Pirates Connected to Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Archer in Latest Rumors

We’re about two weeks from MLB’s trade deadline, which means the rumor mill is going to start picking up soon. In the last 24 hours, the Pirates have been connected to a pair of starting pitchers, which isn’t a big surprise, since starting pitching is their primary need.

Rob Biertempfel says this morning that the Pirates have talked with the Yankees about Nathan Eovaldi.

Eovaldi is struggling this year with the Yankees, putting up a 5.11 ERA, but only a 4.12 xFIP. The biggest reason for the difference is his home run rate, with a 20.4% HR/FB ratio, which is way p from his 7.8% last year, and 6-8% range in his career.

Eovaldi looks like your classic reclamation project. He can get strikeouts, with a career 6.6 K/9 that has been trending upward over the years. He’s in his age 26 season, so there isn’t reason to think he’s on the decline. He gets a lot of ground balls, with a rate of 50% or more the last two years. And the stuff is definitely there, with a fastball that averages 97.2 MPH this year, marking a career best for him. In fact, of 92 qualified starting pitchers this year, Eovaldi ranks second to Noah Syndergaard in average fastball velocity, finishing ahead of the likes of Jose Fernandez, Stephen Strasburg, and other hard throwers.

If the Pirates did acquire Eovaldi, it wouldn’t be a one year deal. He’s under contract for $5.6 M this year, and has one year of arbitration remaining. So if they fixed him like they did with J.A. Happ last year, they’d have him under control for the 2017 season.

The Pirates were also linked to Chris Archer last night, with Marc Topkin reporting that they were one of a few teams with high level scouts watching him pitch.

Archer is also having a bad season, with a 4.68 ERA in 117.1 innings. He does have a 3.78 xFIP, and once again, this is due to a high HR/FB rate at 17.4%, which is well above his 10-11% average throughout his career. His walks are up this year, but not too far over his career norm, and he’s striking out over a batter an inning.

I seriously doubt the Pirates would be able to land Archer. They definitely have the prospects to get it done, but the return would be massive. Drew Pomeranz just got a top 15 pitching prospect for three years of control of a guy who has just started to look like a reliable starting pitcher. Archer has previous success, and is better than Pomeranz. He also has a very team friendly deal, making $4.8 M in 2017, $6.2 M in 2018, $7.5 M in 2019, and then options of $9 M and $11 M in 2020 and 2021.

Trade Values

If we did a simple trade value to get an idea of how much Archer would be worth, we’d see just how high the price would be. He was a 5 WAR pitcher last year, and a 3 WAR pitcher the year before, and is on pace for about 2.5 WAR this year. Let’s put him at 4 WAR for the rest of his contract, which I feel would give him the proper boost in this seller’s market. That would give him a $110 M trade value. So what does that buy?

Here are the rankings from BA’s mid-season top 100, and their trade values.

6. Tyler Glasnow – $26.70 M

10. Austin Meadows – $42.20 M

38. Josh Bell – $18.12 M

51. Kevin Newman – $10.43 M

52. Mitch Keller – $7.93 M

72. Ke’Bryan Hayes – $10.43 M

The total of the top six prospects in the system, according to BA, would be worth $115.81 M. So you might be able to keep one of those last three, but you’re definitely giving up two, or all three of the top three prospects. I love Chris Archer, but I don’t think he’d be worth that.

As for Eovaldi, it’s difficult getting a read on his trade value. You don’t want to put him at a 3 WAR pitcher like he was the last two years, since he’s in the bullpen now and isn’t looked at as a guarantee to return to his previous level. But he’s also probably better than an 0.4 WAR, and you have to figure the seller’s market inflating the price.

If we figure a 2.0 WAR/year player from here going forward, he’d end up with a trade value of $9.6 M, assuming a $7.5 M salary in 2017. That’s a lot more reasonable. You’re still talking about a Grade B pitching prospect, plus a Grade C prospect. Biertempfel speculates that the Pirates might have to give up one of Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault, or Trevor Williams to get a deal done. That seems about right, with a smaller piece added in on top of that. The question is whether you’d want to make that move.

