Has the Time Come to Trade Away Jason Bay?

Everything I’ve read in response to Dejan’s article about the Pirates’ interest in Jarrod Saltalamacchia has surprised me. Before I go any further, let me clarify two points:

  • It seems extremely unlikely that the Pirates will acquire Saltalamacchia given David Littlefield’s history.
  • The Pirates will not trade Jason Bay.

Still, I was surprised that when the price for Saltalamacchia was set at Bay, Ian Snell or Tom Gorzelanny, the fans didn’t have more of a problem with shipping off Jason. When you consider, though, that this team has lost 95 games for two years in a row—and they’re on pace to do it again—everything starts to come into focus.
Desperate times, desperate measures. And trading your superstar is perhaps the most desperate measure of all.
Let me say one more time: The Pirates will not trade Jason Bay. He’s their cash cow, he puts butts in seats. Trading him, perhaps the best move for the long-term future of the club, would essentially wave a white flag on the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
But an overwhelming number of the comments I’ve read and conversations I’ve listened to over the past couple of weeks have expressed doubt in these Pirates. At this point, all we want is a winner—whether that’s now or three years from now. If trading away Jason Bay were to mean that the Pirates could be serious contenders in 2009, then you’d get my seal of approval—and a number of other fans’, too.
Right now the Pirates are terrible. Do something—anything—to change that.
Shipping out Bay would infuse the upper levels of the minor-league system with the impact players necessary to begin another rebuilding process. The Pirates would be looking for talent in Double-A and Triple-A, players capable of getting a taste of the majors in 2008. Littlefield would demand a king’s ransom, and he’d surely receive it. I’m thinking Bay would command two top-flight prospects and another solid contributor, but I really don’t know. Rarely is a player of his value—young, cheap, productive—made available.
I’m not suggesting that the Pirates should rush to trade away one of their only true major leaguers, but if the right deal were to come along …

Author: Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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