Pirates Looking at Two Phillies Outfielders

The Pirates have been linked to two Phillies outfielders in recent rumors. Last night, Jon Morosi linked them to Jeff Francoeur. Today, Rob Biertempfel had them linked to both Francoeur and Ben Revere.

In regards to Francoeur, I’d say that the Pirates would be better off carrying 24 guys on their roster, rather than trading anything for him. He’s got a -0.5 WAR so far this season, and has been below replacement value since 2012. He does have some power, with a .164 ISO this year, but doesn’t hit for average or get on base, and he has negative defensive value. In short, his power is not worth all of the downsides.

Revere is more intriguing. He has no power at all, but hits for average and gets on base. With Josh Harrison out, Revere could look like a good option at the top of the lineup in the short-term, and could provide a speed and defense option in the outfield when Harrison returns. That latter part could be valuable if Gregory Polanco continues struggling. Currently Revere has been a better option, with a 1.7 WAR this year.

Revere is under control beyond the 2015 season, with two more years of arbitration remaining. He’s making $4.1 M this year, so he’d be a bit expensive as a bench option. However, his performance the last few years has been the equivalent of a league average starter.

Estimating his final arbitration years at around $13 M combined, a 2.0 WAR per year at $6 M per win, and estimating one more win the rest of this season, Revere would be worth $15 M in trade value. That would be worth one top 51-100 hitter, or a top 26-50 pitching prospect. It’s more likely that Revere would command a package of lesser prospects, with a Grade B prospect and one or two Grade C prospects.

This wouldn’t be a bad option for the Pirates to take. It gives them a leadoff guy while Harrison is out. It gives them outfield depth if Polanco continues to struggle of if anyone goes down with an injury. And they might even be able to reclaim their trade value by dealing him in the off-season, since he has two years of control remaining beyond this season. As for Francoeur, I see no reason why he should be on the Pirates’ radar.

  • imo you can’t mess with the chemistry of this team too much. I do not want another player coming in and pushing a current starter t the bench. We already have that when Harrison comes back. Kang should be the everyday starter at 3rd base. Harrison needs to go back to being the super utility player. Get a left handed bench bat or two. Get a right handed Platoon partner for Alvarez. Nothing wrong with getting a SP. Morton and Locke are pitching good from the 4 and 5 spots,but not so good we can’t improve it plus we are an injury away from one of the main 3 from being in trouble. We also need some bullpen help

  • I’ve decided what I want at the deadline and who I want…both from the As…Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard. A piece for our pen, a piece for our bench…and let it ride.

  • Why?

    This seems to go beyond Dumpster Diving…

    Ike Davis last year
    Hart and S-Rod this year [yes S-Rod had some early value – but lately?]
    Jason Nix
    Brent Morell

    I don’t get it…

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      July 12, 2015 9:28 pm

      Its called lacking trust in their own prospects….we supposedly have this great farm system, but we promote very few to Pittsburgh and instead bring in retreads – one after another. Hanson could provide this team with an occasional spark and speedy leadoff guy – bring him up and send Hernandez or Ishikawa down. He could spell Walker at second base from time to time and get a taste of MLB…

  • Gee you already have Tabata why bring in another stiff?

  • I fail to see how either guy offers appreciably more value than Tabata.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 12, 2015 3:03 pm

    Neither of these guys excite. Franceour is almost waiver wire quality – he shouldn’t cost much more than a low C prospect or some cash – anything more than that is an overpay – when you combine his body of work with the fact that he would be a rental.

    Revere would be a good addition as a leadoff batter, but where is he going to play? RF? I’d rather leave Polanco there. Revere is pretty much just a singles hitter. – we have enough of those. Once Harrison returns, he really would not have much of a role, barring injury.

    I don’t see where either of these guys would feel a real need.

  • Another guy who might work: Rajai Davis. Can bat leadoff, speed, all OF positions. $2.5 mil. Tigers might trade for mid-prospect, pen help.

