Several years away from being at least competitive and fielding a respectable team, the Pirates are in a complete tear down of the roster and any veteran with a pulse on that roster and a rising salary is going to get shipped out of town.

The trade of Joe Musgrove Monday night was some luck coming on the Pirates side in that they were able to take advantage of Musgrove’s trade value being much higher than it really should have been.

The local media will greatly overrate the Pirates return. Call it a haul or whatever, the Pirates, though, at least got a promising return for a low level No. 3 caliber pitcher if you buy into his 2020 campaign being a sign of things to come.

You have to start somewhere for this franchise and they did well for who they traded.

Pirates Return for Musgrove

CF Hudson Head, Age 19
C Endy Rodriguez, Age 20
LHP Omar Cruz, Age 21
RHP David Bednar, 26
RHP Drake Fellows, RHP

The two prospects to be most intrigued about is center fielder Hudson Head and catcher Endy Rodriguez, who was acquired from the Mets in the three team trade.

Head a third round pick in 2019, is an excellent athlete and has a lot of tools scouts like. Of the five players in return, the upside is the highest with him.

Rodriguez is a switch hitting catcher who Baseball America for one believes has a chance to evolve into an average hitter with double digit home run power. But, before we anoint Rodriguez becoming a likely gem in the Pirates system in the coming years, he’s still years away and far from a sure thing. Rodriguez was the Mets 20th ranked prospect. Cruz was the Padres 23rd ranked prospect at the start of the offseason. The Padres it should be noted have one of baseball’s best farm systems. Draft pundits believe Cruz’s potential ceiling is a back of the rotation starter. Fellows is another tweener who scouts aren’t sure yet if his stuff will progress enough to become starter at the MLB level or not.

Bednar, 26, has a 6.75 ERA in 17 career relief appearances.

The story here is the Pirates were able to add four players to their prospect pool where each prospect still has a chance of developing into MLB-level players based on their upside and where most in the know think they’re progression/development is likely headed over the next couple years.

The other emerging story line:

Pirates Top-5 Salaries

Gregory Polanco – $11.6 Million
Adam Frazier – $4.3 Million
Colin Moran – $2.8 Million
Jameson Taillon – $2.25 Million
Chad Kuhl – $2.13 Million

How low will the Pirates payroll get? Right now the 40 man roster is projected to be under $45 million.

If Adam Frazier gets traded for futures, the Pirates could be looking at a 40-man payroll of closer to $40 million, assuming the Pirates don’t dip their toes into some stopgap free agents on one year deals with the idea of flipping at the deadline. To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!