Pirates Trade Adam Frazier to Padres

Numerous sources are confirming a deal between the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres for All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier. Jeff Passan was the first to break the news

Robert Murray reports that it will be for three players. More details as they emerge

If you want to dream, here’s the Padres top 30 prospects from MLB Pipeline

From Ken Rosenthal


The trade is complete. Pirates are sending Frazier and cash to Padres for Tucupita Marcano, Jack Suwinski and Michell Miliano.

Marcano appears as if he can step right in and join the Pirates. He hit .182/.280/.205 in 25 games with the Padres earlier this year, which is his only big league time. He turns 22 in September. He played four positions with the Padres. He was sent to Triple-A, where he hit .272/.367/.444 in 44 games. Coming into this year his highest experience was Low-A, so he has made quite a jump since 2019. His Triple-A experience in the field this year has been split exactly four ways between shortstop, second base, right field and left field, with 11 games at each spot. In his career he has played more second base than anywhere else. Marcano is the fifth ranked prospect in the system. Their top four are all among the top 100 prospects in baseball.

The second player is Jack Suwinski and he’s a Double-A outfielder, 22 years old, with 15 homers and a .969 OPS this year. Not in the top 30 prospects list above, but he has clearly taken a step forward this year. Suwinski was a 15th round pick in 2016. He didn’t do much in his first four seasons of pro ball, but apparently the crazy 2020 no-season was good for him. In 2019 in the high-offense California League, he had a .653 OPS in 116 games. This year he is hitting .269/.398/.551 in 66 games at Double-A. His 15 homers are already a career high. Strikeouts seem to be an issue with him, but he has a strong walk rate this year while moving up in competition, so that’s a good sign. He’s 22 years old.

Miliano has put up video game stats as a reliever in Low-A/High-A, with 59 strikeouts in just 30 innings. He also has a .160 BAA, but he’s walked 25 batters already, so that’s going to have to improve because it will only get worse as he advances to more patient hitters. Prior to this season he had three years of rookie ball and limited innings each year, with high walk and strikeout rates each season. From scouting reports, it appears that he hits 95 MPH and has a solid curveball, with a work-in-progress changeup. He received a $450,000 signing bonus.

Fangraphs newest update has Marcano ranked tenth in the system and neither Suwinski nor Miliano are in their top 45.

UPDATE 7:35 PM: Analysis from Tim Williams…

My initial reaction to the trade is that Tucupita Marcano seems like a very similar player to Adam Frazier. Marcano is only 21 years old, and at a similar stage in his career, Frazier was a shortstop in A-ball, having just been drafted out of college. By comparison, Marcano is a shortstop in Triple-A right now, holding his own at the level.

There are questions as to whether Marcano can stick at shortstop, and he’s worked at second base, while getting some time at third base and the corner outfield spots. With Frazier gone, the second base role is open, with Marcano joining Rodolfo Castro, Ji-Hwan Bae, Kevin Newman, Erik Gonzalez, and Cole Tucker as the options in the upper levels of the system. Marcano and Castro should be the top immediate prospect options to see if the Pirates can find someone before Nick Gonzales arrives.

Jack Suwinski is in his age-22 season and putting up some good numbers in Double-A. He’ll fit in as an interesting option with a lot of similar-aged players on that Altoona roster. The Pirates are thin on outfield prospects in the minors, and Suwinski is more of a wild card prospect who might be able to help that depth. I read this article talking about how he took a mental step forward during the pandemic. That seems to be a trend with the guys the Pirates have acquired in the past.

Michell Miliano strikes a lot of guys out, but also walks a lot of guys. He’s another wild card prospect, with the gaudy strikeout numbers leaving hope that he can fix his control.

In total, this is about what you’d expect for Frazier and cash to cover the remainder of his 2021 salary. He’s having a great season, but he’s also been inconsistent in almost every other year.

What interests me about this deal is the repeat shopping in San Diego, and Ben Cherington’s continuation of finding lower-value guys. The previous guys have shown some promise. The last deal with San Diego — sending out Joe Musgrove — landed Hudson Head, David Bednar, Omar Cruz, Drake Fellows, and Endy Rodriguez (from the Mets). Since the deal, Bednar has established himself in the MLB bullpen, while Head, Cruz, Fellows, and Rodriguez have all put up good results.

The fact that this deal came so early from the trade deadline, while sending money the other way, makes me think that the Pirates got the guys they valued, and didn’t think they would get more than this closer to the deadline. Or, perhaps they’re working on something bigger over the next five days?