Do you deal prospects — who are question marks to produce this year, but might have long-term value — for a pitcher who is also a question mark to produce this year, but might have value in 2017, and maybe even this year if he turns it around quick enough? On the flip side, the Pirates don’t need all three of those starters in the future, so they could afford to deal one of them, and still have the other two for the long-term.

  • Observation- if you are using $5.5m/war, wouldn’t you need to do just ‘surplus value’ of Chris Archer vs the total of what he is worth. Worth – contract = trade value?. The $110m then would be reduced by his salary, the $38.5m, so the surplus value would be $71.5 if you include the options at 4 War a year, which is Glasnow + Meadows

  • michaelbro8
    July 16, 2016 5:56 pm

    My opinion: the only way I’d deal top prospects for a SP at this point is if you can get a true ace (which isn’t going to happen). But that’s the only trade return that would make it worth doing. The Bucs hope is to make the wild card play-in, and that’s where they need someone who could match an Arrieta, Bumgarner, Kershaw, etc. They don’t have that guy.. Cole’s not there yet. So unless you can go get “that guy” with a trade, why bother ?

  • Pirates will need to rebuild the bullpen next year. Were they to bring Eovaldi in I don’t think it is for the rotation. I don’t take Locke out of the rotation for him certainly.

    Archer looks like a good pitcher having a bad season on paper but on the field he’s just a bad pitcher with a good contract. JA Happ has us thinking that resurrections come easy… They don’t. Glasnow and a C prospect get this done but who wants to do that?!

  • No way I am trading Meadows, Bell and Tallion. Glasnow would bring back a much better player, but I prefer to keep him. I really like the stuff the Yankees pitcher has but he is just not able to put it together this year. But if a B level prospect is all it takes , make the deal.

  • At some point you have to adjust for current performance. A year ago Archer might have justified a 4 WAR assumption. Tim says use that going forward – things look a lot different if you use the 2.5 Archer is on track to deliver this year – the Rays won’t like it – but NOBODY is going buy Archer based on such an optimistic rebound.

    Ditto for Eovaldi.

    • The Rays don’t have to trade Archer, though. And teams trading for Archer aren’t expecting 2.5 WAR per year for the next 5.5 years. They’re expecting the old Archer, and ignoring the down year.

      So it’s a situation where you’re unlikely to see a trade, just because it doesn’t make sense for the Rays to trade Archer.

  • HartHighPirate
    July 16, 2016 3:44 pm

    I have read all 57comments and I have to say this. As for Eovaldi and
    Archer……It is not in their arms, it is in their heads.
    That said, we know what is in the arms and heads of our Pirate prospects. Don’t trade any of them PERIOD.

  • Rarely do trade rumors come true. Yawn.

    • Remember that one time, where Mike Stanton was going to be Pirate?

      • Darkstone42
        July 16, 2016 6:17 pm

        It all fell apart when he changed his name and the Marlins didn’t know who we were asking about anymore.

  • Bridgevillebuck
    July 16, 2016 3:40 pm

    If Glasnow’s value is 26 million over 6-7 years, is he only projected to be less than 1 WAR if you are projecting 1 WAR is 5 million? or do prospects have a different scale since they haven’t proven anything in the majors?

    • Prospects have a different scale.

      • Prospects that are MLB ready are certainly on a different scale than lower level guys like highly rated prospects like Espinoza….

        Honestly, how much better is Archer to Pomeranz? Both are controlled, albeit, Archer is controlled longer… Is Espinoza a better bet than one of Glasnow, Bell or Meadows? Honestly, I would have a really hard time trading 7 years of Josh Bell for Chris Archer.

        • They’re both about the same age. Archer has been worth 8.5 WAR the last two seasons. Pomeranz has been worth 2.0 WAR the last two years. He’s worth more than Archer this year, but their history says Archer will be the much better pitcher going forward.

          Archer has a high value. He isn’t likely to be traded because of it.

          You could do the same exercise with someone like Gregory Polanco. He’d have a massive trade value right now with his extension. A team would have to give up the farm to get him, and if you’re the Pirates, you wouldn’t accept anything less. The flaw here is assuming he has to be traded if someone mentions him in a tweet.