  • Walton Cook
    July 12, 2015 2:18 pm

    Much is said but don’t give up on Polanco. He could improve hitting if he drag bunted frequently with his speed. Bunting improves bat contact. Polanco is still a young, raw talent and very special with his speed. He must improve on his steals not over-sliding, Give Polanco time and he will contribute. As for Jay-Hay, we are pushing the Cards at the break, Jay-Hay will be back and no talent is worth trading for a quick fix mediocre player. We have so much talent in our minor league teams, the future is ours to relish.

  • Why is it that the pundits always link the crappy players to the pirates ?

  • I love the way the fans want to trade everyone to get a short term rental. Sure it has been years since the Pirates have won the world series but giving away the future might not be the answer, especially for Byrd, Francoeur and Revere. Only if the price is right would any deal for these guys be worth it.

    • mike_carlini66
      July 12, 2015 1:23 pm

      Not everyone wants to trade the future for winning now. I think you underestimate the readers on this thread.

  • Franceour is like an s-rod that is not versatile or good in the field. Double no to that. Revere is a decent leadoff option but he really isn’t great at getting on base. Just ok. I would like to see them pursue something else. Why is franceour even in the league? Because Phillies. That’s why!

  • Here’s the thing Tim-we need to quit looking at this from a pure value perspective and think more short term and compare to what we have right now. Obviously, anything you give for Franceur would be something you wouldn’t care about giving up, so talking about that is senseless. Now that we can agree he wouldn’t cost us anything important, lets think about the next 7 weeks without Harrison and consider what benefit he can bring us over that time, and what benefit over current options he provides on the bench.

    First, lets look at our current bench and include Hart just for the sake of argument.

    1. Hurdle refuses to let Gorkys even bat, so he has nil value
    2. Lombardozi has been as worthless as you can get with pinch hitting
    3. We don’t even need to discuss how awful Hart is
    4. We also don’t need to discuss how bad Polanco is against lefties, but….lets quantify it, what’s his WAR against lefties this year compared to Franceur’s splits against lefties?

    These are the considerations you make when deciding to pick up a player of low cost, does it add anything to your ballclub. In this case, I believe you are wrong and that Franceur would potentially be a benefit, with no risk if he doesn’t work out

    Now, lets look at Revere- he WOULD cost us something, potentially pieces that we would miss, and though he would provide more long term benefit, he also comes at a heftier $ tag in salary as well. You only get Revere if you are getting close to giving up on Polanco, otherwise paying that price makes no sense in my opinion. It does make the team stronger and a better contender for this year, so if they didn’t give up too much, i wouldn’t be against this trade….but it does complicate 2016 and beyond a little more. Polanco does get on base a lot even when he can’t hit, and he has been making much better contact lately, that shot into the gap that Bourjos tracked down was the hardest ball he’s hit in the air since his homer in San Diego.

    I think picking up Franceur is a no loss situation- do it. I don’t know that i’d pull the trigger on Revere as I think we would be better served to pick up a player with more position flexibility to more appropriately replace Harrison while he’s out.

    • I understand where you are coming from, with contenders needing to shift the focus slightly towards short term help at the expense of possibly losing the trade value game in a deal. But, in this case, I’m not sure how you think Francouer can help. “Below replacement value since 2012” is all I needed to hear. Of course if they can get him literally for nothing, then that’s fine. But his value is so low that I don’t see it even being worth a top 50 prospect.

      • I think of the pirates low walk totals recently and then add franceour to that while having to play s-rod more than you want to right now. It’s not a good plan.

    • I think Tabata would be an improvement. We have yet to see what Decker is capable of…and why do we never let Gorkys bat.

      As for Polanco, I can say that I am growing more optimistic about him. His plate awareness and patience has seemed to come back/improve and that is HUGE. If he can get on base, with his speed, he’ll be a game changer.

