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In a Felipe Vázquez Trade, Pirates Would Ask For 2 Top LA Dodgers Prospects

Lefty could be a huge addition, but at a huge cost.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 31: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on May 31, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Per Jon Morosi, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a very high asking price on two-time All-Star closer Felipe Vázquez.

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.

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.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Hey Pittsburgh We’ll add you to the list of teams we can laugh at when you settle for a lousy package from someone else cause you wanted to be greedy with us

    • We spend almost 3 times what they do and also haven’t won a WS in my lifetime. I don’t think we’re the ones laughing at them.

      • You missed the point. Teams always want to ask more from us and then end up accepting a mediocre package from another team when even our worst offer would’ve been better

        • NODH, that is what my point would be as far as them wanting a lot more from us than any other team. One other thing we need to consider, and that is Vazquez won’t get us a ring on his own anyway. I don’t care to see Dodgers trade May or Lux or Smith away for this reliever, and yet we don’t make the WS because of things such as the offense did in those 3 games with the Padres before the break… also what good would Vazquez be if the other Dodger starters or relievers continue to serve up HR’s as they do. Bottom line is that it would be tough to see those prospects mentioned shine for another team after being traded away for a reliever who guarantees nothing.

  2. We need to win this year the WS for the third time in a row! Do not want people to call us the Buffalo Bills of MLB. I would counter offer C. Ruiz our No 1 prospect + P. Santana our No 6 prospect and add either P. Yimi Garcia or No 20 prospect Edwin Uceta. That should get it done and we would finally have not only an 8th inning reliever but an insurance policy for Kenley. Plus we would control FELIPE for a couple of years! Do it Andrew !!!

    • I doubt that package gets it done. You’re talking about a proven LH reliever with 4 years of control, in a year where there aren’t more than a handful of quality relievers on the market. Dodgers sent 5 prospects, one being top 5 to Baltimore for Manny and he was just a rental.

  3. We need to win this year the WS for the third time in a row! Do not want people to call us the Buffalo Bills of MLB. I would counter offer C. Ruiz our No 1 prospect + P. Santana our No 6 prospect and add either P. Yimi Garcia or No 20 prospect Edwin Uceta. That should get it done and we would finally have not only an 8th inning reliever but an insurance policy for Kenley. Plus we would control FELIPE for a couple of years! Do it Andrew !!!

  4. Asking for two of the Dodgers top prospects is where I would expect Pittsburgh to begin the negotiations. Most of the other contenders like the Yankees, Astros, Brewers and Braves are more likely to focus on getting a starter than a reliever, so I would expect the final price to be lower than the Pirates’ initial asking price.

  5. NODH (love the name btw), maybe calm down a little and try to look at this from the Pirates point of view. With the Pirates offense finally showing some life, I’d love to see the Pirates actually compete in the near future. I don’t think trading Vazquez for prospects helps that goal much. Plus they have shown an ability to flip their closer in the last year of their contract for their next closer (Joel Hanrahan -> Mark Melancon -> Felipe Vázquez). I’d much prefer them to hold onto him until 2023, potentially compete in these coming years, and flip him for a significantly lesser package in 2023 if necessary.

    I don’t think this is a case where the Pirates are trying to maximize the return from the Dodgers. I think they simply want to hold onto their closer right now.

    • That’s fine but they won’t get what they’re asking and will not settle for what we are willing to give so what will end up happening is there will be no deal with us, and the PIT will trade with another team that will give up far far less in quality then what the Dodgers worst offer would’ve been. That’s how it’s gone over the years when teams try to fleece us. Just look at that Realmuto trade, Marlins ended up with a so so package

  6. You don’t like it go get your own reliever for a couple bench sitting scrubs in the minors. Anybody can hit .300 in the Texas And PCLs so where is their value? We got Vazquez in a trade with the Nationals so go whine to them or develope you own reliever.

  7. The Pirates don’t need to trade him. The Dodgers need a better bullpen. I think Pittsburgh can easily get 2 top 100 prospects and maybe a lottery ticket or two. Remember, prospects dont always work out, Felipe is dominant with affordable years of control. I say Ruiz + May + Grove + Kendall. They don’t say no to that and we still have Smith and a top ranked farm and a team that has great odds of winning a WS.

  8. I know you’re anonymous but why use the F-bomb? It only makes you sound mad and immature. Do you want your 12 year old son or grandson reading that? Come on, use your big boy words to get your message out there.

