The Pirates Trade Zach Thompson to the Toronto Blue Jays for Outfielder Chavez Young

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have acquired 25-year-old outfielder Chavez Young from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson. After the Pirates signed left-handed pitcher Rich Hill last Thursday, Thompson was designated for assignment.

Young spent 2022 with Buffalo of the Triple-A International League, where he hit .234/.331/.351 over 65 games, with 13 extra-base hits and 20 steals in 21 attempts. He spent the start and the end of the season on the injured list. He has played winter ball in Puerto Rico this off-season to make up for some of the missed time. Young did well in his limited time during the regular season, posting a .289 average and an .807 OPS in 13 games. He is currently still playing in the league’s playoffs.

Young was a 2016 draft pick, who was born in the Bahamas. He’s a switch-hitter, who has been rated as having the best arm in the Blue Jays system for the last four years. He’s a career .266/.341/.406 hitter, with 119 stolen bases in 437 games. He has also played winter ball each of the last three years. He’s a non-roster invite to big league camp next month.

Thompson went 3-10, 5.18 last year in 22 starts and seven relief appearances, with a 1.51 WHIP, a 4.87 FIP and a 90:46 SO/BB ratio in 121.2 innings. That was a significant drop-off from the numbers he put up with the Miami Marlins as a rookie in 2021, before he was acquired by the Pirates in the Jacob Stallings deal. Thompson had a 3.24 ERA, a 3.69 FIP, and a 1.21 WHIP, with 66 strikeouts in 75 innings in 2021. He turned 29 years old in October.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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john.benedict

4 DFA’S and a Newman non tender or DFA

Dauri Moreta, Reds minor league POY
Inmar Lobo, diaper lottery with huge upside
Scott Randall, replacing Garcia in Altoona’s rotation
Chavez Young, another bats both with wheels, glove and what sounds like a stronger arm than Bae, CSN and Mitchell combined
Cash, someone paid for Wilson, can’t fix stupid

James_Robert5

Not bad

An elite CF

An excellent base runner

Similar to Mike Siani?

sweetnich

At least he’s not a 40 man guy. And better than cash considerations.

SBRO

Thank heavens, another AAA outfielder. Was starting to worry they were going to ride with just Swaggerty, Smith-Njigba, Marcano, Vilade, Gorski, Palacios, Shackleford and Citta.

emjayinTN

Hear ya, but it’s not like the Pirates had their pick, and the only Pirate left who saw appreciable time at AAA in CF in 2022 is Swaggerty. Jared Oliva and Swagg’s were the two primary CF’s. Oliva was a Rule 5 casualty, and the player with the 3rd most innings in CF was Ji-Hwan Bae, who could be our 2B in 2023.

Gorski could show something in CF at AAA this year.

phieralph

Sure.

Whatever.

NMR

Sheesh another $200m contract on the books.

When will the league get serious about competition and stop the same few massive markets like…checks notes…Minneapolis, Minnesota…from outcompeting other teams for the best talent.

SBRO

Such bullshit,NMR. You clearly aren’t accounting for St. Paul.

NMR

Ha!

PirateRican21

They have some parts of Canada as their TV market! So there!
P. S. I have no idea what their TV market is.

Anthony

17th in MLB Market Score per the last CBA

emjayinTN

Slow day? The Twin Cities have a Metro Population of 3.7 million compared to the Pittsburgh Metro area of 2.3 million.

And, most importantly, they have an Owner (Jim Pohlad) and a GM (Thad Levine) who think competing is important to the fanbase. Great work by the Twins Org in signing Carlos Correa.

Anthony

Coincidentally, I was reading the old CBA yesterday morning, so it was top of mind. These are the types of boring things I read in the AM.

I applaud the initiative and it definitely sends a message, but that seems like an awful lot of money for six years. I guess they’re paying the premium upfront for the more affordable “call options” on the backend. If that’s the case, I like the creativity.

ArkyWags

It’s an awfully lot of money for an awfully good player.

chuck_conner

Brian Reynolds had the same stats in the last 2 years. Just sayin.

ArkyWags

With a notable caveat that Bryan Reynolds doesn’t play shortstop and more of an average CF. But yes, Reynolds should make much more than what they offered a few weeks ago.

docdon385

Young sure can’t be any worse than Alford, Allen, Marisnick, Van Meter, Collins, etc. Just hope he doesn’t get in the way of the development of some of the young guys already in the system.

