Exactly one month ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a flurry of trades. Fans not only questioned the trades, they were angry. One month later – having gained perspective – how do the moves look?
- Felipe Rivero – Since joining the Pirates, Rivero has given up just one earned run in 15 innings pitched. He has struck out 23 while walking 11. As the primary seventh inning guy, Felipe Rivero has been excellent. He has a high 90s fastball with two off speed pitches, which is uncommon among relief pitchers. His slider is good and his changeup is straight up nasty to right-handed batters. Tony Watson has struggled as the closer so it isn’t too early to start talking about this guy taking that role. Rivero has five years left of control after this season.
- Ivan Nova – In five starts, Nova is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA. He has struck out 22 batters opposed to walking just one. Nova has done a great job of getting ahead of hitters and putting them away. His FIP sits at 3.17 showing that his peripherals match up pretty nicely to his overall numbers. A big problem for Ivan Nova this year was giving up home runs. He has given up just three with the Pirates and one in his last four starts. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates pursue Nova in free agency this winter.
- Drew Hutchison – Hutchison has struggled in AAA since joining the organization. In five starts, he has a 5.46 ERA striking out 23 and walking 14. He has been bitten by the long ball this season, giving up 20 home runs total between the majors and AAA. He has given up five home runs with Indianapolis. Hutchison will blikely e a September call up so we can see what he brings to the major league club.
- Mark Melancon – Like Rivero, Mark Melancon has been remarkable since the Trade Deadline. He holds a 0.66 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts and two walks. He also has seven saves. It was expected that Melancon would be dominant with the Nationals and he has lived up to expectation. That being said, Felipe Rivero has been just as good. Early on, this trade looks like a slam dunk win for the Pirates.
- Francisco Liriano – The former Pirate lefty has been okay for the Blue Jays thus far. In four starts, Liriano holds a 3.97 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 10 walks. It is nice to see that Liriano has somewhat bounced back, but he still isn’t at the level of his 2013-15 self. Liriano has given up three home runs for the Jays and his total is at 22 for the season. He is set to make $13.6 million next season.
The 2016 Trade Deadline was a success for the Pirates in terms of acquiring major league talent. Nova has been much better than Liriano and Rivero has been just as excellent as Melancon. The Pirates did give up four of their top 30 prospects, though. Reese Mcguire, Harold Ramirez, Tito Polo, and Stephen Tarpley were all dealt. That being said, left-handed prospect Taylor Hearn was added.
The Pirates did a nice job of adding talent and saving money for the future. The “financial flexibility” gained has already paid dividends for the Pirates because they were able to extend David Freese two more years. It’s hard watching prospects being dealt to dump salary, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have a deep farm system, making the moves sensible.
Featured Image Credit – Daniel Decker Photography