By Jared Lankes
A few days ago, I talked about the starting pitchers that could be targets for the Pirates come the trade deadline. Read that here: https://bucconation.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/pirates-trade-target-starting-pitchers/
Anyway, the one name that stuck out to me was Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz was part of a swap with Oakland in the offseason that included Yonder Alonso. Pomeranz, 27, is enjoying the best season of his life, pitching to a 2.47 ERA. The addition of another pitch to his arsenal has put him over the top. That and the fact that he has been much more durable than in recent years, logging his first 100 inning season.
Pomeranz hasn’t just enjoyed a breakout year, he’s still young with so much potential going forward. Not only that, but he’s controlled through 2018. So, he’s more than just a rental. He would be towards the top of a rotation for two additional seasons. Just imagining a rotation anchored by Gerrit Cole, Drew Pomeranz, Janeson Taillon, and Tyler Glasnow as the top 4 is enough to make any Pirates fan excited.
Another thing that is important to note is that he may want to stick around after 2018 at a decent cost. Not only is he a candidate to want sustainability because he’s jumped around so many times, he is also represented by the same agency that worked out the Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli extensions. The Pirates have a great relationship with them, which could facilitate an extension to keep Pomeranz around beyond his current contract. All in all, this is the kind of deal that could reap the benefits now and in years to come.
The Pirates love to trade for controllable lefties. Wandy Rodriguez and Jon Niese are prime examples of that very thing. Pomeranz fits the profile perfectly. Mind you he won’t be cheap to acquire, but the Pirates are certainly primed to put together the right package for a guy like him, without giving up any of their mega prospects, such as Glansow, Bell, Taillon, or Meadows.
In a market of pitchers that is going to be dull for awhile, this is the right opportunity for the Pirates to get their hands on a talented, young pitcher that has the poise and the will to do whatever it takes to get to the next level. In turn, this is the perfect storm for the Pirates. Pomeranz is currently a cheap lefty in terms of money, which may change, but it won’t be outrageous by any stretch of the imagination. They also will probably want to trade for someone they have beyond 2016 because of the crapshoot the wildcard has been this season. If I were the front office, I’d take a serious run of trading a bit more for Pomeranz for the extra years as opposed to less for rentals such as Jeremy Hellickson or Rich Hill.
There have been players in previous years that the Pirates could’ve used their deep prospect pool to acquire but luckily didn’t because, in hindsight, they weren’t the right fit. However, Pomeranz is a different story and seems like a perfect fit. The Padres will demand a lot for him, but nowhere close to the David Price or Cole Hamels packages of the past. He’s actually a stud pitcher that can be had by the Pirates in terms of acquisition and financial cost. He seems to be a pitcher that the Pirates can definitely make a run at within the next few weeks.
Whether the Padres would trade him is another thing, but I doubt they don’t. His value is sky high right now, and the Padres next contention year might not be until at least 2019, according to many surrounding the organization. Pomeranz might not be around San Diego in 2019. The Padres have leverage, but not enough to seriously not consider (unlike the Braves and Julio Teheran). Because of this, it would appear general manager AJ Preller and the Padres would love to go pluck a few quality prospects from a team and make good on their offseason afterthought investment. if I was the front office of the Pirates, I’d be checking in on Drew Pomeranz a lot and making a serious run at the left-hander.