Scam likely

So as its stands now, we got nothing for stallings and spent 10 million to replace him. Ok

john_fluharty

We have a long history of got-nothing trades, like every team. I think everyone we got for Jason Bay back in the day pretty much flopped. It happens. There’s an extremely high attrition rate among prospects.

leefieux

Wanna have some fun? Check out what the Reds got for Cueto. This happens all of the time. When only 25% of traded prospects do anything, the odds are that we wouldn’t get much back, esp for Stallings. Besides, Kyle Nicolas is still out there. He may yet pan out.

jeffw3000

Connor Scott and Kyle Nicolas are both still out there. Of course, Scott has not looked all that great either. Nicolas was always going to be the best part of the trade anyway. Had hoped that Thompson would be a serviceable pitcher, but Nicolas was always expected to be the best piece.

Scam likely

Or just keep stalling and spend 10 million more wisely, but nope 5 million on 69 plate appearances and 5 million on a .163 hitting catcher wow solid gming .

PirateRican21

Stallings has such a great year last year!

NMR

Literally the entire core teardown the last time the Marlins tried to pull it off. Just brutal.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

My favorite non-Pirates go-to trade is the Yelich trade. All gone. Monte Harrison, Isan Diaz, Lewis Brinson, and Jordan Yamamoto. Gone.

Sandy Alcantara and Jazz Chisolm (from trading Zac Gallen to Dbacks) is about all they have to show, from Ozuna trade. Appeared to have hit jackpot with Sixto from Realmuto trade, but hasn’t thrown an inning since 2020. I’m not sure if he’s even stepped on a mound since.

jeffw3000

Sixto has stepped on a mound since, but it has not been an easy comeback. He was shutdown last year, more than once with shoulder discomfort. He may never make it back as starter, and wind up in the bullpen, if he can make it back at all.

NMR

Ooo good catch tho, I forgot about the Gallen trade.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I often think about how they traded Chisolm and Peguero, and kept Geraldo Perdomo who was the only Top 100 SS of the trio at the time, IIRC. Appears they may his misjudged Perdomo, who has shown up in those articles talking about great hitting skillset for minors, but not majors.

That being said as a possible miss by Dbacks, they’ve seemed to have found their niche with prep kids. Especially OFs.

Wilbur Miller

They seem to be loading up on guys to replace Jared Oliva. Maybe could have just kept Oliva.

leefieux

He seems to be a switch hitting version of him, with perhaps more OBP skills. If he gets more than a cup of coffee with us, I will be surprised.

jaygray007

reminds me of Vilade. good K:BB numbers and power tailed off.

mildly mildly mildly interesting. mildly.

leefieux

Ou just gave him the kiss of death. Lol.

RAS TN

Why bother should just request monies, he is just another in a long line of AAAA players…

Wilbur Miller

He actually hasn’t made it to AAAA level yet. He’s more AAB.

RAS TN

In the Pirate organization, he rates as AAAA…

Wilbur Miller

We’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get 300 PAs for them.

Incredibly, I’ve actually seen people suggest he could be the CF if they trade Reynolds. This FO has lowered the bar so far for the Pirates you need a backhoe to find it.

RAS TN

Couldn’t agree more, far too many on here just grasp for straws…

Just think how challenged the Pirates were last year trying to score runs and take away Reynolds just a fiasco…

Wilbur Miller

I think it’s a common pattern for badly run small market teams to push the notion that you can win without scoring runs. Pitching is far less predictable than hitting, so it’s easier to cobble together decent pitching without spending money.
The old “can play lots of positions” rationalization is especially stupid. Why is “hitter” never one of the positions? If a position player can’t hit, he’s a liability, period, unless he’s a catcher or SS who won’t play much on a team that has plenty of hitting elsewhere. The Pirates have been the worst-hitting team in MLB over BC’s three years, so they just flat should never employ position players who don’t at least have the potential to hit. Scoring runs is half the game.

Last edited 24 days ago by Wilbur Miller
emjayinTN

26 Assists as a CF against only 3 E’s, overall .993 Fielding Percentage. Excellent BB/K Ratio last year at AAA. Interesting possibilities. Switchhitter who could be an excellent Util OF, provide some time off for Reynolds to DH.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Marlins, who don’t need pitchers, signed Johnny Cueto.

Pirates, who don’t need (more fringe) outfielders, acquire Chavez.

I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

madlock5

Rangers/Marlins/Pirates deal involving Reynolds. It makes sense (which doesn’t mean they can come up with a deal that all three will agree to . . . but it seems like it could work). Young bats to Marlins, mix of young arms and bats to Bucs, and Reynolds to Texas.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I think issue is that Marlins additionally want ready now controllable bats, ie: Reynolds

Anthony

I wonder if Cabrera, Luzardo, and another piece matches up well for Reynolds.

Wilbur Miller

Cabrera has 6 yoc left. I’m not sure you get more than a 1-for-1 there.

