Per Jon Morosi, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a very high asking price on two-time All-Star closer Felipe Vázquez.
How high is #Pirates price on Felipe Vázquez? Sources say Pittsburgh likely would ask #Dodgers for *at least* two of the Keibert Ruiz/Gavin Lux/Dustin May/Will Smith group if talks ever advanced. (And one source said Pirates remain unsure if they sell at all.) @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 10, 2019
Moreover, the Dodgers have been linked to Vázquez multiple times by media as we move closer to the trade deadline. Reportedly, if there were to be a trade connection between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, it would have to include “at least two” Dodger top prospects from the list of Keibert Ruiz/Gavin Lux/Dustin May/Will Smith.
Vázquez, 28, has 78 saves and 2.16 ERA since 2017. More importantly, he is a dominating left-handed reliever with a wipeout fastball/slider combination.
Felipe Vázquez, 100mph Fastball (foul) and 88mph Slider (swinging K), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/k5LhWRE9G9
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 29, 2019
A backend of the bullpen featuring Vázquez along with Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez, and a resurgent Joe Kelly really could be an unstoppable force.
In terms of the “asking price” prospects from the Dodgers, Ruiz is the organization’s number 1 prospect, per MLB.com. Lux ranks as number 2, and May and Smith round out the top 4.
Beyond any trade chips being discussed, it seems that the Pirates are still mulling over whether they actually want to trade the lefty this season. He is under team control through at least 2021 for $13.5M, but also has team options for 2022 and 2023 at $10M a piece.
With Kenley Jansen having some control of his future with a contract opt-out after this season, the idea of adding a relief pitcher with experiencing closing could help protect Los Angeles in the unlikely case he does opt out.