  • There are many avenues to build a trade and you don’t have to use prospects alone. Try this type of deal:
    Harrison is having a great year but is surplus. Jaso is also valuable and surplus.
    Then prospects like in the Pomeranz deal a class A pitcher with big upside Keller.
    Lastly a close to mlb prospect in Harold Ramirez so two pros and two prospects. You may not get Archer for this package but one of the available Starters on the market would likely get bought for just such a package.

  • Eovaldi 100% yes. Kuhl I would want to keep because if all else fails I see him as a potential back end bullpen piece for years to come. Brault and Williams either or is fine.

    • HartHighPirate
      July 16, 2016 3:32 pm

      I have read all 55 comments and I have to say this. As for Eovaldi and Archer……It is not in their arms, it is in their heads.
      That said, we know what is in the arms and heads of our Pirate prospects. Don’t trade any of them PERIOD.

    • chuck conner
      July 16, 2016 10:24 pm

      I like Brault.

  • Scott Kliesen
    July 16, 2016 1:59 pm

    Archer is a flat no chance. Pirates will not make that deal. No way, no how!

    Eovaldi is intriguing for sure. He looks like a perfect acquisition prospect for Pirates. I wouldn’t be upset if they trade away a B & C prospect for him.

  • the rays are 21 games under .500. they take bell, glasnow, and meadows for archer every day of the week and twice on Sundays– and NH would never offer that much.

    • No team would offer that for Chris Archer.

    • chuck conner
      July 16, 2016 10:23 pm

      If NH pulled the trigger on that trade, there would be a lynching in Pittsburgh.

    • For that trade I would expect someone on the level of Chris Sale, not Archer

      • Sale isn’t worth that either. I don’t think there’s a single player in baseball that is worth Bell, Glasnow, Meadows and Newman….Silly stuff to think otherwise.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 16, 2016 1:28 pm

    Eovaldi is an interesting arm, but has he ever been a productive pitcher for any extensive period of time? Seems like he has never put it together. I don’t care if he can throw 107, if he cannot change speeds and the fastball has no movement and is hittable.
    Is he really likely to be a better bet than Glasnow? I see no reason to believe that is the case. Bring up Glasnow and save whatever you would have to give for Eovaldi.
    Archer would cost too much…..and he’s just a total mess this year. I don’t see his situation being a quick fix scenario.

    • If what Tim said about who we would have to give up is accurate, I can say that would be a God awful trade for the Bucs. I know Archer is under control for awhile but the cost to acquire is way to high .

    • Darkstone42
      July 16, 2016 5:57 pm

      Eovaldi does change speeds. His splitter is filthy, and he’s got a useful curve. The problem is getting elevated with his fastball too often, but not in the raising the eye level sort of way. He’s that one adjustment away from being a really good pitcher. I’ve wanted us to get him for a little while.

      Depending on the Yankees’ goal in dealing him, Williams (to replace the lost pitching depth mostly) and a B or so hitting prospect and maybe one more piece should land him. That would be a good trade for the Pirates.

  • Couldn’t the Pirates be looking at the other Rays starters, Moore and Odorizzi? I don’t think Archer is anywhere close to the realm of possibility.

    Eovaldi, is similar to Nicasio in a sense, large split against LHH, though not as large, and he really drops off 3rd time through order. Fastball has always seemed very hittable.

    Still waiting for Niese’s HR/FB to regress.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      July 16, 2016 1:29 pm

      I’m not advocating trading for any starting pitcher, but I would prefer Moore to Odorizzi or Archer…

      • Yet you’ve been advocating for the Pirates to dump all 3 of their left-handed starting pitchers. So absent a trade and having rid themselves of Liriano, Locke and Niese, how do you propose filling out a 5-man rotation?

      • You would rather have Moore than Archer….Why? Do you feel Moore is the better pitcher, or because of what we would have to give up for Archer?

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          July 16, 2016 3:13 pm

          Given what we would have to pay, Moore is the better value
          And this year he is also the better pitcher.

