Thursday Trade Rumors

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.

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.

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:

Freddy Sanchez

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.

John Perrotto reported that the Rockies were interested in Sanchez. Ken Rosenthal said that the Pirates “covet” second baseman Eric Young Jr, currently on the Rockies’ AAA team.

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):

April: .237
May: .246
June: .273
July: .358
August: .304
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.

Matt Capps

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.

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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, 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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  • Kipper

    I hear what you're saying in regards to Sanchez and have thought the same way. Freddy and Jack for that matter are the 2 I'm most torn over. There's no replacements for them anywhere near which is a concern but they aren't getting any younger either and Freddy's nagging injuries aren't going to heal any easier as he gets older either.

    I like the idea of trading to bring in someone like Young Jr. I find it hard to believe that the Rockies would give up a potential future 2B for a soon to be 32 year old 2B with nagging pains in the body. I suppose it's a matter of belief of what they think can put them over the top.

    If the trade was made I wouldn't expect much more else in return. Huntington will likely request a pitcher in return like all of his trades but it'll likely be minor league filler. That $8 million on Freddy's contract hurts his value

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