Pirates Make Some Minor Personnel Moves

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been extremely busy this week — I was stuck in a meeting all afternoon and wasn’t even online to Control-V “What the hell are the Mariners doing??” to every single one of my friends online, including alternate screennames of dudes I’ve never talked to since I worked on a Spanish project with them in the second semester of my freshman year of college.

In short, not having much regard for the thought of the 2010 Buccos running out two expensive thirtysomething middle infielders to begin with, I’m fine with the Snell/Wilson deal and particularly happy about the Sanchez trade. Now I will tell you why in the form of jokes!!

It’s usually a good sign when an entire fanbase is going berserk about a trade their team made with your team, and that’s certainly the case with the Pirates’ pickup of Tim Alderson. Plus, if Neal “Numbers McDeptherson” Huntington makes a deal for just one person, that guy has to be awesome, right? Just after the deal broke, I had this exhange of texts with my friend Dave:

Me: Did NH actually make a trade for just one guy? This dude must be the messiah.

Dave: He thought he was getting a dude named Alder and his son.

[I’m guessing the truth is a little from Column A, little from Column B]

As for the Wilson deal, it’s a clear case where both players the Pirates gave up provide more value to the trade partner than they would’ve for the Bucs; Wilson is two months away from free agency, and the Pirates certainly weren’t gonna bring him back without a massive pay cut, though the Mariners might negotiate an extension or actually consider sucking up his $8 option to ensure this trade wasn’t a rental. Snell has an ERA around 5.40 over the past two seasons with a crappy 133/187 BB/K ratio in 244 innings. His numbers are likely to benefit from the park in Seattle and just the sheer probability of him not continuing to be this bad, but people will surely attribute this improvement to his clear-headedness following his change in scenery. Remember – he wasn’t feuding with Neal Huntington during the majority of those 133 walks (though Huntington did keep deflecting his balls out of the strike zone in his last major league start, which I thought was unacceptable).

Most people (including myself) believed that the Pirates’ demotion of Snell to AAA squelched what little possible trade value remained in him, but ironically, that move may have actually increased his value, at least to the point where a double-swap of two relatively expensive average-to-below-average performers yielded the Pirates a recent top hitting prospect, three pitching prospects, and a stopgap infielder. It’s not a dynamite, blue-chip heist, but we’re talking about Ian Snell and two months of Jack Wilson. As the old saying goes, “People with Angry, Bad-Pitching Ian Snell On Their Baseball Team-ers can’t be Choosers.”

Huntington has repeatedly stressed the need for pitching depth throughout all levels of the minor leagues, which is really the only sound approach towards conquering the most unpredictable and oft-injured position in sports, and both transactions today are major steps towards achieving that nice-sounding mantra; if the Pirates tack on Colton Cain and Zack Von Rosenburg from their draft class this year, they will have essentially acquired 8/10 of their arguable Top 10 Pitching Prospects list in the past 12 months.

Keep in mind – we aren’t even at July 31st yet! I can’t wait to see if Huntington has one final ridiculous-shakeup grand finale to this fireworks display of transactioning. McCutchen/Alvarez package deal?

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2 Responses to “Pirates Make Some Minor Personnel Moves”

  1. Pittsburgh Fan Says:

    That does make sense … McCutchen is playing well so I think it is time to trade him. The Bucs have to make sure to trade him to a team with a winning record and in the hunt for a playoff run … it would only be fair to McCutchen. Then NH could trade D. Young and really pull off a dead line deal by trading a player he only acquired earlier this season. BRILLIANT!!

  2. jmarinara Says:

    I think the Wilson/Snell deal was the steal of the year. I cannot believe they got a legit power hitting first baseman, a younger version of Jack Wilson, and three decent low a pitching prospects for Ian Freakin Snell and a two months of Jack Wilson.

    I mean good grief.

    The Freddy deal, well, I dunno.

    Despite what that angry San Fransisco version of Elvis has Left has to say about Freddy, he was unarguably one of the top five offensive second baseman in the game today, and the best defensive second baseman in the game today. We got their #4 prospect, which admittedly is a good pickup and one I very much look forward too. But I think they could have, should have, gotten more.

    But, it is what it is. The pirates are slowly but surely putting together some promise and hope that will eventually pay dividends in 2011 and beyond. I look forward to it, despite missing Jason, Nate, Freddy and Jack.

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