It’s that time of year again. We are getting closer and closer to this year’s trade deadline, which means the rumors are swirling.
The Pirates are no exception to generating buzz in baseball circles, and according to a report from Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Pirates are willing to field calls on an All-Star.
According to Heyman, the Pirates are allowing themselves to pick up the phone for teams interested in closing pitcher David Bednar.
This should come as no surprise as Bednar has established himself as one of the game’s premier closing pitchers. In addition to going to to his second-consecutive All-Star Game earlier this month, Bednar owns a 1.15 ERA and has already tied his career-high with 19 saves.
The Pirates, meanwhile, continue to fall further and further below .500, setting the stage for another year of selling as opposed to buying.
It also shouldn’t be a surprise considering that general manager Ben Cherington has said in the past that he has a duty as the club’s GM to listen on all their players — not necessarily to trade them but to gather external information.
For instance, the Pirates were listening to calls on Bryan Reynolds, who ended up signing a long-term extension to remain in Pittsburgh.
The current report surrounding Bednar doesn’t mean that he will get dealt by next Tuesday’s deadline. Bednar is under contractual control through the 2026 season.
There is also the well-known fact that Bednar is a Pittsburgh-native, and a possible trade at any point would be a widely unpopular move because of that.
On the flip side, with his performance and his team control, the Pirates could surely receive a substantial haul from a team looking to add to the back of their bullpen.
Bullpen arms are a hot commodity this time of year and Bednar may very well be the top potential trade target for a contending team in need of relief help.
There have already been a couple deals involving bullpen arms, including Aroldis Chapman getting traded from the Kansas City Royals to the Texas Rangers.
Trading Bednar at this juncture is hard to envision, but at the same time it only takes one team to pony up enough to convince Cherington to send Bednar away from his hometown team.
Eight days to go…