The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded outfielder Keon Broxton and pitching prospect Trey Supak to the Milwaukee Brewers for infielder Jason Rogers. The 27-year-old Rogers hit .296/.367/.441 in 86 games as a rookie this season.

Broxton was added to the active roster in September and appeared in seven games for the Pirates, going 0-for-2 with three runs scored, being used mainly as a pinch-runner. The 25-year-old hit .273/.357/.438 in the minors, splitting his season between Altoona and Indianapolis. He stole 39 bases, while connecting on 27 doubles, 12 triples and ten homers. Broxton played strong defense, seeing time at all three outfield positions. He was likely going to battle for the fifth outfielder spot, though AAA seemed more likely to start the year.

Supak is the bigger prospect of the two, signing for $1M after he was taken in the second round of the 2014 draft. He was limited this year due to shoulder soreness and didn’t put up the best stats when he pitched for Bristol. His upside is big though, due to a fastball that touches 94 mph, along with secondary stuff that has average-to-plus upside, including an advanced change-up. At 19 years old, he is far from a sure thing at this point, but he has plenty of projection left with his 6’5″ frame.

Rogers didn’t get much playing time this season, seeing 61 of his 86 games off the bench. He has mostly played first base in the minors, though he has also seen time at third base and left field. Like Michael Morse, he is a right-handed hitter, but that won’t prevent the Pirates from platooning them at first base if that is the plan. Rogers has hit as many as 22 homers in a season during his minor league career and he doesn’t strikeout often. His career slash line is .290/.372/.466 in six seasons. He was a 32nd round draft pick of the Brewers in 2010.

Baseball America had Rogers as the Brewers 27th best prospect in a weak farm system last year. He was converting to third base and they felt he was very raw at the position. He didn’t play in often in 2015, so it seems like it’s more of an emergency spot for him rather than a possible position he could play often. They praised his pitch recognition and plate patience, knocking him for an average at best arm and not much speed. Rogers is a big target at first base, listed at 6’2″, 245 pounds(some sources say 6’1″, 255 pounds). The lack of arm and foot speed are fine at first base as long as he continues to hit well.

The Pirates look like they paid well to get Rogers, so I assume they expect him to fill a big role with the team. Broxton has the upside of a solid fourth outfielder who can steal bases and play strong defense, while adding a little power. He strikes out too much, so there are questions as to whether he could be a starter, but he can definitely help a team off the bench. Supak is far away, but he will still be 19 on Opening Day and he has a lot of upside. The trade has the potential to look bad down the line if the Brewers can develop Supak, but Rogers gives them a possible strong bat at first base now and that’s what they needed. He also has less than a year in at the majors, so the Pirates could possibly get six more seasons out of him.

Stephen Nesbitt adds this quote from GM Neal Huntington:

UPDATE 12:19 AM: Analysis from Tim Williams…

Well, the Pirates had to make a trade on Star Wars opening night, and pretty much immediately after my show started. So I was out of the loop on this for a bit, but catching up now. Before I get to my thoughts on the deal, here are the ZiPS projections for Rogers:

It’s difficult to give a complete analysis on this move, because there are so many questions to be asked. Rogers can play multiple positions, with one of them being first base. So is this the answer to first base? Or is this an option at any position?

If this is the answer to first base, then there are more questions. Rogers is a right-handed hitting first baseman, which makes Michael Morse superfluous. He did have really good numbers last year in his brief time in the majors, with a .296/.367/.441 line in 169 plate appearances. That was also in a small sample size, and the ZiPS projections have him dropping lower. Between Rogers, Morse, and Jake Goebbert, the Pirates have three options with some offensive upside at first base, but none of them represent a sure thing, and all three have question marks.

So is this the strategy at first base until Bell arrives? Throw a few guys out at the position with the hope that one of them reaches their offensive upside? Or will the Pirates actually continue to look for a better option, as Huntington mentioned?

If the plan is for Rogers to be a bench guy who can play third base at the start of the year, along with possibly stepping in at first base or the outfield, then it seems like a better fit. That’s mostly because it strengthens the bench, and assumes a better option will be acquired for first base, leading to a stronger overall team.

Overall, it’s hard to analyze how this deal specifically helps the overall team, because we don’t know what role Rogers will play, and we don’t know what other moves will follow.

Here are questions we can answer right now: Can Rogers help the Pirates and was this a good move?

To the first question, I think the answer is yes, although with the disclaimer that this is a high upside move that might not work out. You look at those numbers in his limited time in the majors, and you look at his minor league numbers (.989 OPS in a hitter friendly PCL) and you see disclaimers, but you also see the potential to get a guy who could be a legit MLB hitter.

As far as the return, the Pirates dealt away Broxton, who could have been a member of the bench this year, and Supak, who was a high upside pitching prospect in the lower levels. A way of looking at this is that they traded Supak to upgrade from Broxton (strong defensive outfielder with great base stealing skills, but questions about his hitting in the upper levels due to strikeout problems) to Rogers. And while Supak has some talent, he’s very raw and the Pirates have a lot of other guys in the system either just like him, or better than him.

We rated Supak 27th overall in the system, and Broxton 40th in the 2016 Prospect Guide. Here were the reports on each player.

Supak:

Supak was one of three prep pitchers that the Pirates took and signed to over-slot deals in the 2014 draft. He was taken in the second round, along with Mitch Keller, and signed for the same $1 M bonus. Despite the same round and the same bonus, there is a difference between the two pitchers.

