Three days away from the July 31st trade deadline and we’ve got some rumors…
-The big rumor from Ed Price involves Garrett Jones and the Anaheim Angels. Price mentions that the Angels inquired on Jones, but balked at the Pittsburgh asking price of Maicer Izturis. Izturis wouldn’t be a horrible return for Jones. Izturis is about a year older than Jones, has a career 4.1 UZR/150 at the shortstop position, and has put up some respectable seasons in the last few years at the plate. From 2006, his OPS by year has been .777, .753, .691, .794, and is .702 this year. The .691 and .702 numbers stand out, although each are better than the .667 Ronny Cedeno has this year.
It’s worth noting that Dejan Kovacevic says that the Angels haven’t contacted the Pirates about Jones, so there’s probably nothing to this rumor, but it does bring up the topic of trading Jones. Value wise, Izturis for Jones doesn’t look bad. Both provide about the same value from their respective positions. The problem is that the move fills one hole for the Pirates, and opens up another. I’m not sure that the move from Cedeno to Izturis would be enough of an improvement to counter the drop from Jones to…Jeff Clement? Steve Pearce?
The only way a move like this would benefit the Pirates is if they also received prospects in return, but that may not be likely to happen. Take away July 2009 from Jones, and he’s hitting for a .275/.348/.453 line in his career with the Pirates. His 2009 and 2010 seasons look extremely different, and when considering his numbers outside of July 2009, it seems he’s closer to the 2010 results than he is for the 2009 results. I like Jones, and think he’s a good starter, but I think he is to first base what Izturis would be to shortstop, which makes it unlikely that the Pirates would get more than an Izturis-type of player.
-Jon Paul Morosi tweets that the Pirates are getting calls on left handed reliever Javier Lopez. Lopez is holding left handers to a .200 BAA this year, and is under team control for the 2011 season. Payroll is a concern for a lot of teams this year, which could make Lopez an even more attractive option. Lopez is making $775,000 this year, and is owed about $288,000 from now until the end of the season. Morosi thinks that the Giants, Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, and Rays could all use a left handed reliever.
The Pirates may have a replacement already for Lopez, with the recently added Wilfredo Ledezma. Ledezma held left handers to a .146 BAA this year in AAA, all while putting up a 0.94 ERA and a 50:19 K/BB ratio in 38.1 innings.
-Rocco DeMaro takes a good look at some of the Pirates who could potentially be traded. He mentions Zach Duke and Octavio Dotel as players the Pirates should sell. I agree. Duke is eligible for one more year of arbitration, and will likely command close to $6 M next year. The Pirates can get Duke’s production for much less than that. Dotel has a $4.5 M option with a $250 K buyout, but the Pirates don’t need him as the closer with the way Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek have been pitching. In fact, you could combined the money owed to Duke and Dotel and get a pitcher much better than Duke.
Rocco also has similar thoughts on Garrett Jones, including a subtle comparison to Nate McLouth in regards to a player who could continue to decline in value.