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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