Two Guys Talkin’ Trades – David Bednar

6-23-22 – By Justin Verno & Joe Boyd – @JV_PITT & Joe_Boyd11 on Twitter

Justin Verno – With Bryan Reynolds’ trade value done and done, Joe and I turn our heads to the next guy. And guess what? The next guy doesn’t get any easier to talk about.

Joe Boyd – Justin, I’m writing this after watching Oneil Cruz’s 2022 debut, and… I don’t want to trade anybody! I’m ready to switch to trades where the Buccos are buyers! Too soon? Okay, fine. Yea, you’re right, the next one on our list is David Bednar, local hero and professional buzzsaw.

We have, on occasion, utilized our own estimates in lieu of ZiPS projections. Currently, ZiPS has Bednar at 0.9 WAR for both their 2023 and 2024 projections.  This would put his Surplus Value in the range of $21.81M, and Justin and I agree that the Pirates should not move Bednar for that value.  So if we were to align those 2023 and 2024 projections to fall more in line with his performance over the last two years, it would look more like this:

JV: I think we’re close enough to look at a trade that adds to this team. It’s not too early there, Joe. We’ve discussed Ben Chrington having a plan and a calendar for that plan. I think fans can see that plan now. The calendar is in focus. And while Cruz might be the reason for the excitement, he’s not the only kid we’ve seen this year that has allowed us to see the plan. We’ve seen Jack Suwinski, Diego Castillo, Liover Peguero, Cal Mitchell, Travis Swaggerty, Roansy Contreras, Yerry De Los Santos. We’ve seen possible role players such as Cam Vieaux and Hoy Park. Hayes, Chavis and Brubaker will be vets. So if the Bucs are to even consider moving Reynolds or Bednar, it has to fit this calendar. It has to have something in the package for the now and getting big time pieces for the now is not at all easy. 

Bednar looks the part of a dominant closer. His WHIP over the last 2 years is under 1.00. He strikes out 32-36% of the hitters he faces and only walks 6-8% of the hitters he faces. As Joe has shown, he’s good. 

When we took a look at a possible deal for Reynolds (see the link above) I gave some parameters as to what a deal would need to look like and have in it. These same rules apply to Bednar; it simply can not be a package full of A and CPX kids, Joe. 

Cherington needs- 

-An overpay.

-Surgical trade, meaning he needs to make a trade fit this contention window.

And he needs this for the same reasons mentioned in the Reynolds piece. There’s simply no reason to move Bednar unless it’s an offer he HAS to take. And for these same reasons we don’t think Bednar is going anywhere. But as Joe likes to say, that’s not why Gary and Craig have us on here. 

JB- I thought about a deal that would send him back to San Diego, but thought better of it. My deal, however, does send him back to the West Coast. 

The Giants package:

OF Heliot Ramos- ETA: 2022- (50 FV / $28M) – The Giants have a great farm from which to look for trades.  If you were the SFG GM and told me all 50FVs and up were off limits, I could still put together a package of players I really like in the 40-45+ FV range.  Imagine a deal that included Will Bednar, that’d be amazing! Anyway, in this deal we get a player that’s probably been on prospect hunters’ radar for quite some time.  

Ramos has been a top prospect in the system despite being moved up aggressively since he was drafted in 2017.  He has lost a bit of shine, but he still possesses 55 power from the right side of the dish.  Normally, teams covet lefty hitters, but the Pirates are in a prime position to tap a flooded market.  Longenhagen notes that it’s easy to call him a 5-Tool prospect, but that none of those tools jump out.  And that “Ramos feels like a slam dunk big leaguer down the road, but the path to stardom will require some unexpected leaps.”  If acquired, it’ll be up to the player dev team to re-establish Ramos as the star he was drafted to be. 

RP Seth Corry-ETA:2022 OR Matt Mikulski-ETA: 2025(40+ FV / $3M) – JV is really messing with my head with the surgical trade talk.  In a perfect world, I’d opt for Mikulski, he’s a big lefty that tops out at 100 mph and has a wicked change up.  He’s further away as he has quite a bit of development to do.  So if you’re looking for a slightly more polished product that’s closer to the majors then go for the other 40+ lefty in San Francisco.  

OF Jairo Pomares-ETA; 2023(45 FV / $8M) – That’s right, I’m bringing him back once again! I love this dude and think he’d be a great addition to the Pirates, if you’re good at math, you’ll notice I have already exceeded the threshold for Bednar’s value before Pomares.  This is one of those tactics where the deal is almost settled and the guy throws one more fee on the top and you just accept to get off the phone.  Pomares is my Bednar Fee.  He’s also got helium, he was a 40+ in previous installments, so jump on the bandwagon, it’s getting full!

