UPDATE 8:36 PM: Luis Cruz will get the call, according to Scott McCauley. You could look at this two ways: either the Pirates are going to trade Freddy Sanchez soon, or Freddy Sanchez isn’t ready to return from his injury. Dejan Kovacevic reports that nothing is imminent on a Sanchez deal, which means Cruz is probably up because Freddy isn’t ready to play. The 25-Man Roster page is updated with the addition of Cruz.
UPDATE 6:55 PM: According to Ed Price of FanHouse, the Pirates are “Not Anxious to move” Sanchez. He confirms that they’re talking to teams, but said it’s more smoke than fire. Price was all over the Lastings Milledge deal, so I’d have to think he knows what’s going on here.
UPDATE 3:56 PM: Saw this on Twitter, via Bob Pompeani of KDKA Sports (@KDPomp):
“pirates are close to dealin freddy sanchez. i’m told it can happen at any moment”
Looks like we might see a deal today. It would make the Pearce demotion make sense, as the Pirates would probably bring up Bixler or Cruz from AAA. Dejan Kovacevic confirmed earlier that Ryan Doumit will not be coming up.
12:42: A lot of trade rumors going around lately. Here is a rundown:
According to Dejan Kovacevic on the PBC Blog, the Pittsburgh Pirates are “pushing hard” to trade Freddy Sanchez. DK says that the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants are two confirmed teams talking to the Pirates, but there could be four or five more teams in the mix.
My main objection to a Freddy Sanchez trade is that the Pirates have no options available to replace Sanchez:
-Ramon Vazquez can replace him through the 2010 season, although Vazquez has limited range, and struggles against left handers, with a career .204/.268/.236 line in 373 at-bats.
-Shelby Ford is considered the second baseman of the future, but is struggling in his first season at AAA, with a .171 average. Safe to say that Ford isn’t ready now, and can’t really be relied on as our hope for the future at second base.
-Brian Bixler could play second, although Bixler has been atrocious in his time in the majors, and isn’t doing much better at AAA. Again, not a guy we can rely on.
A trade with the Rockies might be the best bet, as Eric Young Jr could be our replacement for Sanchez. In the comments the other day, I wrote this about Young Jr:
Young’s minor league splits:
2009 (Colorado Springs, AAA)
Home: .331/.433/.459 in 133 AB
Away: .264/.341/.356 in 163 AB
2008 (Tulsa, AA)
Home: .289/.394/.345 in 197 AB
Away: .295/.392/.440 in 207 AB
2007 (Modesto, A+)
Home: .308/.368/.477 in 279 AB
Away: .281/.355/.397 in 267 AB
He’s been a .290 hitter at every level. He’s also been fine on the road in other levels.
I think this is just a case of Young not being ready at AAA yet. If he was with any other team, and not playing home games in Colorado Springs, he’d probably be a .265-.270 hitter right now. I don’t think that’s uncommon for a player in his first half-season at AAA.
Finally, I’ll point out his splits in high A ball (skipping AA, since he was injured the first half of the year):
September: .563 (16 AB)
He got off to a slow start at the level, but adjusted in the second half. I think we’re seeing the same case at AAA, and it’s masked by his elevated performance at Colorado Springs.
Young may not be ready for the majors, as shown with his away splits at AAA. I would be fine going with Ramon Vazquez for the remainder of the season, as long as we have Young ready to go for next season.
That being said, I’d want more for Sanchez than just Young. Maybe a pitching prospect thrown in as well.
Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reports that the Pirates and Marlins are talking a deal involving Matt Capps, but apparently aren’t close. This is mostly due to the Pirates limited interest in Jeremy Hermida.
I’m not too upset by this, as I’m not the biggest fan of Hermida. He seems like a .250 hitter with some power, and is too much of an injury risk. I’d rather see the Pirates get a few prospects.
16 of the top 30 prospects in Florida’s system, according to Baseball America, are pitchers. 7 of the top 30 are outfielders. Chris Coghlan is an intriguing option, as he could replace Sanchez at second base. Coghlan, 24, is hitting .250/.352/.340 in 188 at-bats in his rookie season in the majors. Florida has Emilio Bonifacio and Dan Uggla in the infield, which has put Coghlan in the outfield for most of this season. With Cameron Maybin doing well at AAA, they could afford to part with Coghlan.
I was a fan of Jose Ceda, who was the #10 prospect in Florida’s system coming in to the season. Ceda is a right handed reliever, throwing 95-97, and touching 100. He has a big frame at 6’4″, 275 lbs, drawing comparisons to Armando Benitez and Lee Smith. However, I noticed that Ceda had a torn labrum, and has yet to play a game this year. I wouldn’t mind getting him as a buy-low throw in, but I wouldn’t want to structure a deal around him.
Capps is one of our biggest trade chips, so there’s no need to be limited to just what Florida has to offer. The Pirates can afford to shop Capps around and get the best deal. They’ve got him under control for two more seasons, and he’s been a very effective closer, so it’s not like there’s a rush to trade him.