Now that the first major trading deadline has passed, many writers and bloggers are speculating on the real winners and losers. As I read these, I'm surprised to find so many writers placing the Pirates among the losers at this point. In an earlier blog, I had said the Pirates needed to rebuild and start moving veterans for younger players (I also said that it was imperative that this be the last time they do this, as this would be about the 8th rebuilding plan since Jim Leyland last managed there.) While I said that the organization needed to keep a couple of its stars around for fan-based purposes, I did note that if the Pirates could make a good deal, then they should.
When the smoke cleared, the team had traded Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte and received a boatload of prospects including Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche, Jose Tabata and Ross Ohlendorf. The trades also allow them to bring up young five-tool OF Andrew McCutchen, who some writers criticize the Pirates for drafting over Jay Bruce. Granted, Hansen and LaRoche have not matched their awesome potential with Boston and L.A., but they could get a chance to shine in Pittsburgh as a closer and third baseman, respectively. Also, Ohlendorf could add to an already impressive young SP corps, and Moss and Tabata will be good OF additions to go with McCutchen and All-Star Nate McLouth.
While the Pirates still could have moved RP John Grabow, they did manage to hold onto fan favorite Jack Wilson and their young starting pitchers. Overall, a pretty good series of moves.
Now, on to the Rangers. I'm surprised they did not wind up on most writers' bad lists. How does a team with four major-league level catchers not make a deal in a market that was heavy on need at the position even with Pudge Rodriguez landing in New York? Florida, Cincinnati and a couple other teams had serious interest in Gerald Laird, who has no future here with Jarrod Salatalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden behind him. Granted, Cincinnati would have been a fool to give up Homer Bailey, but Texas GM Jon Daniels is an even bigger idiot if he truly believes they would have. Also, Eddie Guardado could have been dealt for more young prospects to use in a winter deal, but apparently the Rangers like their chances at the wild-card from third-place in the AL West. Oh, well.
A note on the Manny Ramirez deal. Why didn't Boston send him to a team with a traveling secretary who looked like Tiny Lister in Friday? Just a quick thought.
Until next time.