I still can’t wrap my head around why the Diamondbacks would even be willing to take Church and Crosby for nothing, let alone give up a good player for them. I know a salary dump is a salary dump, but you need to get something more than negative value, which is what they got.
The Andrew Lambo case is similar to taking Tabata becuase he was a former top prospect who has fallen from grace. The only difference is that unlike so many previous trades, the Pirates get something for nothing rather than something for a lot
Eh, let’s see. They burned their bullpen down to the water line. Lambo might turn into something someday, but the rest of the “prospects” they got are not really prospects any more. They have all had numerous chances and have failed to take advantage every time. I mean, if James McDonald can’t pitch in Dodger Stadium against the Giants and Padres, how on earth is he going to fare in a place like Pittsburgh? I’d say it’s a wash at best with the $2.5 M being the one redeeming feature, but $2.5 M won’t buy you very much in baseball these days.
How can it be a wash when the Pirates gave up literally nothing of value? At they very least they added Chris Snyder for two years on a reasonable deal, who should provide 2ish WAR per year if he’s healthy.
If they get so much as a decent bench player or fringe starter in the future out of that crop of minor league players, this trade is a significant win for the Pirates. Not every move can be flashy. The Pirates basically held a yard sale and managed to get rid of old junk that was just taking up space in their garage and pulled in about two hundred dollars in the process. It’s not eye catching, but it’s just free money.
Speaking of the Pirates moving into contention next year, what do they really need? The obvious answer is that their young players need to perform too their potential, but that doesn’t answer the question. Picking up free agents, and trading for?
With a small amount of pregression, or even with zero regression, the Pirate offense is servicable. I think they need to shore up the bullpen with some quality arms. A starting pitcher that can fill in for two years would be nice, but who?
What players fit the bullpen and starting pitching needs that also fall into the range of what Pirate management will do?
The Pirates aren’t contending next year… well, I could leave it at that. But even if their offense is serviceable, which would be nice, they just don’t have enough starting pitching. They’d really need two starters who are better than any of their current starters to have a chance, and that isn’t going to happen.
I don’t think that shoring up the bullpen is the key, the key is quite obviously starting pitching. When your #2 pitcher goes by the name of Ross Ohlendorf, your #3 is Zack Duke, and your #4 is Jeff Karstens, you need better starting pitching. Maholm is not a true #1 pitcher, but he is indisputably the Pirates #1! Without quality starting pitching, I doubt this team will go far. Taillon looks to be a great prospect when signed and Allie if he sticks as a starter does too, but they are a few years down the road. Brad Lincoln’s development into a reliable starter would really help the team out. Without Lincoln or Morton/McCutchen/another arm making huge strides, I don’t see this team being able to get good enough to compete with just free agents to rely on.
Comment by Justin Mosovsky — August 2, 2010 @ 7:30 pm
The Pirates’ offense really isn’t that good.
But then, signing a good middle infielder this offseason would be smart.
Jones, Alvarez, McCutchen, Doumit, Tabata, and Milledge is a decent start. Add in Snyder.
Or Cliff Lee, but then, I’m sure he already has pinstripes waiting for him.
James McDonald has spectacular looking stuff, but it’s stuff that will get him killed as a major leaguer. I saw him pitch in the Cal League a couple of years ago against the San Jose Giants. He struck out 13 batters that night and lost something like 5-2 because he gave up a 2 run HR to some career minor leaguer I can’t remember the name of and a 3 run blast to Pablo Sandoval that just might be the longest HR I’ve ever seen live. His problem is that everything he throws is up in the zone. If a couple of minor leaguers can catch up with it, what do you suppose a lineup of major league hitters is going to do. Sure enough, he pitches against the Giants last trip to LA, showed up with exactly the same stuff I saw in San Bernardino a couple of years ago, and the Giants teed off on him.
No, I don’t think James McDonald is going to be a successful MLB pitcher.
These moves are not going to do a thing to change the balance of power in the NL. That’s all I’m saying. It made the team even worse than it already is in the short term and did nothing to help them in the long term. Hardly the stuff to write a column calling them deadline winners or their GM anything special.
“It made the team even worse than it already is in the short term and did nothing to help them in the long term. ”
The Pirates gave up players with a net -WAR and acquired players with a net +WAR and this somehow makes them worse in the short run. Apparently every single prospect is going to bust too so the team will be no better in the long term! Wait, prospects don’t always bust and a positive WAR is better than a negative WAR? Who knew?
Comment by Justin Mosovsky — August 3, 2010 @ 1:28 pm