          • 100% agree with you….Archer is not worth giving up anything close to what Tim suggests. Moore intrigues me due to the fact that he’s a lefty, which as we know works extremely well in PNC and he was once a dominate pitcher. Some guys take longer to get over TJ, that could be the case with MM. He would be worth trading a Kuhl, Hanson and I know that TB wants a catcher. Would it be worth it to trade Kuhl, Hanson and Diaz? Remember that Moore would be controlled obviously this year and has team options in ’17, ’18 & ’19 for 7M, 9M and 10M.

  • Sorry but I don’t even love these over the top rumors. If I was FEELING a NH move, it would be Cashner or Hellickson with the latter being the strongest possibility

  • I would rather roll the dice on Cashner as a rental. It wouldn’t cost very much in terms of a prospect and he has every bit of the upside as Eovaldi, but he does have one year less control.

  • Just my opinion, but there is no chance in hell that Archer would command Glasnow, Meadows, Bell and Newman…..I don’t care what formula Tim is using, but that’s crazy talk. Especially considering that Archer is having a really bad year.

    • Agreed catch…..no way I’d offer anywhere close to that for Archer.

    • Did you see what Atlanta got for Shelby Miller? A guy who is now a top 10 hitting prospect (and was the top pick in the 2015 draft), a pitcher who was BA’s number 60 prospect heading into the season, and an outfielder who was putting up around 3 WAR in his first two seasons.

      That was for three years of Miller, who isn’t as good as Archer. So what would you get for 5.5 years of Archer, at a very low cost per year, in a seller’s market?

      • It was a terrible trade by Arizona and I said it at the time, but Swanson, Blair and Inciarte are nowhere near Meadows, Glasnow, Bell and Newman. That’s the type of prospects you would need to get Mike Trout, not Chris Archer, who is getting hit around all year. I respect you and the work you do on here, but you are way off on this one.

        • The Rays aren’t going to sell low though, when they’ve got Archer under control for five more years at a very cheap price. So if you want to get him, you’d have to pay for the good Chris Archer, and not the version we’ve seen this year.

          That is his value. I don’t see the Rays trading him for less, and I don’t see a team meeting his value.

          Also, this is an objective view. I’m not way off. I’m just looking at Archer’s average value, the cost per WAR, and his very team friendly contract over 5.5 years. That leads to the value.

          • I guess my point is this – No GM would even entertain the idea of trading talent like Meadows, Glasnow, Bell and Newman for Chris Archer. No chance in hell….The idea in itself is perposterous! You’ve done the cost per WAR on free agents and have been way off with that on players as well…That’s just a subjective way of analyzing what you feel a player is worth.

            I’ve said in the past that WAR is not the only tool to use in determining a players worth. If that was the case, then a trade for Kevin Kiermaier would also cost the farm, since he was 2nd in the AL last year in WAR.

            • I’ve never done this cost per WAR on free agents. That wouldn’t make sense, as this is a trade value process.

              We agree that no GM would make that trade for Archer. That doesn’t mean it’s not what he’s worth. Two different things.

              A few years ago, I looked at what McCutchen would be worth after his MVP season, just for fun, and the cost was ridiculous. It was pretty much an entire farm system. No team would do that, and the Pirates wouldn’t trade him. But it showed how valuable he was to the Pirates.

              Same thing with Archer. He’s too valuable for the Rays to trade for what a team would pay for him, and no team would pay his true value right now.

              • Maybe the Cubs will try to get him back….Hypothetical question – What would the Cubs have to give up to get Archer back?

                Schwarber, Contreras, Baez, Soler? To me that’s nowhere near Glasnow, Meadows, Bell and Newman. Just curious of your thoughts.

                • I don’t really know their system. Plus, when you start adding in guys who have MLB success, it complicates the situation. You have to do a completely new trade value for guys like Schwarber.

                  No matter which team, I don’t see the Rays trading Archer right now. They might trade Odorizzi, but there’s no reason to deal Archer.

