On Christmas Eve, the Nationals made a move with the Pittsburgh Pirates to acquire first baseman Josh Bell. While Bell is far from being the best first baseman in a division that has guys like Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, and even Dom Smith, he still has the room to develop.
Why are we here right now, though? Well, if the Pirates are tearing it down and deciding to rebuild the system, the Mets could very well benefit just as much as the Nationals just did.
An interesting name on this Pittsburgh Pirates roster and pitching rotation is right-hander Joe Musgrove. It feels like Mets fans have kept tabs on the righty, but that might’ve just been me while playing “MLB The Show 20”. In all seriousness however, Musgrove is a crafty pitcher with sneaky stuff.
What hurt Musgrove the most was being on a relatively bad team, in the Pittsburgh Pirates. While he pitched to a respectable 3.86 ERA in 8 eight games, it definitely did not translate into his record very well, as he finished off the 2020 campaign going 1-5. However, in 39.2 innings pitched, he’s struck out a whopping 55 batters.
While Musgrove doesn’t own a fastball that’ll leave a batter blown away, his K rate ranks among with the best in the league. And even when batters are making contact, they’re not hard hits as he’s in the 79th percentile in “Hard Hit” percentage.
While I have the Mets also acquiring Polanco in the swap, I have him as a fourth outfielder or possibly even a back-up plan for centerfield. He doesn’t have the best jump, however he still ranked in the 89 percentile in OAA during 2020. He’s pretty fast and he covers a lot of ground.
Pittsburgh in return would receive two minor league prospects as well as former top prospect shortstop Amed Rosario. The Pirates do have a couple of shortstops in Kevin Newman and Erik Gonzalez, however if they’re in rebuild mode, I can see Newman on his way out.
Centerfielder Isiah Greene would be the biggest get in this deal for the Pirates, however Mark Vientos has proven to be a steady third baseman since being drafted into the Mets organization.
Back to the Mets, Musgrove would fit in nicely in the back-end of the rotation. Rotochamp has the righty 11-7 (with the Pirates) in 2021 with a 3.66 ERA in 155 innings pitched. I think it’s important to point out that these projections are aligned with the probability of Musgrove still being with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I see it working out a ton better for him while pitching in the spacious confines of Citi Field.
Photo from Post-Gazette