So I'm glad you said this because there is some misunderstanding out there about why players are left unprotected.
The misconception is that if a player is left unprotected, that means they are viewed as less valuable than the last guy on the 40 man. This is a common misconception, but this is completely untrue.
Unprotected Player vs Last Man on the 40
Chance of unprotected player getting selected and carried vs Chance that player would have to be DFA at some point if added + the Last Man on the 40
Here's some of my thoughts on the controllable DFA guys (so no Leone, Chen, Duffy, etc). Explaination of Escobar as the top guy. He has a above average to plus curveball and changeup. He sits in the mid-90s and can run it up into the high 90s. His issue is fastball command, I think it's fixable, he's young and he turns over his fastball the way you would a changeup, imparting a similar spin axis as the change. By staying behind the fastball more, tweaking the release, he'd has less horizontal movement, making it easier to command and also giving it more hop so it'll be a swing and miss pitch up in the zone. Talented arm, the issues are fixable and the Pirates haven't done a great job at developing pitchers.
Yeah, there are a few guys on the DFA list who are hurt by the juiced ball.
Cortes Jr and also more established guys like Chen and Leone. Flyball guys who are seeing typical cans of corn going over the fence.
Or insult the person, he likes to belittle those who disagree with him rather than contest the point. It's one thing if it's a troll, but he does that when presented with an evidence-based good faith argument as well.
Of course you can go wrong. Any time a GM adds a player without a series of solid, well thought-out and justifiable reasons you've got a problem. 100 losses or not, throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks is not a strategy. It's certainly not something I would hope to see from Elias and his increasingly impressive staff.