          • You are mistaking his value for his asking price…..I think 110 million is his asking price in terms of return, but I think his actual value can’t be based on 4 WAR in a year he isn’t pitching well and only has had one such year of in the past. more likely his value is about 3 WAR per year…. that would be maybe around 85-90 million. even so, still out of our reach

      • Add to that, Miller got sent to Triple A just recently

      • Miller had a much better season than Archer is having. Whether it makes sense or not, teams always overpay for what the player is currently doing, not what he’s capable of doing.

  • I would trade Kuhl and a C prospect in a heartbeat for Eovaldi.

    • Ugh…you’re killing me….

      I’ve always liked Eovaldi…he’s just never seem to put it together. I can see a Kuhl trade…as much as it would hurt…but I’d rather not part with him.

      • Eovaldi has been a pretty damn good 4th starter throughout his career and that’s pretty much Kuhl’s celling, although he looks like a BP pitcher to me.

        • I don’t disagree with that assessment one bit. Even if Kuhl does end up in the pen, and maybe especially if he does, I like him. He’ll be iffy as a starter, but I think he could come in an be a shutdown reliever for years.

          Again…I’ve always loved Eovaldi…I would just hope the Pirates could get him for a little less. Williams and a Moroff, maybe.

  • Archer is a nice arm, but the acquisition cost would be way too high – especially for our farm-driven team. Eovaldi, though, I might bite on. We could buy when his stock is down and perhaps deal him next season for a better return. This all depends on what the Yanks want for him, though. I’d give them Williams and Niese or a low-level prospect.

  • Can’t fix Niese what makes you think they could fix these two guys?

    • Aj Burnett, Edinson Volquez, JA Happ likely present valid reasons.

      Its almost like you wont fix every guy, but when you find guys with decent stuff its doable with a decent pitching coach.

      • Exactly my point. Why trade for projects.

        • You trade for projects when the project is what you’re willing to pay. If NH doesn’t want to give up 4 of his top prospects to get a solid MLB pitcher with years of control, a guy like Eovaldi is what you’re going to get.

    • Well, for starters these guys have legit stuff. Eovaldi can throw triple digits and Archer has some of the best pure stuff in the game.

    • Niese didn’t need fixed, the Pirates broke him.

      • Was this sarcastic?

        Niese’s fastball arm slot has been dropping steadily since the end of 2013 when he partially tore his labrum in New York. His HR/FB and SLG against on that fastball has jumped since his arm slot dropped below 5.5 feet. And the lower it dropped, the higher the SLG against.

        The Pirates have been trying to work with Niese to get his arm slot back up to 2013-2014 era to create more downward action on the sinker. He just hasn’t been able to do it, save for a few starts in May (incidentally, his best month).

        The evidence would overwhelmingly suggest that Niese was broken when he was acquired.

        • I really don’t see much evidence of what you are proporting. Niese’s arm slot was dropping at the beginning of 2013 when he was diagnosis with a partial rotator cuff tear. But I don’t see a steady downward trend starting in 2013, or have I seen evidence that the Pirates were trying to get him to raise his arm slot.

          Additionally this trend in HR/FB rate is only a trend if you disregard 2010-12 and ignore that there is little year to year correlation between HR.

          What I’m seeing is Niese throwing the ball lower in the zone this year to both handed hitters and more in to RHHs. This is an approach the Pirates advocate in the pursuit of ground balls. However for his career Niese has had his best success attacking RHH away, limiting their contact and power numbers throwing to the outer half.

          Completely abandoning the top of the zone against LHH seems to have had a deleterious effect as Niese is throwing his hard offerings outside the zone more often and LHH are crushing his fastball at career worst rates.

          I could certainly be wrong but this article seems to support observations I first made earlier in the season.


          • Darkstone42
            July 16, 2016 5:54 pm

            I agree. Asking Niese to pitch inside to RHH was asking for trouble. Locke can do it because his fastball can get up there. Niese’s isn’t hard enough. He’s doing RHH a favor by going inside. They should have just tried to tweak his mechanics to improve his command, but let him use the strategy he’s always used.