Keller can hit 94 with ease on his fastball, and has some good off-speed stuff. Supak usually works 90-92 MPH, touching 94, and relies more on future projection with his big frame to add some value. He has a better changeup than Keller, with his larger hands allowing him to settle on a circle change grip that he’s been getting more comfortable with over the last few years.

Supak’s fastball can be inconsistent, although he had much better results pounding the strike zone in 2015. He didn’t have great results avoiding hard contact, and will need to avoid this problem in the future in order to develop as a prospect.

The 2015 season was a bit of a lost year for Supak. He missed some time in extended Spring Training with shoulder soreness, and then was limited to just 28.1 innings in Bristol due to other minor injuries. He did get a chance to work on his secondary stuff and his command when healthy, but the lack of playing time really limited that development.

Despite the lack of time, the Pirates should send him to Morgantown next year, with a chance for further development in extended Spring Training. If he continues improving his changeup, and sees better command from his fastball, then he could emerge as a top pitching prospect in the system, capable of being a mid-rotation starter or better, depending on how much he improves.

Broxton:

Broxton was acquired in a minor trade from Arizona in 2014, after seeing his prospect status drop with a few down years at the Double-A level. He did well in Altoona in 2014, but returned to the level the following season, after getting a look in the majors in Spring Training. Another strong start in Altoona got him a promotion to Indianapolis, where he put up decent numbers, and eventually received a promotion to the majors in September.

The Pirates have plenty of outfield options, and Broxton only adds to that, with a ton of speed, strong defense at all three positions, and some power. He was used as a pinch runner in September, and Clint Hurdle gave him high praise, calling him the best base stealer in the organization. The bat has some upside, although his high strikeout rate is cause for concern. He does pair that with power, which is rare from a speedy center fielder, but the power would be limited by the strikeouts.

The ability to play all three outfield spots with good defense, stolen base potential, and some power could make Broxton an option for the Pirates’ bench this year. Part of why they added him to the 40-man roster and to the majors was to prevent him from reaching minor league free agency. He will get an automatic invite to Spring Training, but this time around he will be a guy who has a real shot of making the team. If he doesn’t make the team out of Spring Training, he will almost certainly arrive in the majors at some point in 2016, getting a bigger role than he had in September 2015.

—–

Rogers pretty much replaces Broxton, with less value on defense and speed, and more potential with the bat. He also has an option, so it’s not a guarantee he starts in the majors, although based on the price paid for him, I could see it happening. Supak is the big return for the Brewers as a high upside arm, but he’s also high risk. He’s not a guy who is untouchable, and he wasn’t even in the top ten right-handed starting options in the system. That speaks more to the depth of the Pirates than his actual value.

Evaluating the deal straight up, without other factors, it’s one that makes sense for the Pirates. You hope that the offensive numbers last year are the real deal, which would make Rogers a huge pickup. But even if that’s not the case, he’s a guy who could still have some value off the bench as a utility player, and maybe factor into the first base mix. The Pirates got him by giving up another potential bench option with different skills, and a high upside pitcher who is excess in their system. They didn’t exactly steal Rogers, but they got a guy who could help them, and who could be around for six years.

As for those other factors, this move doesn’t provide security. It doesn’t answer anything at first base. It leaves questions about what the Pirates will continue to do at that position, or for the bench, the rest of the off-season. That’s not to say their plan won’t work if their plan is actually to throw a few guys at the position and see who sticks until Josh Bell arrives. It’s just that this plan provides no comfort at all.

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221 COMMENTS

  1. Tim,
    This analysis is inconsistent in my opinion. You predict Broxton to arrive in the major leagues in 2016, filling a bigger role than in 2015. You characterize Supak as potentially a top pitching prospect. Rogers’ defense is questionable and speed is poor. Sorry man, but I don’t follow the characterization that the deal “makes sense for the Pirates” followed in the next paragraph by the deal “doesn’t answer anything at first base.”

  2. I am sure this team has a plan for moving forward, but if this is it, I don’t like it. Our starting rotation is still a huge question mark past the first two starters, we don’t have a good glove for first base (Rogers is NOT a good glove), we bring back Rodriguez which was strange and an overpay for a mediocre utility player. We still don’t have a second LH reliever for the bullpen. Will this team ever use its prospects, or just allow them to wither on the vine or trade them away?

    • What are you talking about? The last time I checked, McCutchen, Walker, Alvarez, Watson, Marte, Cole, Harrison, Polanco were all prospects. Did those guys all just “wither on the vine?”

      • I’m not talking about guys who have been in Pittsburgh for 4-5 years, I’m talking about guys like Moroff, Bell, Hanson, Glasnow, Frazier, Gamache, Garcia, and Diaz. Diaz will be 25 before he gets a shot in Pittsburgh, if ever. Likely the same for Bell.

        • And that’s total nonsense, as evidenced by the litany of prospects who’ve all gotten chances under this regime and found some level of success.

  3. lets hope it is not a panic move. If Bell is the real deal, then why the worry. However, if he is then why make this deal. Lets hope they know more then we do.

  4. This is a scenario with Rogers I would buy into: trading Morse. I could see this happening. Very similar to the Niese and Morton situation.

    Rogers and Morse both are not ideal starting options but could be good bench players. I like Rogers as a bench player. Rogers can be a younger, cheaper version of Morse. Clears more space for other moves.

    Package Morse in a trade for a reliever? They need 2 now. Then go out and acquire a starting 1B. Whether that’s trading for Moreland or signing Dae Ho Lee. Goebbert can fill in with some at-bats in a similar role that Lambo was supposed to be, a lefty bench bat. Rogers fills in at 1B, 3B and outfield from the bench, alot of pinch hitting situations. Bell joins the group mid year, replaces Goebbert on the team.

