The Pirates traded future closing candidate Vic Black in the Marlon Byrd trade.

Vic Black Is Officially the PTBNL in the Mets Deal

Ken Rosenthal reports that Vic Black is a strong possibility to be the PTBNL in the deal for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

Vic Black seems to be the PTBNL.

Vic Black seems to be the PTBNL.

Last night in my First Pitch column I wrote about how I had heard an unconfirmed name who was ranked lower than Herrera. That name was Black. I heard his name again today, so it seems very likely that Black is in the deal. Right now we have Black as the number 16 prospect in the system, although some have him higher. We rated him lower mostly because we tend to value relief pitchers lower than most.

Black is a major league ready reliever, and projected as the closer of the future for the Pirates. You should know my stance on relievers by now to know how I feel about losing Black. If you don’t, the summary is that he’s a great arm, but it is incredibly easy to find relievers and they should always be seen as expendable. Considering how well the Pirates have done with finding relievers, they don’t need to worry about losing a relief pitching prospect.

Rosenthal mentions that Black is on waivers and clears tomorrow, which explains the PTBNL aspect. If Black is claimed, the Pirates could pull him back and send him to the Mets after the season without the waiver process.

UPDATE 6:37 PM: Rosenthal says it is Vic Black.

UPDATE THURSDAY 4:39 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the move. Black is now in the Mets organization.

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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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  • CalipariFan506

    Now my thoughts on losing Black are 100% opposite of Herrera. Black throws hard but his mechanics look like a mess and he has no movement on his fastball. I wasn’t real confident he would even amount to a useful MLB reliever.

  • Matt Beam

    Relieved in who the PTNL likely is, no problem losing Dilson just wish this trade happened a month ago instead of yesterday

    • CalipariFan506

      The Mets would not have done this trade a month ago.

  • Bob Martin

    I’m not sure if a small market team that isn’t a major player in FA should be trading away 2 of their top 20 prospects for two rental players. The Pirates better get at least 1 comp pick for losing these players in the off season.

    • Stephen Brooks

      New CBA says you don’t get comp picks for losing rentals to free agency. It was supposed to stop rewarding the Yankees from loading up on free agents-to-be in July with a comp pick. Goes to show you how much things have changed when the Pirates fall into that net.

      The Mets really did well with this trade, you have to admit.

  • Stephen Brooks

    The Bucs were going to face a roster crunch with RP in 2014 anyway. All 7 of the primary bullpen arms (Grilli, Melancon, Wilson, Watson, Mazzaro, Morris, Gomez) are under team control, and you have Welker and Hughes behind them. And to complicate matters, McPherson and Pimentel are out of options.

    I sure will miss reading his AAA stat lines (1IP, 0H, 1BB, 1K).

  • deacs

    Yeah. And sometimes 2 K’s and 2 BB’s with no runs.

  • http://@gwbicster gwbicster

    I’m really good with this, I thought it’d be Stolmy. Losing a RHRP is nothing I lose sleep over.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD

      I wish it was Pimentel, instead of Black.

  • LongJohnSilver

    Guess I am the odd man out here. I do not like losing a pitcher like Black. Never agreed with the ranking he had here, and thought he was the closer of the future (next year even).

    I guess we will find out.

    • csnumber23

      Next year??? We still have Grilli and Melancon next year, not to mention Wilson. Black would have been lucky to even make the team next year.

  • Ecbucs

    we gave up a chance to get a player like Black to acquire Gabby Sanchez.

    The Bucs have all kinds of arms in minors, I don’t mind losing Black at all. He could have a couple great seasons as a middle reliever or closer for Mets but he was expendable.

    I would rather have Black than Welker or Hughes (and maybe Morris) but don’t think he is that much different than them potential wise. He has had control and injury problems so he is a risk for Mets.

    I remember when the Bucs traded for Don Slaught and Willie Smith (I think that was his first name) was included in the deal. Was very upset by that as he had annointed a power closer of future and all I could see was next Rich Gossage. Never happened.

  • Chris O’Rorke

    I just look forward to the day when we give a guy from the top 20 prospect list and actually get something in return. Look at this “stupid” deal (imagine an “insane” deal, is that Aramis Ramirez part two?). Between Neal’s last one getting Wandy and this one and we’ve lost 5 guys from the top 20 list and got seemingly (and literally) nothing in return. Many look at a prospect as he wouldn’t have made it anyway, possible, but the point is you don’t give a prospect away bc you think you are “rich” and can afford it. Same shit with the Penguins really. The Pirates really piss me off bc when you look at other systems they have guys outside the top 20 included in trades, and with us, every time, even to get nothing in return requires a 20 top prospect. I say f you Jobu, we’ll do it ourselves

    • Jeremy J Stein

      Insane would be trading away a top prospect who will likely have a good MLB career. Grossman, Owens, Herrera, Black and (5th prospect? Cain? Was he top 20?) aren’t likely going to have big impact MLB careers (if at all). Part of building up the farm system is being able to trade the lower ceiling prospects. Replacing those 5, are better prospects like Meadows, McGuire, Glasnow, Kingham and more prospects emerging like Escobar, Ramirez and Jacoby Jones.
      As long as NH doesn’t trade away the prospects that will be key to future success (like Polanco, Taillon, Glasnow, Kingham and Hanson) then we are okay.

