Pirates trade Jack Wilson/Ian Snell to Seattle

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to the Seattle Mariners today. In return, the Pirates received Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Nathan Adcock, Brett Lorin, and Aaron Pribanic. Here is a rundown of all of the players in the deal:

The Pirates give…

Jack Wilson: Wilson’s defense helps play a big role for the Pirates, especially with a lack of replacement options in the system. Unless Seattle picks up his $8.4 M option next season, Wilson will be a free agent. I’ve seen a few reports saying he’d be open to rejoining the Pirates after the season, which would be nice, because Cedeno doesn’t provide the same defense, and Argenis Diaz might be too young, and might not come around on offense.

Ian Snell: Snell fell out of favor in Pittsburgh, but helped his trade value with some lights out performances at AAA. He was owed $4.25 M next season, and had two option years, with a reported $500 K buyout.

Cash: The Pirates owed about $3.9 M on Snell and Wilson this season, plus $0.6 M for the buyout of Wilson next season, and $4.25 M for Snell in 2010. Dejan Kovacevic is reporting that the Pirates are paying all but $400 K each on the remaining salaries to Wilson and Snell this season, which amounts to $3,102,198. They take on a little over $300 K for the remainder of the year with Cedeno, which means the savings are about $500 K this year, and $4.85 M next year.

The Pirates get…

Jeff Clement: Clement is by far the best prospect in the deal, and I’m surprised we landed him for Snell/Wilson. Clement was the third overall selection of the 2005 draft, and is a power hitting catcher who has yet to break out in the majors, turning 26 next month. Clement has hit for a .237/.309/.393 line with seven homers in 219 at-bats at the major league level. So far this season he’s hit for a .288/.366/.505 line with 14 homers in 372 at-bats at AAA. His career line in 1472 AAA at-bats is .284/.372/.495 with 52 homers, or one every 28.31 at-bats. Clement will probably play first base for the Pirates, as he’s been listed as a first baseman, but better get the Ryan Doumit trade rumors going, especially with Diaz, Jaramillo, and Tony Sanchez also in the system.

Ronny Cedeno: Cedeno is the only player who will report to the majors, possibly to replace Wilson at short for the remainder of the season. He’s struggling this year with a .167 average in 186 at-bats, although was a .252 hitter in 904 at-bats over four years with the Chicago Cubs. Cedeno has a 1.6 UZR this season, although that figure is higher than his time in Chicago.

Nathan Adcock: Adcock had the best rated curveball in Seattle’s system this year, according to Baseball America. In 102 innings at high A he has a 71:54 K/BB ratio, a 5.29 ERA, and 10 homers allowed. He has a 47.5% ground ball ratio this season, which is above average for starting pitchers. His career ground ball ratio is 51.7%. Adcock is 6’5″, 190 pounds, right handed, and sits at 89-92 MPH, touching 93. Fastball command is his key to success, something the Pirates have been working on with all of their minor league pitchers. Adcock is 21 years old.

Brett Lorin: Lorin is a big pitcher, at 6’7″, 245 pounds, and right handed. In 88.2 innings in A ball (same level as West Virginia) he has a 2.44 ERA and a 87:25 K/BB ratio. Lorin’s fastball sits at 90-93 MPH, and his curveball is said to be improving. He has average command and above-average control. He has a 42.1% ground ball ratio this year, which is average for starting pitchers, but his ratio is above average over his minor league career. Lorin is 22 years old.

Aaron Pribanic: Pribanic is a 6’4″, 200 pound right handed starter in A ball. In 87 innings this season he has a 3.21 ERA, and a 54:26 K/BB ratio, with just one homer allowed. Pribanic has a great ground ball ratio this year, at 63.5%, and 62.4% for his career. He throws 91-94 MPH, touching 95, and has a split-change out pitch. He has the ability to improve his velocity to 93-96 MPH. Pribanic was the 2008 3rd round selection by Seattle, and turns 23 in September.

Reaction to the Deal…

I was very surprised to see that the Pirates not only got Jeff Clement, but three pitching prospects for Snell and Wilson. Unless Seattle is picking up his option, Wilson is a two month rental. As for Snell, I don’t think anyone expected him to hold this much trade value, especially with a year and a half of poor performances, followed by asking to be sent to AAA.

Seattle traded us Jeff Clement, who was their top prospect in 2006 and 2008, falling behind Adam Jones in 2007, and uneligible this season. Clement has yet to break out in the majors, but the book isn’t closed on him yet.

The Pirates also got three talented A-ball pitchers, two of which were taken in the top five rounds by Seattle last year. I’ve seen that they were all included in Baseball America’s top 30 prospects this year for Seattle, but I forgot to bring my Prospect Handbook down to the beach to confirm this.

I’m surprised that we got this much for two months of Jack Wilson, and a struggling Ian Snell. It doesn’t surprise me that money was involved in the deal, and it was money well spent, considering the prospects we received in return, and considering we would have spent that anyways on two months of Wilson, and two months of Snell at AAA. Might as well get some production for it (although Wilson produced in the majors, but I’ll take the prospects over two months of Wilson).

If the reports are true about Wilson being open to returning, I’d hope the Pirates consider it. Wilson’s defense is vital to the success of the Pirates, especially with Neal Huntington’s tendency to acquire ground ball pitchers. The Pirates still don’t have any options close to the major league level of the quality of Wilson. Also, if they sign Wilson next year, they avoid 10-and-5 rights, which would have allowed Wilson to block any trade from 2010 on.

We heard a lot about how the Pirates tried to extend Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, and that the Pirates were more interested in Wilson. I’d say this gives a lot of credit to the rumors that a Freddy to the Giants deal is close. Last year the Giants had a deal agreed upon with Milwaukee for Ray Durham while the two teams were playing, only to finalize the deal once the series was over. Could we see the same happen after tomorrow’s game with Freddy and the Giants?

One final note, I’m still on vacation, which means the site won’t be updated with this deal until I return on Saturday. Here are some more reactions to the trade:

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Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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