According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pittsburgh Pirates are nearing a deal that will send Gold Glove catcher Jacob Stallings to the Miami Marlins. Stay tuned…
Marlins close to acquiring catcher Jacob Stallings from Pirates, pending a medical review, sources tell @TheAthletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 29, 2021
Jon Heyman has some details. More to come
Marlins get catcher Jacob Stallings for pitcher Zach Thompson and prospects
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2021
The 28-year-old RHP Thompson had a 3.24 ERA/3.69 FIP and 1.21 WHIP, with a 28:66 BB/SO ratio in 75 innings as a rookie for the Marlins in 2021. He has less than a full year of service time in the majors, so he has six full seasons of control left. More to come
More details and still more to come…
The Marlins have traded Zach Thompson and prospects Kyle Nicolas and Connor Scott to the Pirates for Jacob Stallings, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 29, 2021
Kyle Nicolas was a second round pick in 2020, who debuted this year in the minors at 22 years old. He split the season between High-A and Double-A, combining for a 4.18 ERA in 99 innings, with 136 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. He had much better results in Double-A, where he made eight starts. He has a fastball that has hit 100 MPH and it comes with an above average slider. Baseball America ranked him as the 17th best Marlins prospect coming into this season (hasn’t been updated)
Scott was the 14th best prospect coming into 2021. He spent the season in High-A, where he hit .276/.333/.446 in 96 games, with 41 extra-base hits and 14 steals. He’s an outfielder, who played all three spots in 2021. He was a first round pick in 2018, taken 13th overall out of high school. He turned 22 last month. BA calls him a toolsy outfielder who is still working towards reaching his potential.
UPDATE 5:25 PM: Thoughts from Tim Williams…
This move sends a pretty clear signal as to what to expect from the Pirates in 2022.
The top catching prospects in the system are Henry Davis — who was just drafted out of college in 2021 and reached High-A for a few games in his debut — and Endy Rodriguez, who spent the 2021 season in Low-A.
It’s not like catchers are easy to come by in this market, which is why Stallings had some trade value. It seems that the Pirates used the bulk of that value to get Zach Thompson, who had a strong year in 2021. The Pirates would have Thompson under control for six more seasons, rather than three seasons for Stallings. Thompson lines up better with their plans to contend.
I’m not sure how much better Thompson will be than Miguel Yajure, Wil Crowe, or Bryse Wilson, who the Pirates added all in the last year. Those three and Thompson will be competing for a rotation spot alongside Jose Quintana, Mitch Keller, and JT Brubaker. I’d expect Thompson to make the rotation, considering his 2021 success, and the fact that he’s the big piece in this trade.
The prospects in the deal are interesting — two recent high draft picks who are age-appropriate for their levels with some promise. Nicolas is a hard-thrower who is in the upper levels and looks like he could help sooner than later in a relief role. Scott has a lot of tools, but has yet to really apply those in the game. These two boost the prospect depth that the Pirates have in their lower tiers, but it’s hard to see them as more than 40-45 grade guys.
Overall, this trade has me wondering what the Pirates are doing. The DFA of Steven Brault didn’t help to clear up their path. And the trade of Stallings doesn’t seem like they had to be blown away to move their Gold Glove catcher with years of control remaining and no replacement on the horizon.