## Monday, July 21, 2008

I thought I'd take some time to look into some of the rumored trades as the Pirates approach the trading deadline, while evaluating the talent (or lack thereof) the Pirates could be bringing in a week and a half from now.

I'll break it down player by player, including what I think about the player, while looking at the statistics of the prospects the Pirates have been rumored to be after.

JACK WILSON

I looked the 'Stache in the eye a few weeks back and told him that I wanted to Jack Wilson to retire as a Pirate, adding that his defense is the last thing this team could afford to lose.

During Jack Wilson's time on the DL, Brian Bixler failed to come up with ground ball after ground ball, those of which Jack Wilson easily would have played, I was assured that Wilson must be stay. At the same time, Jack Wilson could very well bring the best value.

Shortstop is a hot commodity in the major leagues and Wilson's stock could very well be worth trading at the deadline. Not to mention, as the Pirates longest tenured player, a fresh new start at shortstop could be what this team needs. Just imagine a Pirate's baseball club without Jack Wilson on the 25-man roster.

The Dodgers are Wilson's biggest suitor at this point in time, and rumored to be involved in a deal for Wilson are some not-so-bad prospects.

Chin-lung Hu| SS, 24: Hit a combined .325 in Double and Triple-A last year with 40 2Bs, 6 3Bs, 14 HRs, and 62 RBIs. Hu was also the MVP of last year's MLB Futures Game, while being named the best defensive infielder in the Dodgers system by Baseball America. Hu has spent time on the major league roster, but has yet to translate his success from the minors.

James McDonald| RHP, 23:
A 6'5'', 195 pound McDonald has started 20 games this year in Double-A Jacksonville, going 4-2 with a 3.01 ERA, and striking out 106 in 107.2 innings of work. In 2007, between Single and Double-A, McDonald struck out 168 in 134.2 innings.

Lucas May| C, 23: This dude is garbage. Hitting .244 this year in Double-A, May hit .256 with 25 HRs and 107 SOs in 128 games last year in Single-A, falling in line with exactly the type of player Dave Littlefield would covet at this time of year. Here at Doubt About It, we hate Dave Littlefield.

I Want To Fight Tom Brady's thoughts:
If the Pirates could get Hu and McDonald I would pull the trigger in a heartbeat. For all I'm concerned, Hu could hit .250, just as long as he can play defense, which according to Baseball America is one of his assets. McDonald is a live arm that the Pirates need to add to the system. If you go up and down the minor league ranks, it is rare to find a Pirates starter, let alone pitcher, to have strikeout numbers approaching their innings pitched, a barometer I like to use to measure a power pitcher.

Nady is intriguing. Even with Scott Boras as his agent, Nady has gone on the record to say he would like to sign long-term in Pittsburgh, mentioning that the Pirates have not contacted him about a new deal. "I enjoy this group of guys and these coaches. You spend eight or nine hours a day with the same people, it's important to enjoy that, and I do. I'd love to stay here a long time. I enjoy being part of the Pirates. But I also know there's nothing I can do about that," Nady said in the Post-Gazette.

First off Xavier, there is something you can do about that...you can contact Mr. Boras and tell him to contact the Pirates, or you could contact Neal Huntington yourself. Either way, Nady brings value. I love his strength and ability to put the bat on the ball to either field, but I also think he brings good trade value because he is locked up through 2009. The Yankees have apparently picked up interest in Nady, along with Jason Bay, and have been rumored to offer the following prospects.

Austin Jackson| CF, 21: Jackson is hitting .296 this year, with 26 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 9 HRs, and 15 SBs. The only downside to Jackson, and only a slight one at that, is his strikeout total. Jackson has 73 strikeouts in 96 games in 2008.

Jose Tabata| RF, 19: Tabata's numbers are not overwhelming, but for a 19-year old they can't be tabbed as awful. With 9 2Bs, 3 HRs, 36 RBIs, and a .248 average during 2008, no one would be blown away. However, hes from Venezuela, was named the Yankees 2nd best prospect by Baseball America, and "The Best Hitter for Average" in the Yankees Minor League System in 2007. Unfortunately the Yankees system isn't known to be stocked with talent.