      • Tabata is a useful bench bat- nothing else. Provides no base running, no defense, no position flexibility. That isn’t an improvement over anyone except lombardozzi and Hart. I have no idea why we refuse to let Gorkys bat, he obviously proved he had gotten much better in AAA and spring training. I’m guess that baserunning blunder had put him on the toilet list for hurdle and he is trying to force Huntington’s hand to send him back down

      • I just want to see Polanco hitting fastball’s hard and at least not getting fooled on every off-speed pitch. He seems to be the kind of player who looks for a fastball and tries to adjust to everything else, but isn’t hitting the fastball and isn’t adjusting well to good major league offspeed pitches. What that tells me is that he needs to rework his approach and he hasn’t done that yet. with his height and his reach, he needs to look for those outside corner fastballs and rocket them into the notch, but he never swings at them and I can’t understand why. Being a lefty with lots of speed, he should be swinging at more of those outside pitches. He can beat out a 4 hopper to shortstop and he needs to start using that left center field gap

  • CaseyStengel
    July 12, 2015 12:22 pm

    Buccos’ fans…let’s be reasonable with your wants…the highpriced rentals aren’t for our team/organization, as it would decimate our farm…think Pens…more arms would be great, as the 2nd half of every season has shown to be where many players begin to breakdown, especially older arms (AJ)…also, bench guys are so damn valuable for late Sept runs…Cueto, Samarzjia and other rentals are off limits…Let’s ride with Revere to the postseason….what’s bad about a leadoff man getting on base and setting the table for Walk, Cutch, Marte, Kang…oh that sounds awesome!

    • Not sure Revere is that guy. I mean, honestly, Hanson is probably a better leadoff hitter for this team than Revere. Hanson just doesn’t have a place to play because of Walker.

  • mike_carlini66
    July 12, 2015 12:08 pm

    I now officially have no respect for Rob Biertempfel. He is the one that suggested it would “only” take a guy like Steven Brault to acquire Francour. Here is the post from MLB Trade Rumors: It wouldn’t take much for the Pirates to get Francoeur, Biertempfel tweets, and he suggests that a Double-A pitcher like Steven Brault could get the job done.

    If they give up anything for him it would be a sin. I have all the faith in the world that Neal Huntington knows better than this.

    • Just say no to JF!

    • A good number of beat reports, especially ones like Biertempfel don’t understand trade values.

      • Andrew….as we pointed out on the Asylum, we fans can come up with more reasonable trade scenarios than these writers.

        I’m not sure I’d want Francoeur for FREE!

        • mike_carlini66
          July 12, 2015 12:22 pm

          I was going to add to my post but held back. But here goes, I have never read any of his posts, I stay away from the Trib and the Post Gazette. But this guy is clearly talking out of his ass and has absolutely no clue.
          He should be embarrassed for a post like this.

          • mike_carlini66
            July 12, 2015 12:24 pm

            I haven’t seen Francour play in a couple years, what I do remember is he had a monster arm from RF. IF, and I mean IF, he still has it, I would not mind seeing him for late inning replacement. Does that mean give up a guy like Brault to get him? NO. But cash considerations or something along those lines, MAYBE.

          • If you stay away from the Trib you are missing some good Pirates reporting. Biertempfel isn’t very good, and he’ll give some analysis that will make you shake your head, but Sawchik is probably one of the better beat guys in the game.

  • Polanco and Revere have near identical rest of season projections, and if Josh Harrison isn’t a lead off hitter, neither is Revere.

  • WOW! Biertempfel also says the Pirates could give up Brault for Francoeur…why the hell would we want to do that?!

    • How much crack did they say Huntington smoked to come to that conclusion i wonder…

    • Huntington would undo all of the good work that he’s ever done for the Pirates’ organization if be traded one of his recently acquired, young, talented left-handed pitching prospects for two months of a guy who hasn’t looked like a major league player since the days when Bobby Cox was managing the Braves.

  • This rumor makes you wonder if Phillips brass put that out there so somebody, ANYBODY would give up even a C prospect for Francoeur by drumming up a false market.

