 23.2 innings. Morris has really struggled in May, allowing eight runs on 15 hits and ten walks in 12.2 innings over 12 appearances.

Pimentel began pitching at Pirates City on Friday.

The draft pick will give the Pirates another chance at some high upside talent and it also gives them a bigger draft bonus pool to work from. They also have the 24th, 64th and 73rd overall picks.

Neal Huntington had this to say about the trade:

“We feel this trade will have a positive impact on this organization, in the short, moderate and long-term. Short term the trade will add a quality prospect to our system that will enhance our ability to make prospect for major league player type deals while helping us sustain crucial prospect depth.” Huntington goes on to say “We have made this move from a position of strength as we keep our core bullpen intact. In moderate and long-term, we add a an additional first round talent  that we project to play a significant role on future Pirates’ teams.”

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Getting some chips together for the Didi Gregorius trade 🙂


People keep talking about Morris being a potential closer and I remember a few years ago when Lincoln was our future closer


If sadler performs well I see gomez getting sent back to indi when pimentel comes back. Anybody else see that?

Scott Kliesen

No options left for Gomez. Would have to DFA him unless he’s injured and put on DL. Only Hughes has options from existing relief corp. not counting Sadler of course.


I like this move a lot. Even if Morris turns out to be a quality reliever, he’s worth the 39th pick in the draft. And he has yet to show the potential that his stuff may indicate, and he may never.

Well done, Neal.


My thoughts exactly,now let the june shuffle begin.


I agree, I have seen enough of Morris to know he will never be a back end bullpen guy. I think Neal may have something up his sleeve to acquire a SS like Gergorious or someone else. This could give more flexibility to make a deal. I think everyone can agree Mercer is not the answer.

tom from st pete florida

I agree, Mercer should be on the next plane to Indy.


You know if you really think about it, the trade is ultimately “Ricardo Rincon for the 39th Pick.” 😉

R Edwards

It will be years until we can clearly assess this trade, especially given that it involves a draft pick. but, I am not crazy about this trade in the short term. Yes, Morris has been a disappointment this season so far. But, he has great stuff and velocity – and I thought he would be our eventual close. I would not be surprised if he does not become a very effective reliever for the Marlins – he may just need a change of scenery. Plus, he’s only 27. So, we lost a very valuable arm in the bullpen, for an unknown commodity that will not yield any fruit for likely 3-5 years – if it does at all.

I don’t see how this trade makes us better. I would rather they kept Morris over Gomez, just because of his potential and much higher ceiling. Although, I am sure Gomez would not yield anywhere near as a high of a draft pick. If they had to trade Morris, it would make more sense if it was for something that could help us now or very soon – like a starting pitching prospect, a shortstop prospect, or a first base prospect that was in AA or AAA.


You talk about helping the team in the short-term, but you say that you only want to keep Morris because of his ceiling and potential? That means long-term. There is no way that this trade makes us worse in the short-term.

Also, no team is going to give up a good prospect for a horrible middle reliever.

R Edwards

No, Morris has pitched well for the Pirates in the past – and though he has had his struggles at times, a bullpen with him is stronger than a bullpen without him IMHO. I had complete confidence he was going to become an effective reliever again this year – his stuff is just too good for him not to.

The Pirates need help now in certain areas, and this trade doesn’t help them at all – now. It actually makes them weaker.That is my point.


It will be interesting to see if the Pirates flip the 34th pick for a ML ready player or if this pick is an insurance policy in case they draft a guy at #24 with signability issues.


That was one of my first thoughts – make a deal for Snider + this pick for someone MLB ready. I’m thinking after Wandy, there won’t be further pure salary dumps, and I doubt Snider fits into the Bucs plans at Indy if they DFA him and he clears.

R Edwards

Snider will not yield a six pack of beer, let alone a MLB ready player of any significant value.


Guys like snider get traded all the time for midde relievers or b level prospects. There’s always a team willing to take a chance on a former first rounder.