      • michaelbro8

        Robbie Grossman in the last month:

        H/AB* 40/117
        R 17
        HR 4
        RBI 18
        SB 3
        AVG .342

        • stickyweb

          Somebody call the Hall of Fame. Grossman appears to be better than Ricky Henderson and Rod Carew. Combined

          Grossman’s stats look a lot like another August stat line:

          H/AB 37/109
          R 18
          HR 2
          RBI 8
          SB 4
          AVG .339

          That’s Tabata from August 2010 when he was a year younger than Grossman is now. Oddly, Tabby hasn’t even lock down the 3rd OF spot since then.

          Anyone can get hot for a month. I’ll take any wager that Grossman won’t hit .342 for the rest of the season. No limit on amount. Just let me know.

    • stickyweb

      5 top 20 prospects? That’s one way to say it, though I think only Grossman and the 2 this year were actually in the top 20. Another way to say it is AAA depth.

      Owens is hurt but even healthy, who is he starting in front of on this team, including Cumpton and Johnson as depth? Grossman is starring for the Astros for a month after they waited out his truly AWFUL first 3 months. Pirates wouldn’t have waited that out. Would he be ahead of Tabby and Lambo right now? No. Cain has been below average in A ball as a 22 year old. Black could have been a middle reliever next or not made the majors. Maybe a set up man in 2015, maybe a closer in 2016 or 2017? With Melancon, Wilson, et al. under control for years to come, he’s depth either in ML or AAA. Herrera may be in the ML by 2016 or 2017, but Mercer and Hansen will still be here too.

      Oh, and “literally nothing in return”? 25 solid #3 starts from Wandy plus whatever he can contribute this year and next. And Byrd just provided a month’s worth of RF production in one game. Pretty funny that a cleanup or #5 hitter in a line up is “literally nothing”.

  • Nate James

    After watching the game tonight, all I care about is the playoffs. A reliever is a reliever. Neal finds the best relievers in the trash every year. He is amazing at it. Herrera is a good prospect but seeing the place erupt tonight after the home runwas worth it. Everyone knows this was a sellers market. Look at the garza trade for heavens sake! Way better deal that Neal made for Byrd then the garza trade. Since its the 50th anniversary of the “I have a dream”, I would like to say, “I have a dream. I have a dream that the pirates make it in the playoffs. I have a dream that the city of pittsburgh erupts and pnc park is the jewel that we know it can be in October!”

    I love the pirates and in Neal we trust. Go bucs!!!

  • IC Bob

    I have to agree with Nate. Our line up went from putrid against LH to stout in one day. Anytime you can add a four hitter it really makes your team better. I hope Marte gets back soon because this line up really looks exciting. I also think about having Tabata coming in to PH and Buck or Jones coming up when we need a bomb. Glad we made the deal and I hope Herrera does awesome for the Mets. That will mean the Bucs truly are stacked in the minors and more teams will want to trade their best players to us in the future.

    • ginbear

      Honestly, hitting vs. Left Handed pitching has never been the issue. We actually we lead the NL in OPS vs. lefties (1st in OBP, 2nd in SLG).

  • Rebel

    Value of relievers are viewed differently by every team. Pirates need offense and Black deserves to pitch in the majors today. It’s a win for everyone!

  • CalipariFan506

    Not to nitpick but I strongly disagree that Lambo is better than Grossman.

    • stickyweb

      Pick all the nits you want! I didn’t mean to say Lambo is flat out better than Grossman. Only time will tell, but my money would be on the guy that has power. My point was that Grossman’s OPS pre All Star break was .553, 70 points lower than Snider’s, and we all know where he is right now. Now you could say Grossman would have been in AAA for the Bucs and just called up now to give a chance, but then I could counter that his first 3 months would have been like his first 3 months actually were, and he would have been no help right now.

      I just don’t think Grossman’s any big loss when you have 2 OF spots locked down and he’d be just another choice for RF along with the others now, and replaced by Polanco next June. Either way, I like having Byrd there for the stretch run and playoffs over all of the others.

      • Rebel

        Grossman spent a month in the majors before sent down for almost 2 months AAA. He’s been up little over a month since his recent call up. He wasn’t terrible for 3 months. Up for one month, struggled and sent down and since the recall is hitting 350 ish.

        • stickyweb

          Point taken, my bad. I didn’t look at his early season stats close enough.

          The fact still remains that his ridiculous August numbers (that he has almost no chance of maintaining), raise his season OPS to .717, still below Tababta’s. So where’s the great loss?

          • Rebel

            Grossman wasn’t so much a loss as it was a good trade for all. We got a good starting pitcher in Rodriguez and Houston got a good player. It’s worked out well for both teams.

    • Stephen Brooks

      Grossman is the better player today but has the more limited upside. He’s a 4th OF/2nd division starter – not enough power for a corner, not enough speed and defense for CF (his FRAA in CF are atrocious). If Lambo’s power is real, he can stick at RF or 1B and be an impact bat, which is more that you’ll be able to say for Grossman. Whether he’ll get there…he’s still just 24.

  • Lee Young

    So NOW who breaks into the Top 20?

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s prospect report.



    • Tim Williams

      That was already in last night’s report. It was Phil Irwin.

  • Rebel

    The 11-20 prospects look a little thin. We need more breakouts!!

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