          • 1) Steady drop in fastball arm slot:


            Look specifically at the 4-seamer, sinker and cutter, which have all dropped more than the curve.

            2) The Pirates have been working to get Niese to stride directly to home plate since February:

            “In early February, Niese flew into Bradenton from Lima, Ohio, for an initial 15-pitch bullpen session with Uncle Ray and returned home afterward. Searage quickly identified one part of Niese’s delivery that needed work: “Making sure that he stayed with his backside on the leg kick,” Searage says, in order to—you guessed it—“keep his direction toward home plate.”


            From the same article, we see that the stride impacts arm slot and release point:

            “Last year, for example, when J.A. Happ arrived from Seattle at the trade deadline, Searage spotted an inefficiency in the lefty’s delivery in his first start. Instead of striding directly toward home, Happ rotated too much in his motion. That resulted in a lowered arm slot and inconsistent release point…”

            5 months later in an article on this very blog, Clint Hurdle is still talking about it.

            “Hurdle again cited Niese arm angle, a common refrain over his last few less-than-stellar starts.

            “[It’s] the consistency of the angle. When he’s been good, there’s been good downhill angle created and he’s had good command down in the zone east and west. There were too many pitches elevated again today. That’s really been the one common theme is location, better location down.”

            This is nothing new – there are articles regarding Niese’s post-shoulder injury mechanics since May 2013, most of which directly reference the arm slot, and usually after some dreadful stretch of starts in which he has been hit hard.

            I’m also not necessarily buying the idea that Niese pitching inside (or down) – at the Pirates’ mandate – is responsible for his poor showing, because frankly he’s getting torched everywhere, by everyone. Hitters are squaring up his fastballs no matter where they are thrown:

            SLG against, 2016

            to LHH, in: .654

            to LHH, out: .515

            to RHH, in: .583

            to RHH, out: .481

            to RHH, up: .409

            to RHH, down: .492

            to LHH, up: .333

            to LHH, down: .609

            Every one of these splits is significantly higher than it was in 2015, in most cases by 100 points or more.

            It may not be the optimal game plan, but my point is, it doesn’t matter what the game plan is if he can’t execute pitches effectively.

            In short, no, I don’t think the Pirates “broke” Jon Niese; but they certainly haven’t fixed him.

            • Staying on the backside is the panacea the Pirates discuss when talking about every pitcher they encounter. Read any article discussing a pitching acquisition and it is in there, it was the issue with Volquez and Liriano flying open, it is necessary but not sufficient.

              Concerning Happ and his arm angle, lowering his arm slot lead to improved control, which he did in 2014 with the Blue Jays hence the drop in walk rate. And there is no evidence that Happ raised his arm slot with the Pirates. (I’m fairly certain the Huntington discussed lowering Watson arm slot in the minors had a similar effect.)

              Additionally why such the improvement against Niese’s fastball offerings, from 2015 when there really hasn’t been much change in his release point, the biggest being a less than two inch drop in his four seamer?

              We are both telling over simplified stories, I just find yours to be too muddled. The shoulder injury was in 2013, and he pitched effectively after that, how did the moving of the fences in New York contributed to the almost doubling of his HR/FB rate at home last season.

              And I don’t think you can just dismiss that Niese has abandoned throwing to area where he was an above average pitcher vs RHH.


          • He was bad in 2015……we didn’t break him. Maybe we caused an additional part to crack, but he wasn’t going to bounce back on his own doing what he did in 2015. To think otherwise is without base.

    • Every other pitcher that has been fixed in the past.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 16, 2016 1:24 pm

        EVERY other pitcher? That is a bit of a stretch. Jonathan Sanchez, Frieri, Luebke, Nicasio (he’s actually worse this year than last year), Locke (how many years have the Pirates worked with him?) – those are just some of the names I could think of off the top of my head….

    • Burnett, volky, happ, melancon, Worley, grilli, liriano… Etc.

  • Can you do a John niece and Jeff Locke trade value article?

    If the Pirates were going to trade prospects for their own pitchers, whom would they give up?