Ian Kennedy| P, 23: Kennedy is 0-3 in the Major Leagues this year, with a 7.41 ERA over 8 starts. Ya, the ERA looks like a perfect fit for the Pirates, but truthfully Kennedy would be a great addition for the Pirates. Kennedy has dominated the minor-leagues and would make a good fit in Pittsburgh, where a combination of shitty starting pitching would once again make him feel like a stud.

I Want to Fight Tom Brady's thoughts: If the Pirates could get two of these prospects for Nady, I would be very happy. For Bay....well that's coming up.

JASON BAY

The Pirates won't trade Bay. IF hes traded, I do trust that the Pirates will bring back a plethora of prospects. I can realistically see the Pirates signing Bay to a 5 or 6 year extension this off season for about $11-13 million per. Lets remember, the Pirates paid Matt Morris$10 million. $11-13 is not unrealistic, and Bay is probably willing to take a discount. I also see Bay, unlike Nady, wanting to stay here a great deal more. If the Pirates do wander down the path of a trade, you can expect some of these names. Matt Kemp|23, RF: Kemp has cooled down a bit this year, compared to last, but still providing Bay like numbers, minus the power. Kemp has been rumored in a package deal from the Dodgers that would send Wilson and Bay to the west. The Pirates would of course receive some or all of the prospects listed above. Chris Duncan| 27, RF: Duncan has had a very off year compared to his previous two seasons with the Cardinals. Duncan hit .293 in 2006 with 11 2Bs, 22 HRs, and 43 RBIs, but only .259 in 2007 with 20 2Bs, 21 HRs, and 70 RBIs. His average has dropped to .249 this year, with only 6 HRs, but Duncan could be a good lefty-fit at PNC park. Anthony Reyes| 26, SP/RP: Reyes is rumored in a Pirates deal every year. If you don't know him by now, leave this blog and go read some archives. I Want to Fight Tom Brady's thoughts: The Pirates have been adamant about getting two top-level prospects and one second-tier prospect for Bay. I believe they will, and I believe that Huntington won't settle for less. The Wilson-Bay package to the Dodgers could be interesting, but I would only make that deal if we got every Dodger prospect listed in this post. The Cardinals have been said to be very interested in Jason Bay, but I don't see the Pirates trading within the division. See Aramis Ramirez DAMASO MARTE Imagine the Pirates bullpen without Marte. Imagine a bullpen without Marte, without Capps, now John Grabow is your best reliever... ...Oh, but what do you know, they want to trade Grabow too. So now you have Tyler Yates closing your games. Do the Pirates realize they don't have a bullpen? When healthy, with Capps, the bullpen is OK, not anywhere near great...but it can manage as long as the Starting Pitchers are carrying their weight. Unfortunately as we all know, the Pirate's starting pitchers suck. Simply put, I can't imagine the Pirates will get anything back for either of these relievers. They're smart to demand top-tier prospects, but I doubt it will happen. Marte is worth bringing back at$6 million per next season. If you haven't watched free agency these past few years then you may not have realized the silly kind of money that relievers are getting. Marte is our best reliever, even when Capps is healthy. He deserves $6 million per and I would hate to see the Pirates trade him for some rags like they did Torres this past off season. In the meantime, pitching help is on the way. The Pirates have Daniel Moskos waiting in the minors. He has a 6.15 ERA through 86.1 innings at Single-A Lynchburg. If that doesn't brighten your day, don't worry, the Single-A State College Spikes have a total of 7 out of their 15 pitchers with ERAs above 5. Jason Bay just hit a game-tying HR against Valverde...$11-13 million a year, I mean its more than Sidney Crosby! Hes gotta take it.

...and Adam Laroche goes deep. I'm going to bed. Trade Laroche while hes hot...

Anonymous said...

We need to trade them all, just restart the whole damn thing with a bunch of prospects like the Marlins.

Nice post

Frank the Tank said...

Holy crap. This was the most research I have seen done on the Pirates since the early 90s. Hell of a post.

Sam said...

Good post. I know I'll be pissed if something big doesn't happen.