Anthony

First time I used this, and it was accepted. I realize this type of three for one won’t likely happen in the real world, but I’m surprised at how low they have Cabrera’s trade value.

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AdministrativeSky236

Interesting, personally would maybe even prefer cabrera to luzardo

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

How I feel about Berry

Anthony

Just threw him in to equal out the trade values

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Fair enough lol I’d like the idea of Cabrera, Eder, and Salas.

Wilbur Miller

Surprising, yeah. I’d do it I think.

madlock5

I was thinking the Marlins might have adjusted their timeline given that they were worse than expected last year. Maybe Josh Jung as part of the package going their way. Pirates get Edward Cabrera from Miami and Evan Carter from Texas. More pieces would be needed to balance it out.

I’m not sure if or how much Jung’s stock fell after being injured so much last year or how highly regarded Cabrera really is (although he had some impressive stats for sure). I could be off-base on the particulars. But, I think something could be done there that makes everyone happy. I wouldn’t even mind including redundant or blocked players like Triolo or a young 2B if it increased the return accordingly (and only if it did that of course).

Last edited 25 days ago by madlock5
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

With Marlins, I think it’s safe to say their “window” is open now, and would probably like to make headway sooner than later. It’s possible they could shift it a little bit, but a lot of their core is controlled in the next 4-5 years. That being said, Kim Ng has seemed reluctant to part with much.

madlock5

If Reynolds is traded before or during the season, then this guy could get some playing time in CF. Ben Cherington emphasizes defense (just look at the catchers he has signed from Maile to R. Perez to Hedges).

Swaggerty and Young could get some playing time in the event of a Reynolds trade. Bae may not throw well enough to play center regularly. I think Suwinski might be able to handle center (faster than people realize) but I doubt the Pirates think that he could play there regularly either.

Of course, the most likely scenario is that Young is a backup outfielder at AAA and never reaches the Pirates. But, you never know with the Pirates.

Anthony

I’m not sure how good his glove really is, but near GG defense in CF and an 80-90 wRC+ can get you to 3.0 WAR, especially if you can swipe some bags.

ArkyWags

That kind of player can get you three wins in center for sure. Young, who just put up an 86 wRC+ at AAA as a 24 year old, is not that player.

redwards60

I couldn’t imagine the Pirates could get anything of value for Thompson and apparently they didn’t.

jeffw3000

Once a player has been DFAd you are never going to get that much for him. The trade happened 5 days after he was DFAd. If a team wanted him bad enough, they could have had him for 50K on waivers. Since the trade happened 5 days later, he obviously already made it through waivers. The Pirates are lucky they got anything for him at all.

Ethan Hullihen

If he was traded that means he never hit waivers.

He was DFA’ed on the 5th, meaning he would have needed to be outrighted by the 12th, meaning he would have had to have been placed on waivers today by 2 pm at the latest for that to happen.

The trade obviously happened before that

DangerWilRobnsn

Guess there aren’t that many Kevin Gausmans, who the Braves DFA’d and 1.5 years later signed a $110 million dollar contract.

john_fluharty

David Ortiz went from DFA to star. Not sure about what kind of contract he signed. Probably a really short list of players that went from DFA to great.

robertkasperski

Well, they got a meh outfielder who might have a bit to offer if last season was down because of injury for a meh pitcher who had a down season but not on the IL more than one 15day stint. Got at least similar value with at least a small chance that Young can contribute something. Better than releasing Thompson for nothing.

skliesen

Doubt Young will provide anything the organization doesn’t already have, but it is nice knowing there’s enough SP depth in majors and high minors to sacrifice a SP like Thompson.

leefieux

Getting rid of Zach is NOT a sacrifice.

john_fluharty

Kind of like giving up something you don’t like for Lent LOL.

1979andCounting

BC knows the Jays org of course. “Best arm in the system” is certainly intriguing.

john_fluharty

Is it too late to convert him into a pitcher?

skliesen

Late game pinch runner/defensive replacement guy. Not really a needle mover to me.

ravidesai1984

Did you expect more for a guy who was already on waivers?

Anthony

He was never on waivers. I think this concept is vastly misunderstood. Check out Ethan’s comment from last week (can’t remember what article, maybe Wilson trade) about the DFA process.

Ethan Hullihen

Or above replying to someone else making the mistake

skliesen

Nope

Danatural08

Guessing Chavez doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man?

jaygray007

correct. he went unselected in the R5 so he gets to remain off the 40 for a year.

robertkasperski

Apparently does not. The Jays bumped Junior Fernandez from their 40 man. He will looking for his 5th home since September of las year, this will be his 3rd DFA since the Bucs did in November.

zebug

I read elsewhere that he’ll be a non-roster invitee.

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