JV – I love that offer and Cherington would be hard pressed to say no there, Joe. Add in the West is so competitive with the Padre’s, Dodgers and Giants all in the thick of it this will be a team to watch in any closer market, not just Bednar. 

And while the Giants system is deep enough that I could use them for this specific scenario and have an equally attractive package I have my eye on another team, The LA Dodgers.

As I mentioned earlier, the competition in the west is unbelievable at the moment. Will the defending champs be aggressive here? Craig Kimbrel isn’t who he used to be, I say they could be! 

The Dodgers package-

CF Andy Pages- ETA:2023-(50/FV $28M)

Despite the 2023 ETA I think it could be sooner as he skipped A ball and then proceeded to beat the living daylights out of A+ starters, mashing 31 HR in 2021. Per Fangraphs he has a high launch angle, 25% to be exact, so he needs to be able to keep it there or perhaps a little lower. But the interesting part is the K rate. You’d think a 25% launch angle and a hard swing would produce a lot of swings and misses and while Andy has his share he isn’t up there cutting down trees. His K rate is generally in the 21-25% range, that’ll play. And he doesn’t expand, walking at an 11-14% range between A+ and AA ball. 

Andy had a slow start to the 22 season but currently has his slash line at .250/.362/.473 good for an OPS of .835 and an ISO of .223 his bat plays.  He doesn’t fly grading out at a respectable FV of 50 in the speed department, hey don’t like him CF? Move him to a corner spot, the bat will play there. 

SP Maddux Bruns-ETA: 2026-(45+/FV 6M)

The Dodgers first round pick in 21 stands at 6’2” 210 LBs. The thing I think the Bucs will like here is his power CB(FV 70). Adding Bruns would give them one more for the bevy of power curve arms  they have but here’s the thing, all can hit the mid to high 90’s. Burns sits 93-97 and tops out at 98 and at 19 there’s always a chance to add to that. 

Bruns moved his over the head delivery to ¾ delivery, but per Fangraphs this has not affected his stuff and should help save that arm. All 3 of his offerings could be plus offerings. His FB and slider  grade out at an FV of 60. 

Here’s what Langenhagen had to say on Bruns’ stuff that made the biggest impression on me:

 “Bruns’ curveball already has much more power than in high school, when it was often in the low-70s, and some of the curves he threw during his first minor league spring outing (which you can see through the video link) were so good that they fooled the umpire. He has three plus or better pitches and just needs to show an improved ability to throw strikes while building an innings count befitting a starter. He’ll be a top 100 guy within the next year if he does.”

SP Landon Knack-ETA:2023- (45/FV $4)

Landon is a little older than I like for AA and I considered  19 year old Edgardo Henriguez(and maybe I’d prefer that) but Landon is closer and as stated they need to consider the calendar. Looking at the tool chest it’s easy to see why he has a solid grade.  The FV grades on his 4 offerings- FB/60 CB/55 CUT/55 CU/50 

So what holds him back you ask? His command scores out at a 50 FV. Age and injuries have weighed him down as well. To round it off he didn’t really blossom until his 5th year at Tennessee. 

Still though, the FB tops out at 99 and with a 4 pitch mix he’s an interesting prospect who should move quickly now that he’s healthy. 

JB – In my proposal, like JV’s, the other team had to overpay.  There’s no rush to move on from Bednar, and he’s been an absolute rockstar.  So if a team wants him, they’ll have to move the needle.  

JV, perhaps we’ve gotten the movable but extremely unlikely players out of the way now, and we can move towards the realistic trade pieces as the calendar turns to July? 

JV- In all the deals we’ve put together Joe and I haven’t really considered roster construction, instead we’ve stayed on highlighting the overall value. This is the first deal I heavily considered this Joe.  Not only is my package an overpay, it was specific in the main piece. Andy Pages should be ready this year or early 23 and can slide right into CF. If, and it’s a big if, Cherington is to consider moving these guys nabbing Reynolds immediate replacement with a possible power hitting CF with control of the zone is pretty darn attractive. And Cherington has to take this approach if he’s to move these guys. We are no longer in the “stock the MiLB” portion of the rebuild, we’re in the “finishing touches” portion of the rebuild. Soon to be in the “add” portion!

Moving Reynolds or Bednar can’t slow that. That said, if it isn’t nailed down? Well, yeah, move those guys.  So yes, Joe let’s get to the more realistic trade pieces. Next week, Ben Gamel.

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