By Jared Lankes
The Pirates drop their first trade of the 2016 trade deadline by dealing away closer Mark Melancon. In return, they receive two hard-throwing pitchers. One being MLB reliever Felipe Rivero. The other being A-ball lefty Taylor Hearn.
Firstly, let’s look at Rivero. He is a young lefty that can throw upwards to 100 mph with a devastating changeup that is great against righties. If he can get lefties out more, he’ll be great. In any case, there’s a lot to like there, not to mention he’ll be around through 2021. A nice value addition there.
As for Hearns, he is a lefty as well. He’s recovering from injury and has been working less innings because of it, but he can also hit 97-98 if not more. Pirates plan to use him as a starter, but he is a long way off still.
I’m going to miss Melancon. However, this is a good business move by the Pirates. You would’ve of course wanted more, but Rivero has a chance to be a can’t miss guy. Pirates could’ve probably gotten better prospects, but they took the reliever instead, which isn’t necessarily bad in this case.