    • You don’t need an article for that. Both pitchers are underperforming their market rate contract value this season, so the trade value is negative. The Pirates would give up nothing of value – a non-prospect or another marginally bad major league contract.

      Even if the acquiring team is convinced it could turn these two guys around, what are you looking at? Niese as a 1.5 WAR pitcher and Locke as a 1.0? In that case each guy would provide very very marginal value over and above their 2016 contract and 2017 option+buyout (for Niese) or arbitration award (for Locke). You might get a C prospect for each. And in a practical sense, you would need to have at least two interested suitors to play off one another to get that value.

      • Locke is not underperforming his contract rate…….and statements like that is why you need an article. a 0 WAR pitcher still has value as a starter in th majors.

        • Jeff Locke is running a 0 or 0.2 WAR depending on your flavor. It hardly matters, he’s a replacement level pitcher. Even extrapolating his 0.2 over a full season still leaves you closer to 0 than to 1 (0.36 as of game #90), and WAR isn’t meant to be precise to the tenth of a decimal anyway.

          Fangraphs defines a replacement player as one who costs no additional resources to be acquired (over and above the major league minimum salary) (http://www.fangraphs.com/library/misc/war/replacement-level/).

          Jeff Locke is paid $3.05M this season. The nominal value of a 0.0 WAR pitcher is $510,000. Jeff Locke is underperforming his contract, at least as far as WAR would define it, by $2.54M. This isn’t my opinion, this is the construct. And if you’re going to buy into “trade value,” then you are buying into the construct. You have no choice but to conclude that Jeff Locke has negative trade value, which means no team would rationally trade anything of value for him because theoretically there is a Jeff Locke clone to be had for nothing but the cost of a major league minimum salary. According to the construct on which trade value is based.

          If you want to argue that real life plays out very differently, I won’t disagree. Feel the construct is too abstract? Fine. But then we’re no longer talking about a “trade value” article, as Dave asked for above, but something else. And I don’t know what you could write in that article, what measuring stick you could use to appropriately value the return for Jeff Locke. Where would you even start?

          • Good detail there. I stand corrected. I’m not sure how they are claculating WAR for a starting pitcher these days, I don’t think your average league min pitcher could put up the degree of innings and results that Locke can, so I guess I don’t believe in the construct as it pertains to starting pitchers.

  • Archer would be great, but at a cost of even 4 of those 6 is prohibitive based on what we are currently seeing out of them. As far as Evoldi goes does this team really need a project SP when these young guys can probably pitch as well this season moving forward. That being said if we are talking Williams for him if you think of it as trading a free spec for him makes it easier to swallow. (Since we got him for a staff leaving)

    • And with Evoldi, you could then roll into next year with Cole-Taillon-Glasnow-Liriano-Evoldi, and possibly move Kuhl to the pen for much needed help next year.

      Still have depth of guys like Kingham-Brault/Williams (whichever you dont trade) and the usual FA NRI invite types.

      • It wouldnt cripple us to trade one of them for him but the question is does Evoldi do enough this year or next to justify a young live arm

        • chuck conner
          July 16, 2016 9:57 pm

          Nothing this year is going to put the Pirates in the playoffs. Too many better teams this year.

          • that’s a ridiculous statement. Other than the division winners, there aren’t any teams in the NL better than us. Dodgers and Cardinals are not better, neither are the Mets right now. Ladies and gentleman that’s it as far as contenders go. Marlins are a joke

            • Y2, that’s really harsh. You don’t like my comments then ignore me, but don’t talk down to me. You have no proof that the Pirates are better than any of the team ahead of them. I made a call that the Pirates won’t make the playoffs, it’s not my opinion, but betting people also. I truly hope im wrong, but I’m not ridiculous.

              • Chuck- that wasn’t harsh at all- and it is YOUR opinion. Your post leaves you open for dissenting views and a backlash- if you don’t like it, don’t post. It happens to me all the time, so you’ll just have to deal with it like an adult.

