MLB Trade Rumors released their top 50 free agent predictions and two of the four writers have the Pittsburgh Pirates landing a player in the top 50.
Four writers give their predictions for each of the 50 names listed and the Pirates received a prediction as one of the four guesses for outfielder Andrew Benintendi and Michael Wacha.
Steve Adams pegs the Pirates as the landing destination for Benintendi. The Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox are the other predicted landing spots.
Benintendi split time last season between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. In 126 games between the two clubs, the outfielder hit .304 with a with a .772 OPS.
The 28-year-old sacrificed his power (only five home runs) for a more contact-oriented approach (14.8% strikeout rate).
Benintendi does possess power potential and slugged 17 home runs back in 2021.
Of course there is a connection between Benintendi and the Pirates’ organization. Bucs’ GM Ben Cherington selected Benintendi in the first round of the 2015 draft with the Boston Red Sox.
MLBTR projects the lefty-swinging Benintendi to land a four-year $54M deal, which would be the largest free agent deal ever handed out by the club.
Anthony Franco is the one who predicts the Pirates to land the 31-year-old Wacha. The Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and New York Mets are the other predicted destinations.
Wacha is coming off of a solid season with the Boston Red Sox. He finished the year 11-2 with a 3.32 ERA/4.14 FIP across 127.1 innings.
Pirates’ fans may remember Wacha from his days with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2013-2019.
The right-hander is projected for a two-year $16M deal.
While a possible deal for Benintendi seems far-fetched, the Wacha prediction is exactly the kind of move the Pirates could be looking to make — a middle of the rotation arm at a reasonable price.
Subscribe to Pittsburgh Baseball Now Plus here and not only get full Pirates’ coverage but the Steelers and Penguins, too.