Pirates Offered Luis Heredia and a Comp Pick For Bud Norris

We often hear rumors around this time of year, saying that Team A is in on Player B. Sometimes those rumors include more details, such as certain prospect names. Most of the time, we don’t really know the full story, and the majority of rumors never amount to anything. It’s rare that we get complete information on trades. But that’s what we have today.

Deadspin posted some hacked information from the Houston Astros, who apparently keep a database with every discussion they’ve had involving trades. The discussions include last summer’s Bud Norris trade talks, and feature several conversations with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The big thing here is that the Pirates were willing to deal Luis Heredia and their compensation pick this year (who ended up being Trey Supak) in exchange for Norris. The Astros turned it down, wanting Tyler Glasnow in exchange.

The Astros were also looking for Gregory Polanco, although Huntington said he wouldn’t include Polanco in any Norris deal. It seemed that the Pirates were willing to discuss Glasnow, Heredia, and Alen Hanson.

The Astros asked for Glasnow and either Heredia or Nick Kingham, and Neal Huntington said no. That’s when he countered with Heredia plus an additional piece, throwing out the compensation pick. Two days after that conversation, Huntington made the official offer and it was turned down.

It’s interesting to see how this matches up with the rumors from last year. The first interest from the Pirates was June 30th. On July 18th, a tweet came out saying the Pirates were interested.

On July 30th, Jeff Passan tweeted that a package around Tyler Glasnow made the most sense. He also tweeted that the Pirates wouldn’t deal Polanco. This all came five days after the conversation where the Astros asked for Glasnow as the main part of the deal and Huntington said no. It seems pretty obvious where Passan’s sources came from on that one, since Glasnow only made the most sense for the Astros. That was also true at the time.

In my trade values article last year, I wrote that Norris was worth a top 51-100 pitcher and a Grade C hitter. Heredia/comp pick seems to fit in that line of value. However, I also wrote that I wouldn’t deal for Norris. He’s not a particularly good pitcher, even when he’s at his best. This year he has a 3.62 ERA in 87 innings with Baltimore. However, the Pirates are getting the same production from their depth options, while keeping Heredia and the comp pick. That’s all moot, as the Astros declined that offer and wanted Glasnow and Kingham or Glasnow and Heredia. There’s no way that Norris would have been worth that much. I wouldn’t have traded Glasnow or Kingham by themselves.

Tim Williams

Author: 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 AccuScore.com, 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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  • Dom DiDominic

    Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.

    • R Edwards

      Amen!

  • csnumber23

    Thankfully Neil is not a moron! Houston tried getting Glasnow and Kingham for Bud Norris?? That is absurd and I agree Tim, I wouldn’t give either for Norris. I hope they aren’t willing to even discuss Glasnow at this point!

    • Ron Loreski

      I think Glasnow, Tallion, and McGuire are the only untouchable prospects the Pirates have. I would include Kingham if we were getting a killer return, but only if that’s the case.

      • Lee Young

        Kingham has long been one of my favorites. IF we deal him, we better get something REAL good.

    • Timothy Wolfe

      Does deadspin have the thinly veiled laughter which ensued once the astros made their demands? What did they end up getting for Norris again?

  • Arik Florimonte

    I’m glad he didn’t deal top prospects for a middle of the road starter. As pointed out, we have depth options at AAA who do as well. That said, if we are talking about a true ace, then top propects are fair game IMO.

  • smurph

    That’s really how you have to look at things as a small market team:
    1. You will not sign the top free agents, simply because the large market teams will outbid you.
    2. To trade for a top player with an expiring contract, either this year or next, you will have to give up at least 2 top minor league prospects.
    3. To trade for an average player you will have to give up at least one top prospect.
    As pointed out in the article, why give away a top prospect for an average starting pitcher when you have at least 4 SP in the minors who can perform just as well. Not to mention the difference in salary.

  • smurph

    Despite recent setbacks, I would not trade Heredia straight up for Norris.

    • leadoff

      I would not either.

      • Timothy Wolfe

        I would…..IF we needed a starting pitcher. I would deal Lirano straight up for Norris though

        • csnumber23

          No way! I take Liriano any day of the week and twice on Sunday over Bud Norris! Everyone quickly forgets what a lights out ace Liriano was last year. Can he get back to that? Not sure, but he could. What I do know is that Bud Norris never was and never will be a lights out ace!

          • Timothy Wolfe

            I would- A) because this year, Liriano is garbage, I don’t really care what he did last year. B) Because Liriano is gone after the year either way C) Right now all our depth options are better than Liriano, hence trading him for anyone is a net win for our playoff chances.

