A lot of the time when the Pirates make minor moves at the Major League level, they're dismissed as not being a big deal. The club traded for John McDonald, rather than adding Jordy Mercer or Ivan De Jesus Jr. to the active roster. Looking at that move individually, it's not a horrible thing. They added a strong defensive shortstop, and have more depth. But when you start to look at the bigger picture, you'll see how the move starts to look worse as it ripples down through the system.

If the Pirates Didn't Trade For John McDonald...

...then Jordy Mercer or Ivan De Jesus Jr. would have been the backup middle infielder. My guess is that it would have been De Jesus, with Mercer playing everyday in Triple-A. Either way, the one who didn't make it would have been getting everyday playing ...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.