Cover Photo: Getty Images
The Pittsburgh Pirates were one of baseball's surprise teams early in the season and were actually sitting in first place in the National League Central at one point. Ultimately, they revealed their true colors as the season rolled along and slowly slid down the standings.
Now sitting at 30-34 and seven games behind first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, Pittsburgh will likely have to come to terms with the fact that there's a distinct possibility they'll be sellers around the MLB Trade deadline.
With that in mind, here are the three Pirates players most likely to be moved by the MLB Trade Deadline.
3. Francisco Liriano, SP/RP
A move to the bullpen has seemingly done wonders for Francisco Liriano, who finds himself in the middle of one of the finest seasons of his career. The 35-year-old southpaw owns an excellent 2.35 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings pitched in relief (30 appearances). Liriano's late-inning dominance should put him on several teams' radars around the trade deadline and his ability to start in a pinch should give him added value.
2. Starling Marte, OF
Starling Marte is in the middle of a great 2019 campaign and should garner plenty of trade interest as long as he keeps playing well. The 30-year-old outfielder is slashing a respectable .281/.324/.448 with seven homers, 26 RBI and 11 stolen bases on 12 attempts. Marte is the definition of a five-tool player and his all-around skillset and Gold Glove-caliber defense in centerfield should make him an attractive trade piece to any contender looking to bolster their outfield.
1. Felipe Vazquez, RP
Felipe Vazquez has been one of the few brights spots in Pittsburgh's 28th-ranked bullpen (5.59 ERA) this season and is as dominant a closer as can be. The 2018 All-Star sports a 2.30 ERA and has successfully converted 15 of his 16 save opportunities on the year. High-leverage relief arms are always in high demand at the trade deadline and Vazquez will likely be near the top of every bullpen-needy contender's wishlist come August.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.