  • Francoeur would be a terrible addition, no better value at all than Tabata and we would still have to trade something to get him. Revere would be interesting especially since you could trade him in the offseason if you wanted to recoup some value. I don’t know whether the 1 win, as much as that would help us toward a division title, is worth, essentially, Hanson. Polanco might break out still like Marte last season’s second half….

    • CaseyStengel
      July 12, 2015 12:24 pm

      Speaking of Tabata…wonder why he’s down and the likes of Lombardozzi, Gorkys are up? Tabata is a much valuable and productive player than them…or is it Tabata’s negative effect on younger teammates?! hmmmm

      • Tabata also has a “time in league” clock ticking where, after some more time on the 25-man roster, he can refuse the demotion, keep the money, and become free agent. So I think they are being careful with his time

    • see my post above in regards to Francoeur. Just think about it a little, I’m not saying i’m right, but cash considerations are realy al youd lose for Francoeur

      • Oh, I certainly would not GIVE anything more than cash considerations…but Biertempfel said BRAULT. Which is a complete joke…and Francoeur isn’t very good at baseball at this point.

  • Neither of these guys fit what the Pirates need. Bring back Marlon Byrd!! Then start aiming for Cueto or Kazmir.

    • I would not spend the assets on Cueto when i could, conceivably, give up a little more and get Hamels (a lefty) who is under control longer.

      • Hamels contract is crippling for a low revenue team. Cueto would only cost prospects. Perhaps the asking price too high. But thats who makes sense. Or kazmir. Or maybe samardzjia.

        • I think the payroll is what the Pirates could spare more than the prospects. Although, in the case of Hamels it would be both prospects and payroll. He’s also a dominant lefty and under control and, therefore, more worth the prospects.

    • I’d give them WIllie Garcia for Byrd.

      • …and what exactly would you do with Byrd and how would you refit the lineup card?

        • Play him over Polanco versus all lefties and some righties. Pinch hit him a ton. And DH him when possible.

          • That sounds about right. Split the starts up. Give one of the outfielders a day off per week (that’s 3 starts) and give him all at bats against lefties.

          • So you have Bryd hitting leadoff?

    • ….and whom exactly is going to bat leadoff while you put polanco on the bench to start byrd…… Marte? You talk about guys fitting into what the Pirates need, then bring up 3 players we don’t need…..pretty funny actually. We have no needs at starting pitcher and have no need for a starting outfielder. We NEED a utility player with speed, or a player who can platoon at first and be the 4th OF. Or play 3B and Outfield……

      • Y2: Good points and I think the Pirates could be leaking info to the media to generate some calls from teams interested in making a deal.

        IMO, Pedro Alvarez will continue to be the person that clogs the lineup, which has not been bad lately because he is getting some excellent clutch hits. But, until he is traded, there are no position moves that can be made unless they trade Neil Walker, and he has started to hit very well over the past few weeks. Gang has been worth much more than expected and he seems to be a sparkplug for this offense and in the middle of rallies lately.

        • Kang has been awesome this year. BIG timely hits (by the way, I think he is 2-2 off Rosenthal with a 3B and a HR, is that right?!) and really good defense at 3B for the most part. For the most part he has given us really professional at bats, especially late in games. He’s got a -3.0 UZR but a +1 DRS…JayHay was flat in both categories at 3B this year. I cannot believe how much value we’ve gotten out of Kang already, honestly, and I think he’ll get better as he gets more time and better acclimated to North American baseball.

      • I would be happy with a starting pitching addition. I think it would be something that could actually give us a huge boost. A starting 4 that all pitch like aces would be incredible, honestly. That is more of a luxury move though, I understand that. We definitely need a utility player…I really wouldn’t mind us bringing in Ben Zobrist.

        • It has more value to bring up a big weakness less of a weakness (and it’s cheaper) than to make a strength stronger.

          • Our biggest weakness is 1B and I don’t see a trade target available there.

            • our biggest weakness right now is lack of bench depth and position flexibility, not 1st base