Jayson Stark welcomes you to Dullsville:
“In terms of excitement,” said [a] front-office man, “this may go down as the worst trade deadline ever.”
We can cite all sorts of reasons—the epidemic of contract extensions, that disappearing species once known as “the salary dumper,” the understandable reluctance to trade draft picks who just raked in gigantic signing bonuses, and enough parity to keep all but a couple of teams from thinking it’s time to blow it up and rebuild.
Well, Pirate fans, Dullsville it is. Are we there yet?
We know our black and gold buccaneers are usually a little behind in the times. Thankfully, then (depending on how you view these sorts of things), they may just be one of those “couple of teams” thinking about an explosion.
The Pirates won’t extend Shawn Chacon (criteria no. 1), they’re surely looking to dump about $17 million worth of Jack Wilson (criteria no. 2), they refuse to pay their draft picks large signing bonuses (criteria no. 3) and our second-half win total (zero) leads you to believe that making the playoffs is out of the question (criteria no. 4).
No matter what Dave Littlefield says, I smell a fire sale burning.
Fans were outraged at the acquisition of Cesar Izturis yesterday, and I’m not quite sure why. Yes, he’s a replacement level player and no, he won’t likely be back next year and no, he’s not the big bat that’s going to magically vault the Pirates into October.
But if sending a middle reliever to the Cubs for Izturis and a few bucks means that the Pirates are finally ready to give up, I’m all for it.
As I said last year at this time, I’m not going to be a happy camper if Wilson, Damaso Marte, Salomon Torres and Shawn Chacon survive past the July 31 deadline. As Stark noted, there’s no one on the market for contenders to buy. Our guys look like palatable options for a contender. We’ve got a slick fielding utility guy, a couple right-handed middle relievers and a LOOGY.
Get what you can.
Going a step further, no one on the major-league roster would be untouchable right now if I were in charge. That means I’d be listening to offers for Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny and Jason Bay. Why?
Because I doubt that the Pirates will be contenders while any of those guys are on our roster. Haul in a king’s ransom now while value is near its peak.