Sunday, August 1, 2010

Parsing the Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Moves

Despite assurances that this year would be different, that there would be no salary dumps, no last second flurry of activity, the Pirates were particularly active yesterday, a veritable cacophony of roster moves, dumps, shifts and maybe even a couple of good trades. (Hey, they have made some good trades in the past. I remember how hot I was about them sending Nyjer Morgan to the Nats for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan. Milledge has given the Pirates as much as Morgan did (at least), while Hanrahan (when coupled with the below move) is the Pirates best reliever. So they get some things right. Sometimes. Ignore the knee brace in the corner. Thanks.)

First, there was the depressing move and let's go there first. According to the great Dejan Kovacevic at the Post-Gazette, the Pirates sent Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers.

What'd they get for Dotel? Two minor leaguers, James McDonald and Andrew Lambo.

McDonald is a right-handed pitcher and, according to Baseball Reference, he was drafted in 2002 and is now 26 years old - downright decrepit for a "prospect." I know we're all too quick to judge players these days and some guys take time to develop, but really? A guy who has been in the system since 2002, with an ERA this year of 8.22? C'mon. I don't even want that guy to toss me a soda at a picnic, let alone come into an actual major league baseball game.

Lambo is a left-handed outfielder and though he's only hitting .271 in Chattanooga this year, he looks to be a legit prospect. At the very least, he's only 22 years old, so you know, the Pirates have that going for them.

Maybe one of those guys will work out, but I really liked Dotel. He will be missed around here. Along with Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, he was among the most reliable guys on the team. And as we all know, "Buccos" and "reliability" have feuding for nearly two decades now.

Second, they sent relief pitcher D.J. Carrasco, outfielder Ryan Church, and infielder Bobby Crosby to Arizona. What'd they get from Arizona?

Most importantly, the Pirates picked up catcher Chris Snyder which means that there will be very few opportunities for Dr. Strangeglove, Ryan Doumit. This, I believe is a good thing. First of all, Doumit is one more concussion away from playing shuffleboard for the rest of his life and second, there's something about him that just bugs. He puts me in mind of all those guys who played here who were just so listless, so nonchalant, so above it all. Doumit is not roaming around in Operation Shutdown territory, but seems to live the second coming of the Pat Meares Experience (tm) (#7 on the countdown). So, less time for Doumit is going to be a good thing for the Pirates. I've been screaming for a better, more seasoned catcher around here and this is a good first step in that direction. That said, Snyder is no Manny Sanguillen.

They also got minor-league short stop, Pedro Ciriaco. Meh.

And, most importantly, they got $3 mill in cash money.

Lastly, they sent relief pitcher Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants. What'd they get for that? Two more minor leaguers.

Joe Martinez, a right-handed starting pitcher who is (are they serious with this stuff?) 27 years old with an ERA of 4.91 this year. Oh well, he looks to be better than the guy they got from the Dodgers. Maybe.

And they got John Bowker, another old (by baseball standards for a prospect) outfielder. I'll be kinda surprised if they get anything from either of these guys, but even a blind pig gets an acorn sometimes. I have zero inkling what was going on for them with this deal. It's not like Lopez made a lot of Bucco bucs.

Perhaps the most interesting move of the day was a non-move. The Pirates didn't move left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm, which I think that was a good sign. Moving Maholm have been an obvious salary dump. Unless they were gonna get Jose Bautista back. (Don't remind me.)

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