Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates trade deadline tracker – your home for up-to-the-minute rumors, gossip, and trade news from today’s MLB trade deadline

The Pittsburgh Pirates may or may not make a trade today before Major League Baseball’s 4PM trade deadline.

Regardless, Pirates Breakdown is going to track all of the action. We’ll keep tabs on the Pirates of course, but also on their NL central rivals. For each consummated deal, we will give you the particulars, along with some snapshot analysis.

4:20 PM- Pirates acquire Joaquin Benoit from Phillies

The Bucs added a reliever late by acquiring the veteran Benoit from Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh added the 38-year old  Benoit for  for RHP Seth McGarry. He is 23 and was 8th-round pick of Pirates in 2015.

Benoit currently has a 4.07 ERA in 42 innings pitched throughout 44 appearances on the season.

3:35 PM- Dodgers also looking into Watson

The Dodgers seem committed into landing Zach Britton, but Ken Rosenthal reports the Dodgers may view Watson as a backup plan.


3:20 PM – Nationals looking into Watson

Sources have told Pirates Breakdown that the Washington Nationals are looking into Tony Watson

3:15 PM – Two controllable relievers the Pittsburgh Pirates might want to look into

If the Pirates are looking at controllable relievers, there are two options that immediately spring to mind if they want to swing for the fences.

The Toronto Blue Jays are tip toeing into a full on sale. Would they entertain offers to trade Roberto Osuna?

Osuna has been nothing short of spectacular across his first 185 games in the majors, pitching to a 2.72 FIP while striking out 10.4 hitters per nine. Adding Osuna will not be cheap, but would give the Pirates an immediately deadly 1-2 punch with Felipe Rivero in the late innings. Osuna would enter his first arbitration year next year, so the prospect cost would be exorbitant.

Perhaps Tony Cingrani of the Reds would be an easier get. Cingrani was a promising starter for Cincinnati but in recent years he has struggled in their bullpen. He would represent one of Ray Searage‘s greatest challenges in recent years, but could be worth the gamble given his contract. He is sporting a 9.26 K/9 this season, so perhaps he is just a few tinkers away from being a strong bullpen arm.

3:00 PM – Finally, a domino falls

After hours of tipping in the direction, a major domino appears to have fallen as Sonny Gray will head to the Yankees

Before hearing from Bill Brink (see previous update), it had been thought that the Pittsburgh Pirates might be in the market for a lower-end starting pitcher. It is hard to tell if this move will have any bearing on that market, if the club is even still in it. Gray was head and shoulders above any other starter target available, so the ripple effect may not reach down to the level the Pirates are dealing in.

2:55 PM – Business picking up?

Bill Brink of the Post Gazette is reporting that the Pittsburgh Pirates trade deadline plans may be picking up


2:35 PM- All quiet on Pirates front

With under 90 minutes remaining until the 4pm deadline comes and goes, things remain very quiet with the Bucs as the Pirates are pretty much not linked to anyone at the moment.

That doesn’t mean Neal Huntington isn’t busy trying to put a deal together as most of his trades as of late have come at the very last minute.

I would be shocked if Huntington does anything major, whether it be buying or selling, but he has about 80 minutes remaining to get something done, no matter how big or small.

1:55 PM – TRADE: Brewers get Jeffress from Rangers

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Milwaukee Brewers have re-acquired Jeremy Jeffress from the Texas Rangers

TRADE: we still as of yet do not have the pieces going back to Texas, but the Brewers clearly still had feelings for their former reliever, whom they dealt to Texas last season. Jeffress performed well for the Rangers in 2016, pitching to a 3.67 FIP in 12 appearances. The wheels have fallen off for the 29-year old in 2017, with a 5.83 FIP across 40.1 innings. Never a high strikeout guy, Jeffreess is actually punching out 6.8 hitters per nine, but has seen his home runs per nine and hits per nine rates climb dramatically, at 1.8 and 10.8, respectively.

ANALYSIS: This reeks of desperation. With clear better options out there, the Brewers chose to gravitate towards the familiar. Perhaps that familiarity can be a boost to Jeffress, but even so this trade is underwhelming at best.

