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Insider Only Trade Analysis: The Pirates return for Mark Melancon better than it looks on paper?


Pirates make right decision in moving Melancon

There was so much smoke surrounding a Mark Melancon trade in the past 24 hours that it was inevitable the Pirates were going to trade Melancon than lose him for nothing this off-season as the team had no plans to make a qualifying offer.

The Pirates this afternoon struck a deal with the Washington Nationals that sends Melancon and cash to the Nationals with the Pirates receiving reliever Felipe Rivero and pitching prospect Taylor Hearn.

From the Pirates end they are going to sell this that they have arms to replace Melancon in Tony Watson and Neftali Feliz and it was important to get something in return for Melancon with him set to walk as a free agent.

For a team that’s three games out of the second wildcard and having no shot of catching the Cubs for the division, the greater value was trading Melancon.

The question now is whether the Pirates got enough for Melancon. The return is certainly not an Aroldis Chapman type return the Pirates were rumored to be seeking this morning but when you breakdown the deal, it’s easy to see why the Pirates like the deal.

In Rivero, the Pirates get a hard throwing lefty who will slide into a middle relief role. Rivero, 25, has a 4.53 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 53/15 K/BB ratio over 49 2/3 innings. The Pirates love hard throwing lefties, especially one’s with high strikeout ability.

Rivero is also a Pirates’ type acquisition in that he’s under team control through the 2021 season. Immediate reactions in Pirates circles Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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