First Pitch: Looking Back at the 2015 Wild Card Roster and How it has Contributed to the Current Day Pirates

I recently tried a new article idea on the Pittsburgh Baseball History side called A Snapshot in Time. It looked at the 1944 Pittsburgh Pirates roster that was posted by the Pirates on February 5, 1944.  I took a look at that roster and how each player helped the Pirates that season, in the future, and what players were brought in via trades of those players to help the Pirates in later years. I wanted to do something like that with a more recent team, but this isn’t a history column. I chose the Wild Card roster from 2015, played just five years ago.

I took the 25-man roster from October 7, 2015, then added  in the injured Jung Ho Kang and four starting pitchers who weren’t on that one-game roster, to give a better picture of the 2015 Pirates. The idea is to see what that group that won 98 games has contributed to the current day organization. Below you will see what happened to those 30 players since 2015, showing how they left the Pirates and what they brought in to help for the future.


Antonio Bastardo – He became a free agent after the season. Rejoined Pirates in 2016, but left again via free agency.

Joe Blanton – Left via free agency

AJ Burnett – Retired

Arquimedes Caminero – Traded for two players who were released by the Pirates without making the majors

Gerrit Cole – Traded for four players. Joe Musgrove, Colin Moran and Michael Feliz still remain.

JA Happ – Left via free agency

Jared Hughes – Released in 2017

Francisco Liriano – Traded for Drew Hutchison, who is no longer around.

Jeff Locke – Let go after the 2016 season

Mark Melancon – Traded for two guys who are no longer around. One was Taylor Hearn, who was traded for Keone Kela, who is a free agent, so nothing remains

Charlie Morton – Traded with one year of control left. Pirates got nothing in return, but the Phillies paid $2.25 M per start from Morton, so that part worked out well.

Joakim Soria – Left via free agency

Tony Watson – Traded for Oneil Cruz and Angel German, with the latter no longer being around.


Francisco Cervelli – Released in 2019 so he could sign with a playoff contender. Classy move by the Pirates, but it brought back nothing

Elias Diaz – Let go after the 2019 season

Chris Stewart – Left via free agency in 2017


Pedro Alvarez – Let go after the 2015 season.

Pedro Florimon – Let go after the 2016 season.

Josh Harrison – Left via free agency in 2018

Jung Ho Kang – He was released in 2019, played just 168 games after the 2015 season.

Jordy Mercer – Left via free agency in 2018

Michael Morse – Released in 2016

Aramis Ramirez – Retired

Sean Rodriguez – Granted free agency after the 2016 season

Neil Walker – Traded in 2016 for Jon Niese, who was traded for Antonio Bastardo


Keon Broxton -Traded for Jason Rogers, who has been gone for a while.

Starling Marte – Traded for prospects and international cash, which landed Solomon Maguire

Andrew McCutchen – Traded for Bryan Reynolds and Kyle Crick

Gregory Polanco – Still around

Travis Snider – Let go after the 2015 season

So what we have left from that 2015 team, including remaining players and the players brought back in trades, is as follows:
Gregory Polanco, Colin Moran, Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Oneil Cruz, Bryan Reynolds, Kyle Crick, Liover Peguero, Brennan Malone and Solomon Maguire.

The 2015 Pirates used 16 other players that season, so to be even more complete, here is what remains from that group, either the players themselves, or players they brought back via trade:


Those dots represent nothing. Ten players total remain who have connections to the 2015 Pirates.

The 2020 Prospect Guide returns to print for our tenth  we are releasing three variant covers, featuring Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Visit our shop page to order these extremely limited items!