Thursday, June 04, 2009
Last year at this point in time the Pirates had a solid outfield. Between Nate McLouth, Jason Bay and Xavier Nady their outfield had 35 home runs in two months. Of the three it was Jason Bay who had the lowest batting average hitting .290 in comparison to McLouth's .310 and Nady's .323. Each player had an OPS above .900 and were contending for a spot in the All Star game. Each player was still in their prime with Bay and Nady 29 year olds and McLouth a rising 26 year old. The Pirates were still poor sitting at just 28-31 thanks to their pitching staff, but at the very least they had an outfield to build upon. How things can change in less than a calendar year.
On July 26th of last season the Pirates sat at 48-56 and were ready to pull the plug on their season, thus their dealings began. They first dealt Xavier Nady and DUMBASSHO Marte to the Yanks for Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Dan McCutchen, and Jeff Karstens. Both Ohlendorf and Karstens are in their rotation today, but neither are particularly good. McCutchen (26) is a mediocre 3-3 in AAA with a 4.35 ERA. Tabata (20) is hitting a poor .250 with 0 HRs in AA right now. At least with this trade both Marte and Nady have wound up on the DL for the majority of the 2009 season.
A few days later the Pirates were the key player in shipping Manny out of Boston. The Red Sox desired to get their headache out of town but needed a player with at least comparable skills to head back in. This player was Jason Bay. As the third wheel of the deal the Pirates wound up receiveing Andy LaRoche with Bryan Morris from the Dodgers and Brandon Moss with Craig Hansen from the Red Sox. LaRoche looked like a AAAA player during his first year as well as the start of this season, but recently he's turned on the jets and is bumped his average up to .297 for the season. Bryan Morris (22) has yet to pitch this season in the minors after a poor season in Low A ball in 08. Brandon Moss is playing nearly everyday for the Pirates and is rewarding them by hitting .264 with 1 HR. Finally Hansen, dubbed a closer of the future for the Sox on draft day, has a 5.68 ERA in 5 appearances this season for the Pirates. Meanwhile, Jason Bay is likely going to start after being arguably the most valuable hitter in the 1st place Red Sox line up this season.
The final piece of the trading puzzle came yesterday when out of nowhere the Pirates dealt Nate McLouth to the Braves for Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernández. Locke (21) has an ERA of 5.52 in HiA ball. Morton is dominating AAA currently but in his first campaign in the bigs last year he was poor. Finally Gorkys Hernández (21) is an outfield prospect who was ranked as the Braves 4th best prospect coming into this season. This trade finalized the 3 up, 3 down, much like a typical Pittsburgh Pirates offensive inning.
Look at how happy they all look together. And now BOOM, they're all gone and likely way happier.