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Former Pirates Landing Big Deals at Winter Meetings

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Pittsburgh Pirates

As usual, the Winter Meetings have led to a blitz of action as numerous free agents are off the market and have found homes for 2023 and beyond.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a couple of modest moves, agreeing to deals with right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez and left-hander Jarlin García.

Former Pirates, however, are finding new deals with significant financial commitments.

First baseman Josh Bell has reportedly agreed to a two-year $33M deal with the Cleveland Guardians. The deal includes an opt-out after the 2023 season.

Bell was originally drafted by the Pirates in 2011 and played five seasons in Pittsburgh. He was named a National League All-Star with the club in 2019.

The Pirates traded Bell to the Washington Nationals prior to the 2021 season for Wil Crowe and minor league pitcher Eddy Yean. Bell finished 2022 with the San Diego Padres after the Nationals shipped both he and Juan Soto to San Diego at the deadline.

Bell isn’t the only ex-Bucco to receive a shiny new deal this week.

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Right-hander Jameson Taillon is heading back to the National League Central after reportedly agreeing to a four-year contract worth $68M with the Chicago Cubs.

Taillon was the second overall pick of the Bucs in 2010. The now 31-year-old battled injuries and adversity for the Bucs and spent four seasons in the black and gold. He turned himself into a solid rotation piece when healthy.

During the same offseason that the Pirates traded Bell, the also traded Taillon. He was sent to the New York Yankees in a five-player trade that netted the Pirates right-hander Roansy Contreras.

Fellow pitcher José Quintana has reportedly found a new home in Flushing Queens, agreeing to a two-year $26M deal with the New York Mets.

The Pirates took a gamble on Quintana last offseason and the move certainly paid off. Quintana posted a 3.50 ERA with the Pirates last season in 20 starts.

He was ultimately shipped to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Johan Oviedo and first baseman Malcom Nunez during last year’s trade deadline.

The Pirates had interest in reuniting with the left-hander this offseason but to no avail.

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