Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pirates News UPDATED

The Pirates are on the move again. They are only six games out of first place, which for most teams would mean they are in the race. Of course no one thinks the Pirates are in the race, but the next 13 games will tell if they are still in it. If they can stay within five games or so of first place at the All Star break, I think the Pirates would avoid off loading most of their team this year.

That said, they are going to make some moves no matter what. For example the recent trade of Eric Hinske Hinske was the obligatory off season free agent signed by the Pirates. He played mostly outfield with some third and first mixed in. He was not doing very well, and not giving them the power off of the bench they wished. So, they traded him. After calling up Steven Pierce, who can also play first and outfield, the need for Hinske was gone. They got two Single A prospects for him. The Yankees must be out of their minds. This can only be seen as a good deal. It gives Brandon Moss and Steven Pierce more playing time, and gives them two prospects. Garret Jones, who is generally not considered a part of the future of the Pirates but is hitting .307 with 12 homers in Triple A, has been called up to take Hinske’s place.

What should Pirate fans expect? I think they should expect one more deal no matter what. Garrett Jones is a full time outfielder and a left handed one at that. Steven Pierce is on the team right now as well, and supposedly was told he was going to play outfield. Pierce is a natural first baseman who for the past two years has been learning outfield. This year in Triple A they told him to go back to first base and was only told last week when he was called up to the majors, to play the outfield. I expect that along with the addition of Jones to the outfield this week means that Adam LaRoche will be dealt even if the Pirates remain in contention. Pierce will then become the full time first baseman. Adam is hitting better than normal and is a free agent in the off season. He is the best power hitter the Pirates can offer and is not a part of the future of this team. Expect Adam to go no matter what.

If the Pirates do fall out of contention in the next two weeks, you might could Jack Wilson go, although I am wondering if the Pirates would do this without a short stop who is big league ready right now. If they got the right offer, I think they would. The other possible trade is John Grabow, the lefty out of the bullpen. He would probably garner some interest, and could get a prospect or two in return. Now if the Pirates are still in contention, I think they keep both of those guys. If the Pirates are playing to win this year, you will know by the fate of Grabow and Wilson.

UPDATE: The Pirates have just traded Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Washington Nationals for Lastings Milledge and a right handed pitcher named Hanarhan. It is a pretty bad trade for the Pirates. It is a major gamble that Milledge will be better than he ever has been before and that he will grow into the player people hope he will be. If that falls through this is a major mistake. I do think it might be an attempt to compete this year and not an indication of a large scale sell off. Morgan is a leadoff hitter, which the Pirates already have in McCutchen, and with Tyler Yates down with an injure the Pirates need a right handed power reliever. So, that is the logic I guess. Bad trade. First bad one of the new ownership in my mind.


Anonymous said...

I am a 100% supporter of Neil Huntington. The man is willing to do what Dave Littlefield and Cam Bonifay never were and that is trade guys at their highest level of worth. Nyjer Morgan was at best an average Major Leaguer that is 29 years old.

Great moves by Neil