    • Complaining about a “bad” word makes you sound mad and immature especially when trying to use the “kids are reading” argument. These kids today are far from being precious and in need of protection they use filthy language by the time they’re 10 and are exposed to all kinds of filth on tv and the internet nothing is clean anymore so spare me and get off your high horse. They wouldn’t think twice when reading the F bomb

  9. Putting Pittsburg’s big ask aside, this potential trade could be what puts the Dodgers over the hill this year. This kid is young, controllable with a team friendly contract. Jansen may, and I think he will, walk after the season so Vazquez could become the full time closer. So who to trade makes the decision difficult. Thankfully the Dodgers have two catching prospects, and remember at this time they are just that, that could get the talks starting. I would try to hold onto Dustin May. I do like Pananalou’s idea. Hopefully the FO can be creative and get this big move done. (If they could turn around Tyler Thornburg for almost nothing, that would be a great bullpen.)

  10. Come on guys. These are dodger top prospects not baseball top prospects. No sure things here and unlikely even 2 of them will be sucessful in the bigs. In the past 10 years we haven’t had a infielder, or catcher and only 1 pitcher come up from the prospect ranks. If these guys are so smart, keep the good one and go for it.

    • The Dodgers haven’t had an infielder prospect come up in ten years?! What do you consider Bellinger and Seager?

      It IS more than a bit likely that two or more of their top four prospects will be good ML players. Trading Ruiz would likely be another Carlos Santana-type loss.

    • You obviously don’t follow who their prospects are. They have had far more than one pitching prospect come up in ten years, also. Your claims are far off.

  11. Personally for Vazquez, i would offer a package headed by Will Smith (C), including Yadier Alvarez (P), Jeren Kendall (OF), and Edwin Rios (INF/OF). That’s 4 top 20 prospects per MLB Pipeline that are, or near being, MLB-ready. i think that LA can win the bidding with a quantity over quality type of deal since I doubt that any contender is going to part with more than 1 top 5 prospect in their respective farm systems. Houston is a threat with their top end prospect pool, but other contending teams have similar types of pitchers already in their system, which would make them balk at the Pirates price for Vazquez.

  12. The Pirates do not need position players including the catching position. With Keona Keela coming back the bull pen will be shored up. The Bucs will have to scour the market for one veteran starter, like they did when they got A.J. Happ from Seattle a few years ago. Another thing is that the Pirates minor league players are just as good as the Dodgers if not better. With the Pirates hitting as they do now and with decent starting and relief pitching their second half should be very exciting.

  13. I am willing to part with some players – Garlick, Beatty, Alvarez, Stewart, Stripling, – but not the cream of the crop. I would even consider Keibert Ruiz in a deal. At present, the Bucs might be making a run to the playoffs and they want / need Vasquez. If I could get Will Smith or Hand for an equitable package of players, I would go there. I am not here to reward the Pirates franchise with untold riches, and become known as the Santa Claus of GM’s. We overpaid on Joe Kelley; lets not let our enthusiasm for a new bullpen ace blind us to our financial obligations. Go Blue!!!!

    • BLUE LOU! Myself and PD Jr. could not agree with you more. And if we did such a deal that involves both Lux, May and or even Will Smith (our catcher), we would be the ‘Santa Claus’ of GM’s (Freidman anyway). I am willing to part with Ruiz if in fact Dodgers are convinced our Will Smith can be the next starting catcher for us. But remember, that Vazquez by himself or any other reliever mentioned will not guarantee anything.if dodger offense plays like it did against Padres and the other pitchers here continue to serve up HR’s, especially with men on to put this team in a hole at start of the game.

      • AZUL, like you and P Jr., I cannot get those 3 losses to the Padres out of my mind. That should not have happened. To lose three in a row to a poor team in your home park is most disconcerting. The last sentence of your above post is most telling and worrisome. And, now that Seager, Freese and Pollock are returning, I think we are going to see more platooning than we did in the first half of the season. And that does not make me happy!!!! Go Blue!!!

  14. I had already heard during the allstar game a couple of days ago that the “baseball experts” on the MLB channel had already determined that the Pirates had decided to keep Vasquez………FYI.

  15. Huntington……the Pirate GM back on the first of July……..“We will continue to look for ways to improve this organization,” said Huntington. “Felipe Vazquez is, in our minds, one of the best, if not the best young left-handed reliever in the game. He has the potential to contribute to us for this and four more years. Our expectation and anticipation is that Felipe will be closing out playoff games, be it this year or in the future with us.”……….

    This is not the first time Huntington has tried to quash rumors that this guy is available.

  16. Can’t forget the Dodgers sent 5 prospects, including one top 5 to the Orioles for Manny and he was a rental. Now you have a LH reliever who has been elite this year and last and still has 4 years of control, it can end up costing the Dodgers 2 of the top 4 prospects plus other pieces!!

  17. “with experiencing closing”? Maybe proof reading would be good.

    I seriously doubt that Friedman will trade 2 from that list. One might be doable with many other prospects to choose from. Maybe they would take a serviceable defensive catcher who barely hits above .200 as part of the package.? We could then bring Will Smith up more permanently.

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