            I’ve watched every one of his starts this year, and he mechanically, is a mess. Every start he spends the first 2 innings trying to establish his changeup location. Literally every single start, i’ve watched him throw 7 straight changeups in the left handed batters box. Look at his ERA for the first and second innings this year, it tells a story. The only way we are going to get him right, is to keep him in AAA on rehab until he gets his control back….and if he doesn’t, dont reinstate him, trade him or release him.

          • Timothy Wolfe

            Norris won’t generally lose you games, Liriano does. For a team that hits well, that is not a net win, on a team like last year, that chance of being lights out was worth it cause we struggled scoring 2 runs many days. If we had 5 starting pitchers right now who alternated giving up 2 runs in 6 innings and 3 runs in 7 throughout the entire season, that would win us many more games than liriano’s 0 in 7 innings, 5 runs in 5 innings starts

  • leadoff

    Sometimes teams try to steal players, any deal that would include Glasnow for Norris straight up would be stealing from the Pirates. For some reason the Pirates don’t recognize their own talent, they gave Holt away as an afterthought, They gave the Mets a top shelf infielder, they looked at Harrison as an afterthought, they treat Hague like he has no value, Compton is another afterthought and rarely mentioned by the Pirates as a valued commodity, they value Stewart ahead of Sanchez and cover it up by saying he is better off at AAA. IMO, Kingham will never see the majors with the Pirates, he is trade bait as is Bell and Glasnow, the sad part is they could go for a 2 month rental.

    • deacs

      I could see Bell being blocked if you don’t buy the argument of moving him to First. But do you really think they’d trade Glasnow? If the Pirates didn’t move him last year when the pressure was at an all time high, why do you think they’d move him now?

      • leadoff

        Huntington was asked about Bell moving to 1st base and he did not say he would not move him to 1st base, he answered the question with the Pirates are deep in outfield talent, including the major league talent. As far as Glasnow is concerned I said I don’t think the Pirates know how good he is, because he was in the conversation for Norris and if it were not Norris and it were someone slightly better they might have moved him. I get the feeling the Pirates have evolved to the point where they have toys that are pretty well developed and some high end developing toys and they don’t know quite what to do with them. When you have players blocked and other teams know you have them blocked, they are going to try and get them cheap, they know you are going to have to do something with them.

        • moose7195

          Glasnow was probably in that conversation because the Astros put him in the conversation, how is that NH’s fault? If you were an opposing team’s GM, wouldn’t you want to throw out the names of the other teams best prospects. If you ignore them, then there is a 100% chance of you not getting them.

        • moose7195

          One other thing: How is a player in Bradenton blocked? Both Bell and Glasnow are maybe 2 years away and a lot can change in that time

      • Matt Beam

        agree, Glasnow is coming to the Burgh only, I’d only part with Kingham and Bell for Price, not some glorified #4 starter, we have enough of those

        • Monsoon Harvard

          I wouldn’t. Pirates don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of signing Price to stay. They have Kingham & Bell into the next decade. Not worth sacrificing the future for a temporary arm.

      • Timothy Wolfe

        leadoff never said that…..

    • Lee Young

      Leadoff…gave away Holt as an afterthought? They got Melancon and Pimental. They already had a Holt in JHay.

      As for Sanchez, they want him to play everyday. It is NOT a coverup. Of course, hitting .194 and unable to throw straight wouldn’t be too welcome in Pgh anyway.

      Last year, lots of teams wanted Glasnow and Kingham (and this year). They haven’t been dealt yet. NH even stated that they know what they have in Kingham. I believe it was posted here by Tim in an article.

      Also, NY wanted Kingham for Davis. I think you’ll see Kingham in a Bucco uni.

      • leowalter

        An even better Swiss Knife than Holt in Harrison.

        • Timothy Wolfe

          Holt is a better player than Harrison, but i like them both quite a bit

          • leowalter

            Holt does not have as good an arm as Harrison Tim, nor is he as quick or as fast. He doesn’t have the arm strength Harrison has as well.I watched him play for pretty much his entire AA season, just as I had seen Harrison, and he just isn’t as talented.