              • Your post becomes ridiculous when you say “nothing is going to put us in the playoffs this year” – and while predicting us to be out of the playoffs is easy since we aren’t in a position of being in the playoffs if the season ended now, even vegas doesn’t have us at such long odds that it thinks “nothing” could put us in the playoffs. We literally only have to play about .580 ball the rest of the way to be in a very likely position to be in the playoffs, and a terrible Houston and Minnesota team both managed to do that very thing last year for half a season with teams which are far worse than ours.

                • .580 would give us 88 wins. Do you really think that will get us a wild card? Don’t compare the AL, we’re not in that league. Yes, they still have a chance, but again, I wouldn’t bet on seeing them in October. I hope you are right and they make the playoffs. You can’t make a run for the world series without making the playoff. The Giants have proven, just get in.

                  • There is a difference on “no way” and “not betting on them to…” and that was my criticism in your post. Clearly my criticism was valid. And yes- 88 wins could DEFINITELY put them in a 2nd wild card spot or only a game or two out. I really don’t see why you think we have two wild card teams that are likely to win 90+ games. There isn’t really anything out there showing that’s likely. I didn’t say I thought they would make the playoffs, I said they have a chance…..and they do.

                    • I gave an absolute (no way) and you gave an absolute ( ridiculous.) If you want to argue semantics, that’s an argument neither will win. Just keep rooting for OUR Pirates and hope they turn this season around. I am very excited about 2017. Young Blood. thanks for the input.

                    • I’ll always give a opposite reaction to a very one sided response…..its not personal, but its in the vain of pulling things back to the middle. Saying that there is no way, is a ridiculous statement, saying its somewhat unlikely is not a ridiculous response. It’s not semantics, its being accurate and realistic. I’m not saying I never do it, but I’m quickly brought back to reality by the other posters here when I do it, and its all in good fun.

    • chuck conner
      July 16, 2016 9:55 pm

      What happens to Locke and Niece? You can let Niece walk for nothing, but I think Locke is signed for another year. We have a truck load of prospects, and we are not going to be able to put them all on the 40. NH has to be smart and not move prospects because he has them. I trust, he won’t give away the farm. Get it, the farm.

  • The Pirates were interested in Eovaldi when he was with the Marlins but the rumor was that the Marlins wanted Pedro Alvarez and the Pirates didn’t want to lose Pedro at that time

    • Pretty sure it was the other way around….Pirates wanted Eovaldi and offered Pedro and Marlins laughed, then hung up the phone….This was the season after Pedro couldn’t throw a ball from 3rd to 1st. I believe they tried traded him to every team in the league and nobody wanted Alvarez.

    • HartHighPirate
      July 16, 2016 3:05 pm

      Oh my gosh. We could have traded Pedro before he became worthless!
      Eovaldi is a gopher ball pitcher.

  • No and No to these two players. Why would NH stray away from the “Pirate Way” and give up players like Williams and Vault…two players that are close to helping the club…Plus most importantly, I don’t believe that these two players are upgrades over Taillon, Glasnow at this point in their young careers.

    • It is just scouting. They have been stingy with their prospects in the past. No reason to think they are going to just up and abort that strategy now.

    • Brault and Williams do not have very high ceilings..I doubt NY would even consider them as adequate return..if they do, then trade them for sure

      • Nor does Eolvaldi considering he has only really 1 year to reach that ceiling before it is free agent land. Brault and Williams ceiling are a lot higher than .5 WAR that Eolvaldi is putting up, or at least per year for 5/6 years it would blow Eolvadi’s 1.3 years of control out of the water

  • No way!!! Look what happened to the Mets when they thought they had enough SP depth! Sure having another experienced arm in the rotation would be nice but these young guys have the chance to be successful starting pitchers for the next six years for us. Maybe we could give them a position player prospect instead?

    • I honestly think we are making too much of a deal about most of our pitching prospects…I would gladly let go of Brault, Williams or Kuhl for Eovaldi. I think Hanson, Moroff or Garcia would be likely candidates for the “cherry on top” prospect. I would not let Ramirez go however I think the Pirates management would much rather trade him than Moroff since they seem to love the kid. Anyway, point being every pitching prospect should be on the table other than Glasnow and Taillon (if you still consider him a prospect).