Suppose the Pirates are Trade-Deadline Sellers …

… what moves could they make?
A couple of days ago, Nicolas sent the Pirate bloggers an e-mail asking us to weigh in with our thoughts on a few trade possibilities:

Chacon to Cleveland?
Torres to the Mets?
Jacko to … Toronto, I suppose?
Do you think there is any actual merit to those rumors, and if there is, then is there any actual value to be had?

It seems like a short post would do the job, but I’m long-winded by nature. I’ll break my response into two parts. In the first (which follows), let’s take a look at whom the Bucs might move in addition to the aforementioned.
The key, I guess, is to determine who’s going to make the team next year. Once you figure that out, it’s easy to work backwards. We’re trimming the fat, essentially.
There’s no catching depth, so Doumit and Paulino aren’t going anywhere. Neither are LaRoche, Sanchez and Bautista. Bay and Nady are in the outfield. Brian Bixler will likely have a job in the infield, even if only in a utility role.
I would be surprised if the rotation weren’t made up of some combination of Snell, Gorzelanny, Maholm, Duke, Van Benschoten, Bullington and Burnett. I suppose, in theory, that means two arms are expendable. Dave Littlefield won’t trade any—nor should he. You can’t count on any group of five, and I’d prefer not to see more stopgap veterans signed next off-season.
The bullpen will draw from the same pool as this year, though I expect it’ll get a little younger. Capps, Sharpless, Bayliss, Rogers, Perez, Chavez, Osoria, et al. will stick. I wouldn’t argue if Daniel Moskos’ name were brought into the discussion. I’m thinking Damaso Marte’s going to be around, too, but I could be wrong.
Names I haven’t mentioned: Humberto Cota, Brad Eldred, Jose Castillo, Jack Wilson, Chris Duffy, Nate McLouth, Rajai Davis, Shawn Chacon, Tony Armas, Salomon Torres, Dan Kolb, John Grabow, John Wasdin, Marty McLeary.
An informal trade block? Perhaps. You can pare it down a little more, though:

  • Cota isn’t going anywhere—if a team wanted him, he wouldn’t have cleared waivers.
  • Brad Eldred’s hitting .229 at Indianapolis, so his value’s diminished.  Wait for a hot streak to deal him.
  • Castillo, Duffy and McLouth are all similar players, guys with decent skills but no stats. I think I’d rather keep them around than move them at 50 cents on the dollar.
  • Only a truly desperate organization would make a move for Rajai Davis.
  • Pitchers like John Wasdin and Marty McLeary are a dime a dozen.

That leaves my block at six: Wilson, Chacon, Armas, Torres, Kolb, Grabow.
The Wilson topic has been beaten to death. He’s an overpriced shortstop who makes a living with his glove. Yes, there’s a market for that. No, the Pirates shouldn’t keep him.
Chacon and Armas are inexpensive options for a weak pitching staff. Chacon’s value is the higher of the two at this point. To get anything for Armas, the Pirates would need to put him back into the rotation and pray for a couple of decent starts, a la Kip Wells in 2006.
Torres, Kolb and Grabow are the most interesting of the bunch as far as I’m concerned. If Roberto Hernandez brought Nady, then Littlefield should be able to get a decent bat for Sully—assuming he comes back in time to prove he’s healthy. Eighth-inning arms aren’t grown on trees.
Kolb and Grabow, should they pitch well over the next month or so, could also command attention. The lefty’s worth more here, but not if he can’t get anyone out.
Would any contenders want our scraps? I’ll take a crack at that later on today.

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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  • http://mvn.com don longley

    What would it take outside an act of GOD for the pirates to trade for grady sizemore? He would be perfect for the pirates and probably every other team in baseball. Given the Snell, Bay, Nady, Gorzelanny, Sanchez are untouchable who could we send the Cleveland?? Or do we not have enough?

  • http://www.financecoachllc.com Travis

    I’d like to see McLouth get 1 more shot at CF. He has plate discipline at least (in short supply on this team) and doesn’t look clueless against LHP breaking stuff like Duffy.

  • http://www.financecoachllc.com Travis

    BTW if Nady keeps it up against RHP, I will send a handwritten apology for my slander against him.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    Grady Sizemore? You could probably start with Bay, and then ask Cleveland what else they’d like.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates/ Randy Linville

    I think if Sizemore committed a felony or openly mocked the fans of Cleveland or the town in general (like Ichiro), then the Tribe would have to deal him. Other than that, I don’t see it.
    When Armas was yanked from the rotation I thought to myself what a shame it was that he hadn’t pitched well. I thought this not because I felt he could lead the charge to a .500 season, but rather that if he had a couple of decent starts, then maybe the Bucs could get something for him.
    At this point, unless DL sincerely thinks the Pirates can climb into contention, there is no reason not to give Armas another couple of starts in the hopes that he shows some sign of life so that he can be dealt.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    When I was writing the post, the idea of demoting Duke and starting Armas popped into my head. Have I officially lost my mind?