      • Timothy Wolfe

        Kinghams decrease in velocity kills his value for me, i don’t see him being that great honestly. I’d take a good offer for him, he won’t be better than a innings eater pitcher at best as good as morton unless that 3-4 MPH comes back

    • https://profiles.google.com/114565183969029109900 Donald Moore

      Couldn’t disagree with you more. Basically Melancon & Pimentel for Holt (Hanrahan pretty much became worthless) was a fantastic deal – one of the best in Pirate history. Holt would be a utility player for Pgh if they still had him as he has no place to play. And no – I strongly disagree that because they dealt Holt that means that they’ll trade Bell, Glasnow, or Kingham. Pgh probably holds on to their top prospects (Holt was not a top prospect) possibly more so than any other team in baseball. That’s been their strategy & the reason they are successful now & will be in the future. And it’s ridiculous to believe they value Stewart over Sanchez. Sanchez is better playing everyday in the minors this season than sitting behind Martin. Geez they used their nbr one pick for Sanchez and you think they don’t value him? And Stewart was a great move as a backup. And Harrison an afterthought??????? They traded for the guy when anyone could have had him for nothing. And Compton not being valued? He’s the first guy they turned to last year and this when they needed another arm and THANK GOD they valued him enough to give him the opportunity rather than trade prospects for someone else. And talk about recognizing value – Worley could be the pick of the year – as was Burnett & Liriano last year.

    • moose7195

      But Hague does have no value. And when have the Pirates ever dealt from
      the top of the farm? Don’t try to convince me that Dilson Herrera was
      some massive mistake. He was expendable and not even universally
      regarded as a top shelf prospect for the Pirates

      • Timothy Wolfe

        Hague can tear up lefties and Dilson Herrera was about as high as you’d see a second baseman ranked quite honestly……I know leadoff was too far to the right, but you don’t have to go as far as him to the left to get back to the middle, this isn’t politics

        • moose7195

          But Hague truly provides no value for this organization. He is the proverbial AAAA player with very little power for a corner infielder. On a much weaker team with a poor bench, he may be worth some time in the majors. But with Gaby Sanchez and Josh Harrison on this roster, he is worthless. I liked Dilson Herrera, but he was certainly expendable with this being one of the best farms in baseball. Even as one of the higher rated 2B prospects in the minors, he had real questions about his game and he was really far away from helping this big league club. Is that thinking really that radical? I thought that was the prevailing opinion about 10 months ago

          • Timothy Wolfe

            Yes he does- he provides a lefty mashing first baseman IF gabby leaves or gets injured. That is his value. He has no less power than Gabby honestly. He is an insurance policy, and unless insurance has no value, he has value

          • Timothy Wolfe

            I don’t recall anyone caring how far away Dilson was, not sure how that’s even relevant when you are talking about an A ball player. That has no bearing on his value long term, and i don’t remember specific concerns about his game at all

    • Timothy Wolfe

      The Pirates have absolutely no idea how to rate anyone who isn’t a pitcher or outfielder. I have no idea why, but its actually been a relentless problem for at least 10-15 years if not more

    • Timothy Wolfe

      I’m still irritated about them dealing Holt. We undervalued him, the redsox undervalued melancon and pimentel….it evens out

      • csnumber23

        Am I really seeing multiple people complaining about trading Brock Holt? Are you kidding me? Leadoff, I stopped reading your post when you put Brock Holt in the same category as Glasnow, Kingham and Bell.

      • freddylang

        That’s how a deal works. One team takes a risk giving guys up and the other does the same giving a guy back. …and last time I checked Holt is playing mostly OF so his value as a starting INF is not really there although he of course is blocked by Pedroia. The Pirates got two valuable parts and Holt is playing well for Boston. Pedro Ciriaco played great for Boston for a season too after the Pirates got rid of him. But he has a -0.7 WAR since. Brock Holt is playing damn good though and looks like a player but the Pirates have Harrison in the role Holt would be in and have a closer and another good pitcher out of the deal and the Hammer off the books…so it all worked out. Judging a deal by what one guy does and not taking the context of your team’s depth into account is pointless.

        • freddylang

          …also in a small sample Holt does not grade out as a very good 2B/3B and Harrison does. So there is that also.

          • Timothy Wolfe

            everyone 2 months ago was talking about how Harrison can’t play defensively anywhere, now he grades out better than Holt…..I was about the only one saying Harrison’s defense was a positive, not a negative. I’ll say Holt is also an above average defender

            • freddylang

              Who is this everyone? I was never in that group that detracted Harrison’s defense.

              • Timothy Wolfe

                If I went back to February and March and read everything relating to harrison and why he shouldn’t make the team, he cant field he can’t hit, it was everywhere.

                • freddylang

                  Agreed. But anyone that has watched him actually play including me would not have said that. He is not the most fluid guy all the time but his first step is great and from what I have seen from him this year he throws really strongly and accurately on the run. I don’t think you really lose any defense at 2nd when he is in there for Walker. …and he plays a solid 3B too. He is just ok in the OF but he may end up making himself ok out there with more time.