That’s the point. Neal’s stance should be, you want the draft pick, you take Snider’s $1.2 million salary.

Chris Hale

Other guys who the pirates will want to add to the 40 man before next year as Mel Rojas ( he will become a FA if not added ) Nick Kingham and Adrian Sampson.


I think an apt description is utterly brilliant. The draft pick is valued at $7-5 million. Bryan Morris has performed at below replacement level, the Marlins must have just watched his bullpen sessions.


The Marlins pen is not doing well and Morris has high upside, so I can see their side of the deal.

Chris Hale

Morris is a reasonable risk when you consider his upside. Which is a back end reliever . Teams want that mid 90’s fastball

tom from st pete florida

not when it is batted all over the field, and lately over the wall.


Morris has faced almost 400 batters, and over that time period been the 2nd worst reliever in K% – BB%, add that to the fact that he seems to be homer prone. His usage in high leverage situations was maddening. His “stuff” has never produced results, and the Marlins better hope he has some upside because he is not even a replacement level reliever right now.

Chris Hale

The Pirates don’t have to clear any 40 man space for Pimentel or Sadler.They are both on the 40 man. Morris leaving actually gives them 3 spots open on the 40 man roster . I would imagine Worley might be getting one of those spots . NH maybe trying to make another move or two as well


Good move and now they still have to find a new home for Snyder. Morris had a lot of talent and tough to let that go, but if he can’t pitch for your team then he has to go even if he figures it out for someone else.

tom from st pete florida

Snider won’t find many takers(maybe Seattle).

He has been a major disappointment , except for a few pinch hit HR’s and that great catch a few seasons back.

He is good as gone. If no one on the current roster goes on the Dl, this should be his last week in a Pirate uniform.

Seems like a nice guy, but not a very good baseball player.

Andy Prough

And Snider made Carlos Gomez eat dirt. That’s probably going to be my favorite memory of him when he’s gone.


It’s kind of funny reading Huntington’s quote about this 39th pick, when Bryan Morris was, himself, the 26th overall pick….

tom from st pete florida

Wasn’t drafted by the Pirates though, so you can’t pin that on NH.

I am sure there are plenty of other draft picks, drafted in the 1st round in that spot, that are struggling, never have reached the majors, or out of baseball all together.

Morris throws hard, big deal, tons of pitchers throw hard.
His ball was straight, and was he was getting hit hard every time i saw him pitch in his last month as a Pirate.
Good luck to him with Miami, but i don’t think he will be missed that much.

Monsoon Harvard

Maybe this is why Casey Sadler was pulled from his start the other day. I know it makes room for Pimentel, but players have 30 days for rehab and Pimentel’s just started Friday.


Well this should quiet 80% of the fanbase, at least until the next reliever struggles. I like the move because of how deep this draft is. There will be a real talent available at 39 and gives the FO some flexibility.


I was definitely in that 80%!!! And we got the 39 pick??? Great job….Because Morris was Stinking it up!!!


So now there’s 2 open spots on the 40-man? This should give the Pirates some better flexibility to make a few moves. Like if they need a Dickerson or somebody like that for the short-term.

Mike Adamson

Stolmy Pimental is coming back so they needed a spot.


Pimentel is already on the 40-man.


needed a spot on the 25, where only Hughes has options


Dickersons gotta get healthy first, but you’re right about a little roster flexibility.


True. Plus I figure the Pirates might want some guys like Ashley, Hague, Morel, Schlereth and Oliver to come up to give some guys breathers, and having some 40-man flexibility allows that to happen more easily.


Of course, somebody would have to get “injured” for that to occur….


Or perhaps some other trades/signings are happening soon….

IC Bob

In effect the Pirates traded Morris for Sanchez. I like how it has worked out for the Bucs.

Leefoo Rug Bug

The last remnant of the Bay deal is gone.


but he lives on in this draft pick for… who knows….. maybe 15 years! the jason bay deal is not yet dead.

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