    • I don’t see Morse netting much value or return in regards to MLB players or prospects – he has almost zero value, given his age, health, and recent production. I think we will have to cut him and eat the contract, or give him away to just get rid of the contract.

  5. Rogers was a mediocre fielder at best and was responsible for minus-one total defensive runs saved above average at first base in 2015, per FanGraphs. Sounds like he will fit in well with the black hole we call first base. If you look t NH’s record in first basemen Derek Lee was the best for the 6 weeks he played. That pretty atrocious.

  6. I seem to recall that this site had a much higher opinion of Supak prior to this trade. That always seems to happen with all teams and fans, we have a tendency to talk down our prospects once they’ve been traded away. He was a second round pick, who we paid $1m for to get him to sign – just 2 years ago?
    If Rogers is going to play mostly outfield and third base, then this was a really bad trade. Because Broxton is the far superior outfielder, is much faster, and is far more athletic than Rogers – who is anywhere from 6’0″ to 6’1″ and 245-255. He is not considered a very good glove at first base, so I don’t see how he could even be an option at third base or the outfield (especially the PNC Park outfield, which is huge). I thought we needed and wanted to improve our defense and athleticism in the infield? We failed to do that with this trade, and just introduced another mediocre player in the mess called first base.
    The Brewers fleeced us on this deal – they should be thrilled and I am sure they are.

    • Also, if Sean Rodriguez can’t pitch, catch, or play shortstop/centerfield and Rogers is the supposed better RH bench bat (sure as hell better be relative to Rodriguez) why in the world would they pay SeanRod $2.5m to be a marginal defensive backup at 2B?

      • Exactly, especially when you have Hanson, Frazier, Gamache, and Moroff – all capable of doing the same for a fraction of that. With the money that was spent last year on Burnett, Morton, Bastardo, Walker, etc, why couldn’t we net more than Niese in return – like a Kazmir or a real first baseman? With all of the above, didn’t we trim a lot of payroll already?

    • We had him 27th in the system, and a guy with a lot of upside who was also a big risk. He was given a 4.5 grade (between spot starter and 3-5 starter) and an extreme risk. He’s a lottery ticket, basically.

      The guy from that group that we’ve always been highest on is Keller. He was ahead of Supak and Hinsz each year. The difference was about 10 spots this year, plus Keller got a 5.0 grade. Supak actually dropped slightly behind Hinsz after I saw them in Bristol and evaluated their seasons.

      None of this is to say Supak is a bad prospect. He’s got some upside. But he was never untouchable, and he’s far from a guarantee.

      • Actually, I recall questioning his placement on last year’s prospect list at #15, when he hadn’t pitched well or much – and was told it was based on his high upside and potential. You can’t have it both ways, just because he’s now been traded.
        So, was he a bad draft pick and $1m signing or did we grossly overpay for an overweight, poor fielding first baseman? It has to be one or the other.
        I just can’t believe NH felt the need to throw in Supak. I would have offered Broxton straight up, and ,maybe come back with offering to throw in Cumpton or Sadler (both coming off injuries) – and if that wasn’t enough, I would have walked away. Rogers doesn’t help us defensively – he may just be marginally better than Pedro – and I would not want to see him at third base or in an OF position – especially in spacious PNC Park. Is he really going to be much better than what Bell would have done, to give up a second round pick that you gave $1m to?

        • Was he traded last year or this year?

          What does last year’s ranking have to do with anything? He obviously dropped in our rankings before this trade even happened. An entire year passed where a lot happened, including a shoulder injury, and continued command problems that led to him getting hit hard.

          He still has high upside and potential. There is just more risk involved a year later. That’s not having it both ways. It’s constantly updating evaluations with the latest information.

    • If Rogers is playing third, we should have kept Pedro – he at least hot HRs to lessen the impact of his poor glove. This guy doesn’t have that power.

  7. Tim … If hypothetically, Supak was a JuCo pitcher in the draft this year, who pitched limited innings due to shoulder soreness over the past two years and had poor results, but the same stuff – where do you think he gets drafted?

    • As far as I know, the shoulder soreness was just this year. I don’t know where he might have gone. Maybe the middle rounds with a bonus less than $1 M, similar to Jacob Taylor?

    • when he’s not drafting in the top 10 or so, I have not been very impressed with NH’s drafts. Either this was a bad draft pick and choice or this was a very bad trade and overpay for a mediocre first baseman – which was it?

      • And not that anyone will remember, but I was one of the few here strongly defending that 2014 draft. I did so specifically because they added three upside arms to a system completely devoid of such prospects after the Taillon/Glasnow/Kingham wave.

        Giving up on one of those plus very little development from Keller and Hinz already makes that draft look much, much different.

        • Other system is getting weaker, and its not due to our prospects being promoted to Pittsburgh…its through poor drafts, short-sighted trades, and injuries.

  8. This hopefully falls under minor transactions. If Rogers was a solution to the first base problem, I’m thinking Milwaukee would have used him there themselves. Between Broxton and Supak they didn’t give up much, so it’s probably a good gamble.

  9. I think this eliminates the possibility of a serious move for a 1B. Oddly, this is arguably more than Adam Lind was traded for (who would have been a much better fit for the Bucs). I can’t see them acquiring another 1B to split with Morse, Rodgers etc. even if he is a lefty. Not great. I wasn’t of the opinion to sign a long-term 1B due to my faith in Josh Bell, but I was sure they would find a short term guy with some good numbers like Moreland, Lind, Morneau etc. It’s hard to believe but even though the defense is better, if 1B is indeed largely set- I think we were better with Pedro.

