Pirates Acquire Wade LeBlanc, Cole and Stewart to 60-Day DL, Stallings Up

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations. LeBlanc was recently outrighted to Triple-A by Seattle, so he’s not on the 40-man roster. However, you’d think the Pirates added him for that reason, since there are no minor league games taking place for the rest of the year.

This move is a bit curious. The Pirates already have plenty of left-handed options in their bullpen for this year and next year. LeBlanc would be eligible for arbitration in the off-season if they wanted to keep him around. He could be a reclamation project for them, but they already have Felipe Rivero and Antonio Bastardo for the 2017 season, plus Steven Brault as an option. So it’s hard to say what the motives for this move are right now.

The Pirates have also selected the contract of Jacob Stallings from Indianapolis, and have placed Chris Stewart on the 60-day DL with left knee discomfort. Stewart has been dealing with the knee issue for some time, and it appears they’re shutting him down for the year. By placing him on the 60-day DL, they open a roster spot on the 40-man for Stallings.

There might be more to come with all of this, and I’ll update if new info comes out.

UPDATE 4:29 PM: Just looked at some numbers for LeBlanc to see what the appeal might be. He’s got a high 19.4% HR/FB rate, and doesn’t have a good ground ball percentage. He throws five pitches, and uses a split between a four-seam, two-seam, and cutter for his fastballs. The numbers for the four-seam aren’t good, and the two-seam is actually good.

LeBlanc had a 1.125 OPS on his four-seam this year, and a .690 OPS for his two-seam. He throws the four-seam 17.5% of the time, and the two-seam 29.7% of the time. He also throws a cutter 16.7% of the time, with an .877 OPS this year. His changeup has been good, with a .611 OPS and a 28.4% usage. His curve has been awful, with a 1.929 OPS and a 7.7% usage.

I can’t see LeBlanc sticking as a starter with the Pirates, considering all of the starting options they have right now. I could see him being a reliever, and if that was the case, the Pirates could scrap the other pitches and just focus on his two-seamer and changeup. Based on what we know about the Pirates and reclamation projects, they tend to take this approach of using the two-seamer more, getting rid of ineffective breaking pitches, and focusing more on the off-speed stuff that works. This is exactly what the Pirates did with Ivan Nova, as Alan Saunders wrote about today.

We’ll see what happens with LeBlanc, but that’s my early prediction.

UPDATE 4:40 PM: The Pirates have announced that they’ve placed Gerrit Cole on the 60-day disabled list, ending his season. Cole was placed on the DL with right elbow posterior inflammation. That clears a spot on the 40-man for LeBlanc.

UPDATE 4:54 PM: Wade LeBlanc and Zach Phillips are expected to join the team at some point, according to Adam Berry. Stephen Nesbit says that Phillips is expected to come up, with Josh Harrison going to the 60-day DL, in one of my favorite tweets of the day due to the Game of Thrones reference.

UPDATE 6:22 PM: Elias Diaz was placed on the disabled list to make room for Zach Phillips. It’s an interesting move instead of Harrison because the Pirates had to recall Diaz first, then place him on the disabled list. Basically they are paying him three weeks extra salary, along with the service time.

So if you’re trying to keep track at home, that’s Wade LeBlanc, Zach Phillips and Jacob Stallings added to the 40-man roster, while Gerrit Cole, Elias Diaz and Chris Stewart have been placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Eli K

Lol people are taking this trade a little too serious

Michael D

Thats why trading Reese McGuire was a bad move. Stewart has spent most of his Pirates career on the dl


Trading Reese was a dumb move by Huntington. Hate that trade.


Not to mention that he can’t hit or throw


I wonder if we keep Fryer next year instead


PTBNL will likely be Keller or Meadows


He is Toby Namedlater. He is involved in many trades. He is a transgender switch hitter.

John Dreker

There is a good chance we will never hear about the rest of this deal. LeBlanc was in the minors, not on the 40-man roster and eligible for minor league free agency. The Pirates could have had him two weeks ago for free. When we say deals can be made for as little as $1, this is one of those deals that qualifies for that, and the dollar just exchanges hands to complete the deal

joe s

I do not recall a Zach Phillips in the minors. Why can’t they play Hanson? Instead of this guy.


Perfect! Now the guy who complains about practically EVERYTHING, now shows himself to know practically NOTHING.


Phillips is a pitcher


could the player to be named be on the 40 .
say garcia but not clear waivers and then traded after the

John Dreker

LeBlanc wasn’t even playing anymore. His season was over in the minors. The Mariners would have lost him as a minor league free agent. You will likely never hear about the second part of this trade. The Pirates could have had him two weeks ago for nothing, so don’t expect them to give up more than nothing to get him for 18 less days


not a real possibility but pirates are my private
publishers clearinghouse.

Thomas H

In my opinion, they traded for this guy because someone needs to pitch and they don’t want anyone worth a damn getting hurt.


Gee, starting Cole yesterday really worked out well. As I said last week, there was absolutely no point in having Cole start any more this season.

John W

Future continues to look even more promising.

Thomas H


Bruce Humbert

Dumpster diving starting early…

Arik Florimonte

off-season griping starting early…

John Dreker

Wait until they sign a minor league free agent in the off-season…that’s when the fun begins. The first guy they sign will be the one that puts them over the hump for the 2017 World Series, the second guy will be seen as a waste of time when they should be signing other players, the third will definitely make the team and make them weaker regardless of who is ahead of him on the depth chart. Meanwhile, 29 other teams are doing the same exact thing.

joe s

Another bomb to drop by N.H. Everyone in the minors is at risk. Perhaps this is a precursor to a much bigger deal to come. Could Cole be moving now that his replacement is in place?

IC Bob

Probably will trade another prospect I am guessing Montana is gone


The state? You think Canada is interested?


They would make a nice Country all by themselves.

IC Bob

Now we are ready to compete!

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