        • Timothy Wolfe

          Pedro’s -.7 WAR is a worthless stat considering his lack of playing time since then. I personally just really liked Holt, still do, but the trade was a net win. Doesn’t mean I didn’t wish they traded someone else instead of Holt.

          • freddylang

            The real fluke was Ciriaco’s 1.8 WAR in a half season his first year with Boston. I do like Holt though. I just think if he stayed then Harrison would be gone so even taking them as equals I am glad how it worked out with the Pirates getting two really good pitchers.

    • Timothy Wolfe

      I actually disagree with everything from Compton on forward, and agree with everything before that.

  • Hawbs2

    Tim is there any way you could see the Pirates trying to get Ian Kennedy

  • BallHeadWonder

    The Astros are smoking weed!!! Nick Kingham has become untouchable with the way he has been pitching in Triple A!! Tim can you tell me the rosters he has been facing to have such good numbers since he got promoted to Triple A?? AND….Will he be a Super 2 Victim next season?? Or can he compete for an Open Rotation Spot??

    • freddylang

      I think if the Pirates are in the playoff race in Sept Kingham will get used down the stretch if only even in a long relief/spot starter role if he continues to dominate. No point not using him when he definitely could pitch his way into the rotation to start the season next year…and if he doesn’t he will be in the Cumpton swing role to start the year which will decrease his chances of being in the super two zone. BallheadWonder I don’t know the talent of the teams he has faced but anyone who can dominate at the AAA level like he has is pitching impressively. There are always fringe major leaguers and a few prospects on almost all AAA rosters.

      • freddylang

        Kingham will pass Taillon on the prospect list if he continues to dominate…Kingham will be 15 AAA starts ahead by the end of this summer and Kingham has better numbers while pitching against basically the same talent as Taillon. I’m not saying Kingham has better stuff but he has does a better job of doing the things the Pirates want fro their young pitchers better than Taillon has. It’s funny how things turn out…way more focus was put on Heredia and Taillon and the two gems right now are Glasnow and Kingham.

        • leowalter

          The ironic thing freddy is that when Kingham was in Altoona, for most of his starts he was struggling with his command !

          • freddylang

            Yes at least for the first 5 or 6. You just never know what these guys are working on unless you see them everyday or every start…then a lot of times you still don’t. It is the most overstated thing about never having too much pitching but results fluctuate and attrition rears its head nonstop. Having Kingham 7 or 8 on the depth chart is a beautiful thing right now.

            • leowalter

              I saw all of his home starts in Altoona freddy,and trust me,he struggled in all but one of them.

              • freddylang

                I tried to get the actual splits yesterday but stupid milb.com gets rid of the previous levels numbers other than total when a guy gets promoted. That site is consistently terribly administered. You are totally right though…his control was not Kingham-like to start but it got there right before and after the promotion.

        • Timothy Wolfe

          no. he won’t. not with a 92 mph fastball he won’t

        • leowalter

          Have you ever seen Taillon pitch when he was healthy ? Kingman, who I like a lot, is not a Jameson Taillon type prospect.

          • freddylang

            I totally agree with that…I am just saying Taillon has not dominated with what he has for the most part and Kingham mostly has…there is always focus on stuff, stuff, stuff, and it’s not all about that…I hope Taillon comes back healthy and blows past Kingham but right now Kingham has been as impressive as anyone in the Pirates system including Glasnow because he shows the polish that is expected of a mlb ready pitcher.

            • Timothy Wolfe

              Who cares who dominates when its not based on stuff. Dominating AAA hitters is no recipe for an all-star pitcher

              • freddylang

                Great Stuff or just good stuff, dominating is dominating. Could it be that his velo has dropped because he is throwing 2 seamers? I have no idea because I have not seen him this year.

            • Timothy Wolfe

              I can’t argue with that freddy. I have to admit i’m the biggest person at complaining because Tim puts peripherals above results, and it seems now i’m brainwashed to do the same thing, even if its just minor leaguers. You are right, he has been. Even with his velocity down and his strikeouts way down, he has looked really good. That being said, until its’ been done for the remainder of the year, i’m just not sold on it yet

            • Timothy Wolfe

              Tailon doesn’t need to dominate to be a better prospect. He always will be a better prospect, unless his arm doesn’t come back properly.

      • Timothy Wolfe

        There are a lot of pitchers who have mirrored that performance in AAA but without the stuff, get hammered in the major leagues. I can’t remember who it was but there was someone with the indians maybe 3-4 years ago that fit that. Hell, Daniel McCutchen did that, remember?