    • I dont think theyre set, I think Morse might be the odd guy out. Rogers is a younger, cheaper version of Morse…atleast in theory. Could be his replacement. Morse could be traded.

  10. I’m am incredibly sick of all of this!!! Im so tired of all the bs positive bs about a guy we gave up for the same skill wise on our bench for. Oh wait we also gave up a projectable legitimate pitcher for too. I appreciate everyone’s optimistic attitude including tims. But if anyone was round for the sid bream slide, from someone that is so incredibly tied to statistics and loves looking at them and analyzing them equates this offseason to having the impact of that slide. Also someone that just thoroughly enjoys watching a ball game on a summer night and heart was beating to every pitch during those cubs and cards games so far my summer is ruined. For years I watched a bad team buying into the improvement and plan. That plan worked they improved. They promised when we get there we would sustain. I have watched bad baseball for almost 20 years clinging to any positive sanchez batting title, all star game, Schmidt all star start, combined extra inning no hitter. Anything. Now we were right there and threw it away. We r now excited over a nobody. What happened the last few weeks did sid bream cross home when we weren’t watching. Did Kendall cancer go back in clubhouse. Did hi tops reopen and Duke and domout get blasted and show up hammered everyday to work. (True Story my buddy was their neighbor in apartments next to pnc. Every home Sunday game got blasted at hi tops with them. Every girl that was ugly trying to talk to Oliver Perez he asked me to play interpreter so she would go away and act like he didn’t speak english) blast for a 21 year old. What happened to our playoff caliber team. I cried when I was at the cueto game and I’ll admit it best sporting moment of my life. I’m afraid that might be the highlight of my bucs in my lifetime. Tore down in weeks what it took to build in years.

    • “They promised when we get there we would sustain.”

      Chris – they lied. I feel the same way you do. No way this a playoff team as currently constructed. Total crap to fans.

      • I agree – as of right now, this is a third place team. NH is trying to keep up with the likes of the Cubs and Cards – by spending nickels and dimes and trading for mediocre players. Instead, we’re falling behind. We re-sign Rodriquez, which was a waste of $2.5m, traded two high upside prospects for this Rogers dude who physically looks like Pedro and is mediocre at first base. We don’t trust our prospects, and keep putting journeyman and aging vets in front of them. Like I said before, I am happy for Broxton.

    • Dude…step off the ledge. Great teams (especially financially restricted ones) make deals like this. Rogers has potential to be a solid player who’s affordable for 6 years. We won 98 games last year and the core is all returning. I 100% believe NH is far from done this off season. The rotation is not set. There’s a long way to go until April.

    • Very well said. I thought it felt like 91 (Smiley, Bonilla departure) when they started talking about moving Pedro, Walker and Shark. However I was contented into believing they would move that 28 million they were cutting to other, better players. Well that has clearly not happened, and the market is starting to empty. I was at the Cueto game as well, hugging strangers on the way out, and i think even if we went to the World Series that game will have more impact on me, however that is starting to seem more and more unlikely. I thought maybe the Morton nonsense give away was going to lead to possibly getting Cueto, ironically. However it becomes more and more clear every day that they will never invest in the club, not on the level to even get to the top 20 in salaries. Hell throw in 2 more prospects and we could have gotten Frazier instead of this pile of trash, but no we’ll trade for a 27 year old bum. But I forgot, Frazier makes real money.

    • Losing Walker and Pedro just tore down this whole team? Wow, I had no idea that they were future hall of fame guys. I think you are selling short the rest of the team. I’m 37 and watch the Sid Bream game as well as all 20 seasons of hell…I’ve never been as pumped up for an upcoming season as I am now and the offseason is far from over.

    • Wow, this seems a bit excessive. You do realize we are returning a very good core of a team that has made three consecutive trips to the postseason.

      I’m not saying this is a good or bad move, it doesn’t really get me excited, but this meltdown just isn’t warranted.

  11. This was a great trade. Great. Rogers should easily be 1 war and could push 2 war. He projects to be better than bell in 2016. Broxton is just a guy and while supak has potential he is long way away.

      • It’s a better team with Rogers than without him. 1 war in less than 400 at bats would be nothing to sneeze at. Watched this guy a lot, has sweet swing.

        • Take away his numbers against the Pirates, and he was sub .250….if he is so good, why did he not crack a bad team’s lineup until he was 27?

            • Rogers September: 52 PA .435/.500/.630 (210 wRC+)
              Rogers April-August: 117 PA .236/.308/.358 (81 wRC+)

              Since everyone knows September performances against callups are super predictive…

          • There’s ample reason not to be super fixated on his age. He was a 32nd round draft pick as a senior out of a lower-tier college and thus didn’t even enter the system until he was 22 years old. The Brewers probably had no real incentive to prioritize his advancement through the system and yet he forced them to do just that by continuing to hit at every level. There are a lotta different career arcs an MLB player can take, just seems silly to dismiss a guy out of hand because his happened to be a little more unorthodox. If he can play, he can play, and “he’s already 27!!” isn’t inherently a reason he can’t play.

  12. This just seems bizarre to me. Why give up 2 solid assets for a 27 y/o RH, slow, heavy 1B with very little upside? Seems to me that they already had a 27 y/o 1B, with probably more power who was also a LHB’er in Lambo that they could have kept around for free.

