Pittsburgh Pirates: 2020 MLB Trade Deadline Recap

The 2020 MLB trade deadline passed yesterday at 4:00 PM and the Pirates made some very small moves. The Bucs didn’t have much room to work with consider how bad the team has been this season. There were rumors of Trevor Williams or Chad Kuhl being shipped to Toronto, but all talks fell through there. Joe Musgrove’s name was tossed around as well, but Ben Cherington stayed pretty quiet during his first deadline as Pirates GM.

The Pirates did make some moves prior to the deadline, though they weren’t necessarily all trades:

First, the Pirates claimed pitcher Carson Fulmer off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. Fulmer is a former first-round draft pick by the White Sox in the 2015 MLB Draft. Fulmer has only appeared in seven games this season. In seven games, Fulmer’s line is the following: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 K; not a great start to this year’s campaign. The Pirates do need pitchers due to the injuries to Kela, Musgrove, Keller, Burdi, Holmes, Crick and Feliz. This is a very low-risk, high-reward type move for the Pirates and I am here for it. Fulmer is a free agent at the end of the year and who knows, if he proves to be an average arm, the Pirates may resign him.

The Pirates traded for pitcher Austin Davis from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a player to be named and cash considerations. Davis spent most of 2019 in AAA putting up pretty decent numbers: 2.75 ERA in 52.1 IP, 64 SOs while allowing hitters only a .224 batting average. The 27-year old is on the IL currently so Pirates fans will have to wait for Davis to don the black and gold.

The Pittsburgh Pirates also claimed outfielder Anthony Alford off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Alford did start the season on Toronto’s Opening Day roster, but after going 3-for-16 in 13 games, Alford was designated for assignment. Alford has been a two-way player over the last four seasons for the Jays, appearing in 46 games over four years. He was originally selected in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Also a low-risk move for Pittsburgh considering Cole Tucker is learning to play the outfield on the fly, Alford may provide some much-needed advice to Tucker.

The only trade of the season for the Buccos that involved sending away a player saw them ship off veteran outfielder Jarrod Dyson to the White Sox for additional cap space in its International Signing Bonus Pool. Dyson was not meant to be a permanent fixture of the outfield and I am kind of surprised he made it until deadline day. No thoughts on this one until the Pirates actually sign someone with the International money gained from this deal. Editor’s note (Kyle): Adding international slot money is a good thing. It’s not Nutting lining his pockets.

The most notable move around this deadline happened interally for Pittsburgh as Ke’Bryan Hayes was FINALLY called up. Hayes was the 32nd-overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft and ranked as the second-best prospect in the Pirates system (behind Nick Gonzales, who is this year’s first rounder). His glove is the strongest part of his game as he as won three-straight MiLB Gold Gloves, but his bat is developing as well. I am so ready to see this kid take over the hot corner for the Pirates.

We’ll see how this deadline pays off or doesn’t pay off for the Pirates, who continue to “build” under Ben Cherington’s regime. The GM said he didn’t want to make moves just to make them, and, quite clearly, did not.

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