        • freddylang

          Very true but Daniel McCutchen gave up 25+ HR per 200 IP in the minors and was usually old for his level and Kingham has been young for his level and pounds the bottom of the zone which is more conducive to MLB results. Kingham has allowed 10 HR in his last 241ip while sporting his near 3:1 K:BB Ratio. …and I am pretty sure he can reach back and get to 94-95 if he needs to. Velo isn’t everything…as long as a righty can get around 91-92 they can have success. You don’t see many righties that sit 89-90 doing much though. I feel like Kingham will end up a solid #3 or a good #4.

          • freddylang

            …minor league stats and results can leave you scratching your head either way though. Jeff Locke pitched like a journeyman all spring and then gets called up and has looked like Cole Hamels for the past few weeks.

    • Timothy Wolfe

      has weed conventionally made people that delusional? no wonder its illegal….

  • Ben Swogger

    I’m thankful that this did not happen but slightly concerned that it was even being discussed.

    • Lee Young

      I’m not…he said he ‘might consider Glasnow’, but he was probably just saying that to keep lines open. jmo

  • Lee Young

    I am more concerned to see if other teams’ texts will be hacked. It could be open season on GMs?

  • Nick Rexilius

    I heard that the info first leaked onto Anonbin. It’s crazy that the Stros wanted people like Polanco, Boegarts from the sox, and Taillon straight up for a weak starter like Norris. Keep dreamin!

  • freddylang

    After reading John Dreker’s recent article on Heredia and hearing this I am beginning to think the Pirates’ fo has its doubts about Heredia’s upside because Bud Morris is as slightly above average as you get. Other than his rookie season Norris’ WAR has not diverted out of the 0.8-1.8 range. He consistently has been the definition of a 4th starter. It takes more than talent to be a major leaguer. Drive to outwork other prospects and the mentality it takes to grind it out and find a way to succeed are so important. Does Heredia have this? Despite his size, frame, and stuff he has not shown any spikes in improvement yet. I still have plenty of hope but it is not too early to throw these questions out there.

    • Lee Young

      I have totally lost faith in LH. I hope he restores my faith, but John’s article pretty much confirmed my suspicions.

      He is treading into ZVR territory….projectable who never projected.

      He is still young, but……………………time’s atickin’

      • freddylang

        I never totally give up on a guy that has stuff and projectability…A guy like Duke Welker was mired in oblivion for years and then ends up hitting 96 on the gun and making it to the majors…and would have pitched more in the mlb if the pirates pen didn’t have the depth they did. Tony Watson also took awhile to develop and was throwing 90 when they first drafted him. Heredia probably won’t reach the potential we all expected but sometimes a guy gets off the radar awhile and next thing you know they are turning the corner and making a major contribution.

        • freddylang

          ZVR is the poor man’s Tim Alderson. Of course, that is a very bad thing.

          • piratemike

            I don’t think ZVR ever had Alderson’s status.

            • Timothy Wolfe

              Dodson has reached Tim Alderson status, nowhere to go but down

          • Timothy Wolfe

            What a cut on Tim Alderson

        • Timothy Wolfe

          Vic Black in an example

          • Timothy Wolfe

            As is Bryan Morris, but i forgot, everyone here hated Bryan Morris because we like pitchers who throw 91 rather than 96 with severe cut and a splitter just because they don’t dominate in just over a year into their career

  • moose7195

    It is incredible to me how much the trade market has changed in the last 3 or so years. Asking prices for such marginal players is getting utterly absurd. It’s really all thanks to the Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence type deals we’ve seen go down in years past, and now every team is trying to buy entire farm systems with rental players

    • S Brooks

      Sellers’ market, thanks to the second wild card.

      • Timothy Wolfe

        Its enough to wish you are 15 games under. I wonder what we could get for Cutch and Martin

  • R Edwards

    On another subject…..just read this…

    “The Orioles announced that they have reinstated Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar from the 60-day disabled list and designated him for assignment. The corner infielder was plucked from the Red Sox back in December.
    Almanzar, 23, saw just nine games of action in 2014 in the O’s farm system. In the year prior for the Red Sox’s Double-A club, the 6’3″, 190 pound athlete slashed .268/.328/.432.”

    Does this mean he can be claimed on waivers? A 23 year old 3b/1b prospect….

  • Simon Weaver

    yeah, Astros of course you would want Polanco or Glasnow you greedy b*****ds. For Bud Norris lol