Pittsburgh Pirates: Five trade packages for Josh Bell

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 04: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the Minnesota Twins on August 4, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 04: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the Minnesota Twins on August 4, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Josh Bell Pittsburgh Pirates Houston Astros
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Astros will be looking for a cheap way to stay contenders and add a hitter to their lineup

While the Astros have their first baseman, Yuli Gurriel, locked into a contract extension until the end of 2022, and a full-time DH, Yordan Alvarez, this is still a trade the Astros would consider. The Astros are in danger of losing George Springer, Michael Brantley, and Josh Reddick in free agency, and Justin Verlander will miss all of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery.

They will need to add another bat into their lineup at a low cost, and Bell could offer just that. The probable situation to fit Bell into the lineup would be as a rotating first baseman with 36-year-old Yuli Gurriel and then spending his other days in the lineup as the DH (pushing Yordan Alvarez to the outfield) or his original position in the minors with the Pittsburgh Pirates, right field.

The return for the Pittsburgh Pirates in this trade isn’t sexy, but it’s sizable. The big piece would be the Astros 7th ranked prospect Alex Santos, the 72nd pick in the 2020 draft. Santos has a good mid 90’s fastball with a high spin rate and he could be a staple in the Pirates rotation, just not until a few years from now.

Luis Garcia is the Astros 13th rated prospect and pitched in 5 games in 2020 with a 2.92 ERA. He has pitched out of both the bullpen and the rotation but is probably better suited for the bullpen.

The last piece could end up being of great value to the Pirates. Taylor Jones is a 26-year-old utility prospect with good hitting statistics in the minors and he played a few games in 2020. He could be an everyday starter for the Pirates, while the Astros would have a hard time finding a spot for him in the lineup. Jones has a 6′ 7″ frame and recently discovered his power potential in AA and AAA. So, even though he is the 20th ranked prospect in a poor farm system, he could be a cheap everyday utility player who will hit free agency at age 32.