The Pittsburgh Pirates made two moves before the deadline, sending Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants, and Octavio Dotel to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite a lot of rumors, Paul Maholm remained with the team through the deadline.
Dotel went to the Dodgers, along with $500 K in cash, in exchange for pitching prospect James McDonald and outfield prospect Andrew Lambo. Lambo and McDonald ranked #1 and #2 in the Dodgers’ farm system before the 2009 season. McDonald has too many innings to qualify as a prospect in 2010, while Lambo fell to #7 in the pre-season rankings.
McDonald has a career 4.11 ERA in the majors in 76.2 innings, with a 7.4 K/9 and a 4.7 BB/9 ratio. In his career at AAA he had a 3.96 ERA in 116 innings, with a 9.7 K/9 nd a 3.5 BB/9. He was rated the #59 prospect in baseball prior to the 2009 season, according to Baseball America. Lambo has been stuck at AA for the last two years, although he’s only 21 years old. This year he’s hitting for a .271/.325/.420 line in 181 at-bats, with four homers. Lambo lacks speed and range, and his arm is only good enough for left field. He’s a gap hitter who could add power as he matures. Baseball America rated him the #49 prospect in baseball prior to the 2009 season.
With the deal, the Pirates get a potential top of the rotation starter in McDonald, although his ceiling is probably a number two starter at this point. Lambo adds to their outfield depth, and could push for the final long term outfield spot along side Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata.
The deal for Lopez wasn’t as big, with the Giants sending John Bowker and Joe Martinez to the Pirates. Bowker is 26 years old, with a career .238/.285/.394 line in 475 at-bats in the majors. Bowker has strong defense in left field, with a career 22.8 UZR/150 rating. Bowker is in his last option year, and will be out of options after the 2010 season. Martinez is 27 years old, with 41 career innings, and a 6.80 ERA in that time. At the AAA level he’s combined for a 3.79 ERA in 116.1 innings, with a 6.7 K/9 and a 2.6 BB/9 ratio.
Bowker looks like he will be a bench player, probably an upgrade over Delwyn Young, while Martinez will be middle relief depth. Martinez has one more option year beyond this season. All of the players in return are on the 40-man roster, with the exception of Lambo. The Pirates had an open spot on the 40-man roster prior to the trade, and Dotel and Lopez clear the final two spots needed for these deals.