How Did the Pirates Get Trevor Williams?

Kevin Smith

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Pirates Get Trevor Williams

Baseball is a sport where trades play a crucial role in building successful teams. One such trade that stands out is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ acquisition of pitcher Trevor Williams.

Williams has become an important player in the league, and his trade from the Miami Marlins to the Pirates has been a significant part of his career. We will take a closer look at how the Pirates got Trevor Williams and how the trade impacted both teams.

We will explore the background of the trade, the details of the deal, and Williams’ career with the Pirates and beyond.

Background on the Miami Marlins

In 2015, the Miami Marlins were looking to restructure their organization after a disappointing season. One of the areas they wanted to improve was their pitching development, which led them to hire Jim Benedict as their new vice president of pitching development.

Benedict was highly regarded in the baseball community for his work with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jim Benedict had previously worked with the Pittsburgh Pirates as their pitching coach and assistant to the general manager.

During his time with the Pirates, Benedict played a significant role in developing the team’s pitching staff, which included Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. Benedict’s reputation for developing successful pitchers made him a highly sought-after asset in the league.

Benedict’s connection to the Pirates was significant because he had previously worked with many of the team’s current players, including their pitching coach Ray Searage.

Benedict also had a close relationship with the Pirates’ general manager, Neal Huntington, which made it easier for the two teams to work together in making trades.

When the Marlins hired Benedict, it was widely speculated that they would be looking to the Pirates for help in building their pitching staff, which is precisely what happened when the Pirates acquired Trevor Williams in exchange for minor league pitcher Richard Mitchell.

The Trade Between the Pirates and Marlins

The trade between the Pirates and Marlins took place on October 24, 2015. The Pirates received Trevor Williams, a right-handed pitching prospect, while the Marlins received minor league pitcher Richard Mitchell.

The trade was made as compensation for the Marlins hiring Jim Benedict as their new vice president of pitching development.

Trevor Williams was a promising young pitcher who had been drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2013 MLB draft. He had shown potential in the minor leagues, but had yet to make his major league debut.

Richard Mitchell, on the other hand, was a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher who had spent the 2015 season in Class-A ball. Mitchell was considered a long shot to make it to the majors, and the trade was seen as a low-risk move for the Marlins.

The Pirates’ strategy in the trade was to acquire a promising young pitcher who could help bolster their pitching staff in the future. The team was in the process of rebuilding their roster, and acquiring players like Williams was seen as a key part of their strategy.

Williams had shown potential in the minor leagues, and the Pirates were hoping that he could develop into a reliable major league pitcher.

The trade was also seen as a way for the Pirates to maintain their close relationship with Jim Benedict, who had played a key role in the team’s recent success.

By trading for Williams, the Pirates were able to strengthen their ties with Benedict and potentially acquire more talent from the Marlins in the future.

Trevor Williams’ Career With the Pirates

Trevor Williams made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 7, 2016, against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched six innings and allowed just one run while striking out three batters, earning his first major league win.

In his first two seasons with the Pirates, Williams showed flashes of potential but struggled with consistency. He had a combined record of 10-12 with a 4.20 ERA over 38 starts.

However, Williams showed signs of improvement in 2018, as he finished the season with a record of 14-10 and a 3.11 ERA over 31 starts.

2018 was undoubtedly Trevor Williams’ breakout season. He had a remarkable stretch from July 14 to September 19, where he pitched 22 consecutive scoreless innings, the second-longest streak in Pirates’ history.

Williams was also named the National League Player of the Week twice during the season and finished eighth in the NL in ERA. His performance in 2018 solidified his spot in the Pirates’ starting rotation and cemented his status as one of the team’s top pitchers.

Overall, Trevor Williams’ time with the Pirates was marked by both ups and downs. While he struggled with consistency early on, he eventually developed into a reliable starting pitcher who could be counted on to deliver quality starts.

His breakout season in 2018 was a highlight of his time with the team and cemented his status as one of the top pitchers in the National League.

Williams’ Departure From the Pirates

On January 29, 2021, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Trevor Williams to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash considerations. The move was seen as a cost-cutting measure for the Pirates, who were in the midst of a rebuilding phase.

The trade was met with mixed reactions from Pirates fans and analysts. While some saw it as a necessary move to free up payroll space, others lamented the loss of a reliable starting pitcher.

Williams was set to become a free agent after the 2021 season, and the Pirates were unlikely to re-sign him. By trading him to the Cubs, they were able to get some value in return and potentially give Williams a chance to compete for a playoff spot.

In his first season with the Cubs, Williams struggled with injuries and inconsistency. He finished the year with a record of 4-4 and a 5.06 ERA over 14 starts.

However, the Cubs’ front office remains optimistic about Williams’ potential and has indicated that he will be given an opportunity to compete for a spot in the team’s starting rotation in 2022.

Overall, Trevor Williams’ departure from the Pirates marked the end of an era for the team. While he was not a superstar pitcher, he was a reliable and consistent presence in the Pirates’ starting rotation for several years.

His trade to the Cubs was a reminder that baseball is ultimately a business, and that teams must make difficult decisions in order to build for the future.

Trevor Williams’ Career Statistics with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

SeasonRecordERAStartsInnings PitchedStrikeouts

This table provides a quick summary of Trevor Williams’ record, ERA, starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts for each season he spent with the Pirates. It shows that Williams had his best season with the Pirates in 2018, when he won 14 games and had an ERA of 3.11. However, his performance was inconsistent in other seasons, with his ERA hovering around 5.00 in 2019 and 2020.


Was Trevor Williams considered a top prospect when he was traded to the Pirates?

No, Trevor Williams was not considered a top prospect at the time of the trade. He was a mid-level prospect in the Marlins’ farm system and was not ranked among the team’s top prospects.

Did the Pirates trade any other players for Jim Benedict besides Richard Mitchell?

No, Richard Mitchell was the only player involved in the trade between the Pirates and Marlins for Jim Benedict’s services.

What was Trevor Williams’ best game as a Pirate?

Trevor Williams’ best game as a Pirate came on April 1, 2018, when he threw a complete game, one-hit shutout against the Detroit Tigers. He struck out five batters and did not allow a single walk in the game.

Why did the Cubs trade for Trevor Williams?

The Cubs traded for Trevor Williams in order to add depth to their starting rotation. Williams was seen as a reliable starting pitcher who could help bolster the Cubs’ pitching staff and potentially compete for a playoff spot.

What are Trevor Williams’ strengths as a pitcher?

Trevor Williams is known for his ability to induce ground balls and limit hard contact. He also has a good changeup and can mix his pitches effectively to keep batters off-balance.


Trevor Williams’ journey from the Miami Marlins to the Pittsburgh Pirates and eventually to the Chicago Cubs is a testament to the constantly evolving nature of baseball.

The trade that brought Williams to the Pirates in 2015 was a calculated move by the team to acquire a promising young pitcher who could help bolster their pitching staff in the future.

Williams’ early years with the Pirates were marked by inconsistency, but he eventually developed into a reliable starting pitcher who had a breakout season in 2018.

His departure from the Pirates in 2021 was a reminder of the business side of baseball and the difficult decisions that teams must make in order to build for the future.

While his time with the Pirates may be over, Williams’ journey is a testament to the resilience and perseverance required to succeed in the highly competitive world of professional sports.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn

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