  • Crackbaldo

    Cory,
    You have not. Did Armas pitch worse than Duke? Probably, but only marginally so. Duke’s WHIP is an ungodly 1.65, but Armas’ was an unheard of 2.04. That’s two runners per inning for Armas! Duke’s not getting anybody out, though, and maybe he could regain his form in the minors. Armas only value to the Bucs is what he could get by trade and right now that’s nada.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    So it’s settled. Send Duke on a vacation to Indy for a month, try to build up Armas’ value, trade Tony in July for some crappy prospect.
    The council has spoken.

  • ROB SANDOW

    WHY DON’T THE PIRATES SPLIT GORZELANNY AND MAHOLM. THEY ARE SIMILAR PITCHERS AND BY THE SECOND NIGHT TEAMS GET USED TO THEIR PITCHING. SEPARATE THEM AND I FEEL THEY WOULD BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE.
    ROB SANDOW

  • ROB SANDOW

    WHY DON’T THE PIRATES SPLIT GORZELANNY AND MAHOLM. THEY ARE SIMILAR PITCHERS AND BY THE SECOND NIGHT TEAMS GET USED TO THEIR PITCHING. SEPARATE THEM AND I FEEL THEY WOULD BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE.
    ROB SANDOW

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    With three lefties in the rotation, having two pitch back-to-back is unavoidable.
    You need to decide, I guess, what’s the lesser of three evils. You’re going to have one of three combos: Gorzo-Duke, Gorzo-Maholm or Duke-Maholm.
    Pitching Duke and Maholm on consecutive nights—now that would be a disaster.
    Between Gorzo-Duke and Gorzo-Maholm, I don’t see a clear winner, though I’m not an expert on scouting reports by any means.

  • chuckiokie

    I don’t see why theay can’t find a way to get rid of laRoach. You could very easily move Nady to 1st and put Doumit in rightfield. I also think theay should send Duke down and bring up Yoman or another young pitcher that deserves a chance. Castillo seems to be making a case to be the ss he definitly has a better bat than Wilson. Duffy is going to save you more games with his glove than anyone else we have to play centerfield although I would like to see him steel more bases rather than Tracy tring to bunt him over with nobody out, we had such success doing it that way in the second half last year.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    The only thing I agree with there, chuckiokie, is the value of Duffy’s defense.
    I might send Duke down—but it wouldn’t be to make room for Youman, who’s struggling at Indianapolis.
    I might play Castillo at short full-time—but probably not unless I moved Wilson first.
    I definitely wouldn’t trade LaRoche. That … just wouldn’t make any sense. The Pirates are trying to find power bats, not give them away…

  • Aaron

    Chacon has been the best piece of the bullpen besides maybe Capps. Why would we trade him? The Pirates can deffinetly use someone like him to shore up the bullpen next year. Also I have a feeling that LaRoche will come around, in no way should we trade him. Don’t trade Sanchez, Bay, Bautista, and Nady either. I think Nady has been the most underrated player for us this year and we should keep him in the outfield. Lets just pray we keep winning.

  • Rich

    Aaron,
    You know why we trade Chacon? Because we’re freaking 8 games under .500 with him. Trade him now when his value is at its highest. Chacon is having a good season, but who says he will next year? He didn’t have a good 2006. The buccos need to start thinking outside the box on all of this. ala Florida Marlins style. Having good relievers on a terrible baseball team is the worst idea. You can always trade for good relievers later.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    Thank you, Rich.

  • http://twitter.com/yovanovich Jay Yovanovich

    Luis Heredia

  • http://twitter.com/jlease717 John Lease

    Daniel McCutchen, and his wild mop of hair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Dimmick/100000318490900 Steve Dimmick

    Starling Marte or Kyle McPherson

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Stack/605727788 Daniel Stack

    Erik Bedard

  • http://twitter.com/TachoBill Tacho Bill

    Pedro. He’s the biggest piece this year. 

  • dcProject

    The Fort

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IVYRIMQEOFK6SE755W4KJSPFAE hoakypoaky

    Tabata, he’s ready for a breakout year