Despite ending a nine-game losing streak on Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates are deep into a rebuild. Trading David Bednar is a long shot, but would deliver a number of top prospects.
Bednar is one of the best closers in all of baseball. On Wednesday night, he pitched nearly three innings and shut down the Cardinals — the best team in the NL Central at the moment — with relative ease.
It goes to show the value of a solid bullpen, and beyond that, a pitcher unafraid to take on the pressure that comes with closing a game. Bednar is one of the few who can handle it.
In 25 outings this season, Bednar has a 1.14 ERA, 11 saves and a .789 WHIP. Keep in mind he’s on the Pirates, a team that does not supply many opportunities for him due to the simple fact that they’re in the middle of a rebuild. Winning is not their primary objective, so by default, neither is closing said wins.
If the Bucs were to trade Bednar, or even entertain the idea, they’d need a trade package of top prospects. Ideally, this would include at least one if not two top-100 prospects per MLB Pipeline. That won’t come easily, but some contenders are in desperate need of bullpen help.
Bednar is signed through the end of the 2026 season. He still has three years of arbitration left. That’s incredibly affordable for an MLB closer, and offers a surprising amount of flexibility for a player in his age-27 season.
Now, all of this is likely for naught, which is an important preface to said list. Bednar’s flexibility is also a reason the Bucs would hang onto him beyond this season. Why trade him now, when he (theoretically) may fit their competitive window down the road? Closers are tough to come by.
But there’s nothing wrong with a little innocent speculation:
David Bednar rumors: Red Sox make a lot of sense
The Red Sox lack of bullpen depth is a major storyline entering mid-June. Boston turned its season around, thus taking the likes of Xander Bogaerts off the trading block. This is in part due to a lackluster May schedule, but that’s all about to change. 36 of the Red Sox next 42 games come against teams with winning records.
Alex Cora removed Matt Barnes as closer of late, instead going with a by-committee approach. That could work in the regular season, but it’s lacking in fortitude. Come the playoffs, a ‘pen featuring a player the caliber of Bednar is far more daunting than the one Boston currently has at their disposal.
Trading top prospects typically goes against the Chaim Bloom mold, but Bednar is so cheap and offers a stunning amount of flexibility, it would still allow Boston to pursue Bogaerts and a Rafael Devers extension when the time comes.