This year has been the craziest Pirates season we've seen since all the losing started 20 years ago. Before the year started, we were just hoping they wouldn't look as bad as they did when 2011 ended...and maybe finish within 5 games of .500 (we had them pegged for 77-85 in our season preview). Instead, the Buccos are right smack in the middle of a pennant race, and yesterday was the last chance Neal Huntington had to find the missing pieces to turn the Buccos into legit contenders. The Trib's Rob Biertempfel nailed it with his description of Neal's Deadline Day:
The deals the Pirates made leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline Tuesday were not the bold, high-profile moves of a team seeking to turbocharge its roster in the middle of a pennant chase.
Huntington started by getting Wandy Rodriguez last week and on Deadline Day he pulled off three more trades for Travis Snider, Gaby Sanchez and Chad Qualls while learning how to be a buyer on the fly for the first time. The moves definitely made the Buccos better - no doubt - but did they make them better for this year? If the '05 & '06 Padres taught us anything it's that when small market teams have a chance at an October run, they have to take it...you never know when it could happen again.
Here's a look at how Huntington did as a buyer at the deadline:
But wait, there's more...