Pirates Mulling Swap With Athletics?

Pirates Mulling Swap With Athletics?

The Pirates are mulling a swap with Oakland.

Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are mulling a swap with the Oakland Athletics that would include left handed pitcher Craig Breslow and outfielder Josh Willingham.  Biertempfel mentions that Garrett Jones would likely be out the door, although I’m not sure if that means it would be a Jones for Willingham/Breslow swap.

Breslow is making $1.4 M this year, and would be under team control for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.  He currently has a 3.24 ERA in 33.1 innings, with a 7.0 K/9 and a 3.0 BB/9 ratio.  In his career he has a 2.92 ERA in 253 innings, with a 7.7 K/9 and a 3.8 BB/9.  Breslow turns 31 in August.  He would be due about $546 K for the remainder of the year, and his overall trade value would be a little less than $2 M.  When combined with Willingham, the total trade value would likely be less than $3 M, which would be worth about two marginal prospects.

Jones projects to have a trade value of about $12.3 M, mostly due to having four years of control remaining after the 2011 season.  If it was a Jones for Breslow/Willingham swap, it wouldn’t be an even-value deal based on the long term value, unless a prospect was involved as well.  If the Pirates added Breslow, it would also likely mean the end of Joe Beimel in Pittsburgh.

UPDATE: Forgot to include the projected Type A status for Breslow. That adds $5 M to his value, which would make a Jones for Willingham/Breslow swap a little more even (especially if Willingham’s Type B status is considered).

UPDATE 3:42 PM: Buster Olney reports from a source that the Pirates aren’t discussing a package involving Willingham, at least not yet.  He does say that they are talking about relief options.

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  • HankS

    I like it!!!!!!!!   Possible for Willingham to move to first?  What Prospect do you see going? 

  • Chris M


  • Brian Nicholas

    That trade makes no sense to me at all. It doesn’t upgrade their lineup at all, even in terms of power, and brings them a lefty that may struggle to make the bullpen as it is now, let alone with a potentially returning Evan meek in August.

  • Bob

    I don’t mind getting Breslow but certainly don’t want Willingham.  

    • VincentR

      I am with you! Breslow would be a good pickup. All this talk about Willingham I do not get, in what way is he an upgrade?

  • Giraffe Monsoon

    Forget Willingham and go for Pence. Willingham is no better than Jones, and can’t stay off the DL. Getting and keeping Pence would keep the Bucs in contention for many years, not just this year. Whatever they have to give up, outside of Alvarez, will be worth it.


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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