1:30 PM Lance Lynn on the move?

Our first National League Central rumor of the day involves the St. Louis Cardinals, who still sit in front of the Bucs in the standings.

According to Jon Paul Morosi on MLB Network, the Astros are interested in Cardinals’ starter Lance Lynn.

ESPN’s Buster Olney also speculates that the Cleveland Indians may be the best landing spot for Lynn.


1:15 PM- Astros talking to Jays about Francisco Liriano

The former Pirate Liriano could be on the move for a second consecutive trade deadline.

Ken Rosenthal reports the Astros could be looking to land Liriano and use him in the bullpen.

Liriano has been terrible this season, posting a 5.88 ERA over 18 starts. It’s somewhat comical how quickly Liriano has fallen.

Imagine where the Bucs would be this season had they not moved him at last year’s deadline.

12:30 PM – Market for relievers starting to heat up

Buster Olney reports that the Angels will be shopping a few of their relief pitchers while Jon Morosi indicates that the Nationals and Rockies are both looking to add to their bullpens before today’s 4pm deadline. With pitchers such as Juan Nicasio and Tony Watson, the Pirates could have some intriguing pieces to move if they decide to trade anyone today. Even if the Pirates do move a reliever or two, this should not be seen as management giving up on 2017. Rather, it will be more of an indication of Neal Huntington taking advantage of a quickly developing market.

11:35 AM – Slow moving market for Yu Darvish; Mets starting to sell

As of now, the market on Yu Darvish may be coming to an impasse. The Indians were earlier rumored to be in the running, but they have since dropped out according to Yahoo’s Tim Brown. The market for Darvish’s services seems to be limited to the Los Angeles Dodgers at this point, with the Houston Astros still on the fringes of being in the mix.

The New York Mets have dealt closer Addison Reed to the Boston Red Sox, and there may be more moves coming from the Metropolitans:

We recently highlighted Jay Bruce as a potential Pittsburgh Pirates trade target (see below), but their need for a fourth outfielder — and Gregory Polanco stopgap — could lead them to Granderson.

The three-time All-Star is no longer the player he once was, but still has some pop left in his bat with 20 doubles to go along with 13 home runs in 345 plate appearances this season. Unfortunately for Grandson, age has sapped his speed and seemingly his patience as he carries at 25.5 percent strikeout rate on the year.

Set to pay Granderson $15 million over 2017, the Mets would have to pick up a huge chunk of the tab for the Pirates to even consider a potential deal.

9:50 AM – Athletics/Yankees get closer on Sonny Gray deal

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Yankees and Athletics might be closing in on a deal for one of the big fish on the SP market in Sonny Gray.

Although the Pittsburgh Pirates were likely never serious contenders for Gray, a potential deal for the Oakland hurler could affect the market for secondary targets such as Ervin Santana or Lance Lynn.

9:00 AM – Previous Pittsburgh Pirates trade deadline content

Things are quiet right now, so we’ll set the table by recapping some of our previous trade deadline content:

8:25 am- Cubs bolster bullpen; add catcher

First, a quick recap of a couple of deals that went down later last night.

TRADE: The team the Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to catch in the National League Central, the Chicago Cubs got even better by acquiring ex-Pirate Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers in exchange for infielder Jeimer Candelario and shortstop Isaac Paredes, along with cash or a player to be named later.

ANALYSIS: This move is a great one for the Cubs as Wilson is having a solid season and strengthens the back of the Cubs pen while Avila adds an experienced backup catcher to the mix.

8:20 am- Rockies acquire Jonathan Lucroy

TRADE: The Rockies look to maintain their grip on one of the National League Wild Card spots by acquiring Lucroy to strengthen the catcher position, which needed an upgrade. Colorado sends a player to be named later to Texas in the deal.

ANALYSIS: Lucroy has struggled this season, hitting just .242/.297/.338 with four home runs. He has also struggled defensively as he rates as the worst pitch framer in the game this season. However, a return to the National League and Coors Field should be a big boost in helping Lucroy bounce back.


Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)