  13. I am not criticizing the trade, but losing Supak does bother me. I guess that there had to be a trade today since Tim Williams predicted it.

  14. This trade is just bizzare….
    NH has been a pretty shrewd evaluator of potential reclamation projects (pretty much all pitchers however), but I have not been impressed with his drafting (when he wasn’t benefitting from drafting in the top 5-10) or trades (although the Cervelli and Burnett trades were good ones) for the most part.
    This seems like a VERY high price to pay for a 27 year old who just made it to the majors last season, and one you could argue is not much more than a AAAA player going into 2016. I know we need a first baseman (Morse is not a realistic option, based on age, recent performance, and health issues), but is a guy like Rogers really that much better than what Josh Bell could do next season? That he is that much of an upgrade over Bell, that we needed to trade another recent second round pitching prospect and top 20 prospect – along with a very promising 25 year old outfielder with plus speed and defense? Who held the gun to NH’s head and forced him to be fleeced by a divisional rival?
    Broxton straight up for Rogers would have been more equitable, given the age, careers, and upside of both players. But to include Supak as well? Why do that for a guy like Rogers?
    I guess this further cements that Bell with sit in the minors another entire season. Kris Bryant would still be in AAA, if NH was the Cubs GM – since NH would have claimed he needed to cut down on the strikeouts!
    I am happy for Broxton – I will be surprised if he doesn’t make the Brewers 25 man roster this Spring, and end up being a significant contributor. Given how we play the Brewers, he will likely help beat us a game or two next season. Bad

    • the thinking is that he is an upgrade to Broxton as a bench option. Rogers was good last year in a limited role.

      • and that is worth Broxton and the #15 prospect in the system? For a guy who did not make the majors until he was 27?

        • I would criticize this move only if this was it. Seems like it isnt. It makes sense in the short/medium term. Supak is a long ways away from ever being a realistic option. Apparently he had shoulder problems this year as well. NH is rarely the guy who likes giving up prospects. He’s as stingy as it comes. So, I trust them on this one. They obviously feel okay letting these guys go for somebody they think can be a decent contributor.

          • Malorie u make great points but it doesn’t matter what they do after. This move trades ur potential bench guy plus a potential upside prospect for a guy not caring what anyone says WILL MAKE NO MORE IMPACT IF NOT LESS THEN BROXTON DID. WHAT THE F IS GOING ON.

            • Honestly, I dont know either haha NH is remarkably coy and puzzling when it comes to giving answers. Your guess is as good as mine as far as what he is doing.

              My biggest concern is the lack of home runs they lost by trading Walker and losing Alvarez. Outside of trading for Moreland at this point, which seems less likely now, Dae Ho Lee or Kelly Johnson might be the only guys available who can bring some home run power to the lineup. I’d like to see them bring in the former.

          • Keep drinking the Kool-Aid – I cannot imagine anyone defending this trade. Supak was either a bad draft pick and waste of $1m or this is a huge overpay for an overweight, poor glove first baseman who did not make the majors (with a bad team) until he was 26/27. Yeah, great trade – I feel much better about our infield defense now.

            • There’s a huge middle ground here. That being he was always a lottery ticket with a lot of upside and plenty of risk, and the Pirates decided to cash that in on a guy who is also a bit of a lottery ticket, with much less risk.

            • You also cant imagine a world where Glasnow isnt right now a ML ready arm capable of nearly #3 type production.

              This trade isnt a slam dunk WINNNN, but plenty of people defend it because its a fine move. We lost a high upside arm far away from ML work and without much work at all i 2 years for a ML bench guy capable of starting at 1B. Not great, not terrible.

              Heaven forbid we admit Broxton was a all glove, no bat guy with little trade value. We traded from depth to fill a depth need. how dare anyone see that as okay.

    • Honestly not sure based on Rogers first two months in the majors that I would accept Broxton even up if I was Milwaukee GM. Broxton did not show enough in the upper levels to “prove” he could ever be a starter. (Might he eventually become one? Maybe but not likely.)
      Rogers on the other hand looks to at least deserve a shot at platooning in the majors in 2016. To me, he looks better than Sanchez, Ishikawa, Davis and maybe even Morse.
      Supak had some shoulder issues and has hardly pitched (and certainly hasn’t pitched well) in 1.5 years.

      • “To me, he looks better than Sanchez, Ishikawa, Davis and maybe even Morse.”
        That is a pretty low threshold….I was hoping we would either aim higher, or due something strange – actually give one of our prospects (Bell) a legitimate shot at a position with the big club.

      • By the way, Broxton has posted two very good seasons back to back in AA and then AA/AAA….he still strikes out a lot, but hits for power, has speed, steals bases, hits for pretty good average, and is a plus defender at all three OF positions.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as you did with the criticism — it seems unlikely to have major impact either way — but I agree it does seem to me a strange trade and a bit of an overpay.

  15. So my first mocking thought was … “Another randy Milligan.” Well unbelievably Randy went on to have a 810 OPS over 2500 PA in 8 seasons. Probably should have kept him.

    Rogers might be the next Cervelli or the next Milligan … Or … Nevermind.

  16. so who’s for sure on the bench….Rogers, Srod. Those are the only two you can say for sure. Nobody has any idea what NH is going to do next. Morse could be traded. Stewart could be traded to bring up Diaz.

      • PNC Park does seem to be his favorite place to play.

        vs. PIT: ,529/.600/.765/1.365
        vs. RoL: .263/.325/.394/.719

        Whether or not Broxton and Supak were expendable, it certainly seems to me that if NH was dangling a package of both out there, the take should’ve been better than this.

