The Pittsburgh Pirates fulfilled their role as sellers in the trade market at the deadline on Monday afternoon. While the team held on to outfielder Andrew McCutchen, they parted ways with reliever Tony Watson. The Pirates recouped two prospects in the deal: Angel German and Oneil Cruz. While the team likely won't be contending for an NL Central title this year, the Pirates hope the prospects will help them be more competitive down the road.

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Welcoming German and Cruz

Oneil Cruz is an 18-year old infielder. He has been playing primarily at third base and shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate in Low-A Ball. He has cranked eight home runs at that level but boasts just a .293 on-base percentage. Cruz signed with the Dodgers back in 2015 but didn't fly through the minors as hoped. Jordy Mercer and David Freese are both decent, but uninspiring players on the left side of the Pirates infield, so Cruz will have an opportunity down the road, should he seize it.

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Angel German has seen much more success in the minors this season. While pitching at the same Low-A level, he has made 21 appearances, striking out 37 batters and posting a 1.91 ERA. He has also pitched in 33 innings during those 21 appearances, meaning he's capable of pitching multiple innings. A long relief man could work wonders in the Pirates bullpen, even though it will be several seasons before German even makes it there.

Pirates at the trade deadline

Jettisoning Watson to the Dodgers for German and Cruz was not the only move Pittsburgh made at the deadline on Monday. They actually acquired a player, grabbing reliever Joaquin Benoit from the Philadelphia Phillies. They gave up Single-A pitcher Seth McGarry to get him. Benoit possesses a 4.07 ERA this season, so he's a downgrade from Watson, while still serving in a setup role for closer Felipe Rivero.

Some of their other marketable players remained in Pittsburgh through the deadline, though. Relief pitcher Juan Nicasio is sticking with the team, as is McCutchen. The Pirates were in a no-win situation as the deadline came - within striking distance of the NL Central crown, but likely not good enough to seize it, even with upgrades; the presence of the Chicago Cubs complicates matters for the team.

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They probably did the best they could with the hand they were dealt this season. Now, it's all about moving forward and building a team that can compete next year or the year after.

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