  17. I like this deal for us. Broxton was only temporarily a 4th/5th OF. He will soon be passed up by Meadows, Ramirez, Barnes, and probably Garcia by the end of the year. Supak was nothing more than promise. After 1.5 years in the system, he really has no success to show for it. Maybe he will down the road but he seems like one of those pitchers we’ll have to protect on the 40-man while he’s still in high A ball.

    As for Rogers, he had real success last year in the majors against both lhp and rhp (albeit in less than 200 ABs). He also was over .800 OPS in all stops at A, A+, AA, and AAA. He could be expected to share time with Morse at 1B until Bell is ready. And then he and Bell could platoon in 2017 until Bell proves he can hit lhp.

  18. Wow, a Goebbert/Rogers platoon at 1B! Color Morse gone in the next salary dump. Salary flexibility, it’s the motto of the 2016 Bucs. Still waiting on a LH bat. Polanco alone on an island, will be useless after 7th inning as he will be lone target of every lefty bullpen arm in the league.

    • I remember them talking about the advantage for lefties at PNC when they were building it. The old regime then went out and had right handed heavy rotations. They may be off with all the righty bats, but sign Kazmir and they fix the rotation.

      • If you have a good dream tonight, Kazmir might happen. I hope it does. When you wake up, you will realize it was just a dream. Not happening. That would mean spending money. HA!

  19. So the Pirates moved their #15 prospect plus Broxton for the Brewers #27 prospect. I kind of liked Broxton as a 4-5 OF but never saw Rogers or Supak play. Seems like a lopsided deal to me.

  20. Just curious if this guy can field. It seems that NH is stumbling these last two weeks. Please note I said it seems!

  21. I’m disappointed Tim didn’t give his overall opinion on the trade. It does seem like a lot to give up. Also, if the Brewers have been in the market for a 1B why wasn’t this guy an option for them?

  22. Don’t understand the fascination some of you people have with Keon Broxton and a 19 year old pitcher. This move obviously makes us better for the sole reason that Rodgers has hit 80 HRs in 6 minor league seasons. Be hard-pressed to find that in our current minor league system with the flexibility to play both corners.

    • There’s a lot wrong with this statement.

      1. If Rogers is allowed to play 3rd, someone should be fired.
      2. Trading a 19 your old high draft pick for a 27 year old non prospect you could find something similar on the street is highly questionable.
      3. Rogers hit a lot of those HRs in the PCL which should be named after Jerry Sands.

    • Speed is something that can’t be taught, or at least that’s the old expression. That said, I believe the Pirates have a glut of outfield talent already (Ramirez, Meadows to name a few) and most likely Broxton was deemed expendable. As for Supak, you’d hate to give up on a guy you paid overslot to just to get him signed just a short time ago. Looking at Rogers’ numbers, he seems like a guy who can consistently hit for average with some pop in his bat. Nothing wrong with that. And he doesn’t strike out a ton. I could see a guy like Rogers having a year at some point in his career, similar to Josh Harrison’s 2014 season.

    • Rogers at third base will make Pedro look like a Gold Glover….6’1″ 255 playing third base? I don’t think so…if he plays more than inning or two at third base in 2016, I will be shocked.

  23. Obviously hits better left-handed, and will be platooned with Morse @ 1B. People need to remember that the 4-5 years this kid spent in the minors, there was a huge roadblock at 1B for him at the ML level. Fielder, Hart, then Lind who all played well during their tenures; so there was no long term plan for this guy at all.

  24. Tim’s thoughts on this deal right now are “Star Wars, Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, something something, Star Wars”. I’m sure he won’t be surprised to find out something big went down while he was away from the computer for something other than recharging.

  25. Kinda surprised it took both Broxton and Supak for him, but an interesting depth move.

    Wish we didnt have to unload Supak, but it is a kid with mostly upside/projection so i suppose thems the breaks. No worries about losing Broxton though, useful skill set but highly limited.

    • it’s how the market is right now. You are going to have to overpay for ML ready talent. It’s not a huge overpay but they dealt from positions of strength. minor league OF and SP

      • One thing id quip with is “ML” ready. This guy is ML ready but highly limited in his upside. Broxton+ a C prospect would have made me happier, since ML ready and ML good are vastly different.

        Rogers does have a semi interesting bat though. Makes sense to fit holes.

  26. The Brewers’ system is barren, and he is 27th. The Pirates’ system is loaded, and Supak is a projectable RHP rated 15th. Plus Broxton and a pick? I don’t get this one, and I am usually very deferential to this front office.

    • Versatility might have swayed PGH. 1B/OF type that can play 3B in limited time as well, with a good not great bat. Fills a few holes PGH might be looking at on OD while also being not crappy enough that he can stick around beyond the first 2 weeks as 1B/OF bench depth.

      Not a huge move, not a move i love, but made sense from a roster formation standpoint.

      • I read an article from BA saying that when the brewers tried him at 3rd it didn’t go well and he’s only any good there as in an emergency

    • yea all of the pirates projectable righhthanders out of high school have worked out so well, sore shoulder and 6 plus era in rookie ball is not a good sign. All rodgers has done is hit well at every level and solid k/walk ratios.

    • He was 27th before the season. Then he put up a solid rookie campaign. Obviously small sample size, but he’s more proven than either player we gave up.

    • A righty with decent power whom isn’t a K machine- I like it. Broxton has value, but not really to us, which affects our bargaining power. If we were going to have Rogers on the bench, we would have kept Broxton, since he adds more in defense and speed as a bench player than rogers does with his hitting

    • Yes, by their rankings and their upsides, this doesn’t make sense. But the Pirates are in a position to trade some future upside for immediate help.

  27. I don’t see them platooning for bell when he comes up. They will want him to learn to be the switch hitter they signed

    • Bell isnt going to be the sole 1B for atleast a year if not longer. Players take time to develop. What we saw Chicago do with their rookie players this year is rare.

        • Also those Cubs players that did so well have a lot more experience under their belt. Bryant and Schwarber..Both were college standouts and both were like top 6 overall picks I believe. Bell was drafted out of highschool

    • Bell sucks as a righty hitter, he won’t be playing against lefties this year- you can take that to the bank as long as there is a righty on the roster whom can hit better than bell as a righty considering bell’s defense is abhorrant

  28. The more I look at it I’m thinking he is simply taking broxtons spot on the 40. He is more versatile but not as speedy. A better hitter as well. Not a bad deal

  29. good as a bench option, nothing more than that. Otherwise doesnt make alot of sense. He’s right handed with little experience given his age 27. He was always pesky when he played the Pirates though. The trade on the surface is fine. But there best be more coming. Rogers looks like he would have power given his size, but he doesnt.

  30. WOW! automatic game changer is Jason Rodgers. LOL… I do like the move considering what we gave up. Not saying Broxton and Supak are garbage.Broxton has a great speed and plays a solid defense in the OF and Supak was another one of those big projectable right handed pitchers with a #4 or #5 upside. Rodgers is probably not a starter in this league but looks like a solid bench bat who can play multiple positions if need be. I wonder what this means for Michael Morse if anything. It really seems like they are freeing up cash to do something of some significance.. But they could be just saving up cash for next off season

    • Morse said Walker was the team leader and would be missed when he was interviewed at the the bucco love-in this past weekend. He will be moved out for a class A pitcher for not toeing the company line. Rodgers takes his spot and they will find a stiff who bats from the left side and can field at first.

      • They’d deal Morse potentially, but only if they could get a lefty 1b person- it won’t happen without another move first.

        • Why do people assume the Pirates would be able to just “deal Morse”, when at they same time the consensus seems to be that he can’t even man 1B temporarily without a platoon partner? He’d have to find a home in another platoon elsewhere, which I guess is possible but doesn’t seem likely.

          • Because he’s a righty with power- you can always deal him if you don’t care what you get back…..I don’t expect anything back of value if they were to trade him, but they wouldn’t care, it would just be removing salary. He’d be going to be a bench player with a team whom has no budget constaints

      • You can’t honestly believe that. Morse may well get dumped, but it wont be because he said something nice about Neil Walker.

      • What did you think any player was going to say bad about Walker ? That’s not the way it works in MLB clubhouses.

  31. He can play 3B too. He looked good last year in the majors. They could use him at 3B until Kang is back and then in the future he can platoon with Bell. This seems like a sharp pick up. Nice bench piece. Pirates still need to find a platoon lefty to play 1B or utility. Although Morse hits lefty and righty pitching about the same. Not sure about Rogers. He seems like a rounder bigger Harrison with more pop.

    • You make a good point- we are dumping outfielders recently like they have the plague. Non tendering Decker, not signing Gorkys, trading Keon, DFA’ing Lambo. Their AAA outfield depth is now literally completely gone.

      • Literally and completely gone? No, they are getting rid of the AAAA depth that EVERYONE complains about and filling those slots with actual prospects.

          • Between Garcia/Frazier/Richardson/Barnes/maaaaaybe JOsuna/hopefully Meadows later on/some other names I’m forgetting? I think they’ll be okay.

        • Broxton is an actual prospect- moreso than whom we just traded for regardless of the need at ML. We didn’t get anyone back for Decker whom was another actual prospect since we nontendered him and until last year Lambo was a prospect as well. So please explain to me what prospects in AAA are magically taking the spot of our starting outfield there whom can give the Pirates depth options if Marte or Cutch gets hurt- I’d love to hear it.

            • i’m not debating Keon’s swing and miss issues- Doesn’t change the fact that he was still a fairly strong 3 tool prospect. We have plenty of people with swing and miss issues that don’t have the spped and defense Keon had to offset it.

          • It’s not “magically.”
            You can only keep talent in A and AA for so long until it has to come to AAA or you move on from them. When lesser talent is holding back those spots, you move on from somebody.

            You’re delusional if you don’t believe a Decker or a Lambo aren’t a replaceable player at the AAA level for THIS organization. If you’re an organization with a weak farm system you don’t have the sandwiched players who aren’t better than what’s coming up to AAA, yet aren’t good enough for the MLB roster. If Decker was an asset others coveted they would have found a match, any match for him. Lambo was picked up after he went through the entire NL before Oakland pulled the trigger. He’s over 27 yrs old now and another organization has lost faith in him. That’s not a Pirates problem, that’s a Lambo problem. Would I have been ok with giving Lambo another opportunity? Sure…but then what if he fails again? He’s taken AB’s away from someone else we could try and bring in and now he’s even more of a black hole in terms of a roster spot. It was a game of “if’s” with him and the Pirates moved on.

            At some pt, every organization can only keep so many 4th and 5th OF’s who are no more than AAAA players. You have to see you are overvaluing our own prospects when you can’t see the talent we have coming up that is filling those gaps from the “prospects” we have moved on from.

            • Well i’m far from delusional- AAA players are there mostly for depth for the ML team, and if you haven’t been watching us for the last 5 years, you’d be surprised that we NEVER bring up rookies to help in the event of injuries and if we do, they don’t play. I don’t need four paragraphs, what i need- is for you to explain to me now- whom is our outfield depth until june? You don’t need 4 of them, but you can’t have zero either. Currently, we have zero.

              • We have multiple options now on the roster who can contribute in the OF. Goebbert, Morse can both look at giving a spell in RF. You also have Sean Rodriguez who can go LF and RF. Depending on how everything shakes out during the summer, you could still see JHay end up with 10 or more starts in the OF by June. I’m sure they’ll go end up grabbing a AAAA player or two once they finalize the roster. But yes, I’ve seen plenty of games during the last 5 yrs…

                • Travis- again, that wasn’t my question. Goebbert is not an outfielder, and Morse is absolutely no help whatsoever in the event Marte or Cutch were injured. I’d rather become a yankees fan than watch Rodriguez in the outfield. All of those options can only play right field, and only in a pinch. They had at least 3 relatively young players with speed whom could cover ground that could play left or center just fine at PNC, exactly what you want on your AAA team for outfield depth- now they have zero. My point was that we got rid of all of our surplus depth and now have none. I was pointing out a fact, nothing more, nothing less.

                • ….and you call me delusional- do you really think those are major league outfield depth options…? Even on a .500 team they would barely be 5th options. Not a single one of those players is an outfielder by trade, and none of them could even play left or center field minus a team plane accident where they were the only survivors.

                    • I’m really not trying to be a jerk here, but we just aren’t on the same page. I’m not sure GM’s are the ones making up the lineup each game. Just because the manager decided to put Benny Distefano at catcher one game in 1988 does not mean he’s a catcher…..nor does it mean that was given the stamp of approval by any GM or had anything to do with his decisions. I mean if you want to have a ML team with absolutely noone whom can back up Starling Marte (and I choose Marte cause he also backs up Cutch) at a level of major league defensive play, thats fine- but hinting that, that idea is by any means reasonable……is definitely delusional. While you might not like people like Decker or give any value to Gorkys Hernandez for example- you cannot argue that they are major league caliber defensive outfielders. You haven’t named anyone who is. You can’t just pick some bench player at random and put him at a position and say….okay position filled.

                    • I’m fairly certain in 2015 that the GM and manager are on quite the same page a bit more than even in the 90s. There’s absolutely no way I leave or put Gorkys or Decker in the 40 man and leave off prospects, real prospects, available for anyone in the draft to pick over. The Buccos left 2,and obviously were strategic about it, and people were screaming at leaving those off. Who do you really take off the 40 man to put those 2 on it? It’s December, they can and probably will find similar defensive capable people if your concern is merely defensive replacements.
                      Why or how do I believe Decker is completely replaceable? Because right now he’s still searching for a home…I’m not quite sure why Goebbert isn’t considered a LH option for an OF bench role for you? Over 85 appearances at all 3 OF spots last year qualifies as OF potential to me… Sean Rodriguez can’t play a backup role and give you a game in the OF? That’s news to me. JHay hasn’t done it either? Once again, I’m surprised you say he can’t give you a game in LF.
                      I’ll put a Sean Rodriguez on my roster who can contribute with IF and OF defensive contributions over a Gorkys who’s had multiple chances with multiple organizations to stick as either a starter or number 4 OF for several years now.

                      We’ll obviously continue to disagree, so it is what it is.

                    • as far as a spot on the 40 man roster- I 100% agree with you there. However, we left less valuable players on the 40 man roster while losing them. I would have kept Decker personally at least until I sign a better prospect who fills his role given our current MLB needs. Of course options remaining have an impact and for those folks with no options remaining, finding a similar value depth option with an option would be a better fit. That being said, you can’t go into the regular season with your backup outfielders not having the skill they need to play the positions, it’s not the right thing to do. Right now, as things stand, those 40 man roster spots will still need to go to a FULL time outfielder as a #4, and that player could very well be less valuable but cost more than Gorkys or Decker, (just using those two as an example)

        • I don’t think we’d want him in the majors this year….. nor Rojas- whom seem to be the only ones left in the cupboard

        • Whom has zero chance of being called up short of Cutch AND Marte going on the 60 day DL….. he is not depth for the first half of the season

    • I liked some of the things Broxton did this past September when called upon and I hate that the Pirates traded away a guy that I believe they paid over-slot for in Supak. That said, Rogers seems like he has been able to hit at every level so far, which is something I tend to look at, regardless of the small MLB sample size.

  32. Very small sample size of MLB success for Rodgers. I don’t hate the move, it’s just a little weird unless they plan on doing something else. I’ve found myself saying that a lot this off-season.

  33. On the surface this deal doesn’t make much sense to me. Unless there’s something I’m missing in how Rogers is as a player (which I very well could be) A bit of an overpay in my opinion.

  34. Salary dump of morse coming soon, which I would kind of be ok with. This guy seems to be slightly better then morse

      • Morse last year was a platoon player at best, more of a bench/pinch hitting option. Thats what he needs to be. Same with this guy. Maybe he replaces Morse in that role with a bit more you and position flexibility.

  35. Wow, that is a counter-intuitive trade… puzzling. Yet, I’m okay with the talent trade. He’s a good hitting 1B with good MLB stats in a small sample size. Kinda a young Mike Morse with good L/R splits from a righty hitter. Yet with Morse already here, why? Might Morse be gone soon also? I’m confused

    • Morse will get dumped. He pissed off the front office by saying Walker was the team leader and would be missed. You could see this coming as soon as his quotes made all the news media.

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