First Pitch: Revisiting the Steal That Was the Travis Snider Trade

My original plan for tomorrow was to head up to Morgantown to cover the West Virginia Black Bears for their next four games. But that plan changed tonight when I realized two things.

1. Stephen Tarpley, who I haven’t seen pitch since early in extended Spring Training, is starting for the Power.

2. Seth McGarry, who I saw pitch in the GCL last month, is starting for the Black Bears.

Add in the fact that Tarpley is a much higher rated prospect than McGarry, and the decision was easy to stick around Charleston for one more day to see the top left-handed pitching prospect in the system pitch.

On a somewhat related note, today it was announced that Steven Brault was the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. This was a continuation of what Brault has done since moving up to Altoona, as Sean McCool noted today.

Brault was fantastic in Bradenton before his promotion, displaying a nice two-seam fastball that he constantly commanded down in the zone, with late cutting action. He doesn’t have a lot of velocity, usually sitting in the upper 80s and reaching the low 90s with his four seam fastball. But his pitches have good movement, and he has a lot of command, making it possible that he ends up as a back of the rotation starter in the majors.

Meanwhile, Tarpley has a much bigger upside, with a fastball that sits in the low 90s and can touch 97. He has been fantastic this year since joining West Virginia, starting off slow after returning from his shoulder injury, but picking up the production as the season went on. Tarpley’s floor is lower than Brault’s, giving him more risk. But his ceiling is higher, with the chance to be more than a back of the rotation starter one day.

Of course, Brault and Tarpley are only related topics because the two were acquired in the same trade for Travis Snider. That has been a hot button topic all year, with a lot of criticism toward the trade, especially when Gregory Polanco was struggling early in the year and Travis Snider started with a few strong weeks in early April. The complaints continued as the Pirates saw struggles from their bench. But slowly, the trade started looking better and better, and as Sean noted today, it’s looking like a great deal at this point.

Sure, minor league stats don’t matter as much for a team looking for wins in the majors. But consider the following comparisons to Snider:

**Gregory Polanco is still struggling, but has a .678 OPS. He’s also trending upwards, with a .784 OPS since the start of July in 122 plate appearances.

**Travis Ishikawa, who isn’t exactly a fan favorite due to his struggles early in 2014, currently has a .725 OPS in 40 plate appearances. It’s a small sample size, but not far off his career .716 OPS.

Polanco has been better than Snider this year, and while the season totals are close, the breakdown is favorable to Polanco. Snider has a .615 OPS outside of his first six games with the Orioles, while Polanco is now starting to figure things out, and starting to trend upward. You could argue that this would have been more difficult for Polanco if Snider was stealing playing time, as the biggest thing Polanco needed was to adjust to MLB pitching.

Then there’s the bench role. As I noted, Ishikawa isn’t a fan favorite because of his struggles when named a platoon player last year. Likewise, Snider gets a lot of credit for his two good months at the end of last season. Neither scenario represents the player’s career trends. Snider could be a good bench option, but he’s no better than Ishikawa.

Right now, if you could trade Ishikawa for two left-handed pitching prospects like Brault and Tarpley, you’d make that move every day of the week. The Pirates got Ishikawa for nothing, and he’s been just as productive as Snider, both this year and historically.

The fact that the Pirates got this type of return for Snider is amazing when you look back at the deal. There was a chance that Snider’s final two months last year were a representation of him finally figuring it out. By trading him, the Pirates took a risk that they would be trading away a guy who was trending upward, which had the potential to be an embarrassing decision. Instead, they now look like they knew exactly what they had in him, while selling him at his highest value and getting two guys who were just about to break out (Brault had decent numbers last year, but was a 22-year-old in low-A, while Tarpley made a second half adjustment with his arm slot, leading to much better production that he has since carried over to 2015).

If Snider was with the team right now, you would hope for that type of return, and you wouldn’t come close to getting it. There would probably be complaints that they didn’t sell him at a high point and get something when they could. That’s not really a wild guess based on nothing, since those complaints have come up in the past anytime someone sees a big drop in value.

I’m not bringing all of this up just to celebrate how the Snider trade has worked out — although if it had worked out the opposite way, we’d be hearing about it daily. Instead, I’m bringing it up to point out an encouraging sign. No deal sets a trend in scouting, but this is a success for the Pirates’ efforts of scouting at the MLB level in recognizing that Snider wasn’t likely to repeat his second half from 2014. It’s also a success for their minor league scouting in recognizing two young talents who they had been looking at for some time. And while you can’t extrapolate that to say that the Pirates are a success in each area, it’s these types of moves that make you more comfortable when they decide to trade for guys like Michael Morse or J.A. Happ — with the hope that their small trend doesn’t represent what type of player they could be. The same success gives you a bit more comfort in the idea that the Pirates know what they’re doing when they trade away prospects like JaCoby Jones and Adrian Sampson, while relying on all of the other options in the system to be better long-term options for the team.

I’ve heard Neal Huntington say countless times that they need to know their own players better than everyone else. In the case of Snider, it looks like they did.

**Prospect Watch: Radhames Liz Hurt by Defense and Wildness. Liz has been outstanding since joining the Indianapolis rotation, although he finally had a rough outing tonight.

**Jung Ho Kang Named NL Rookie of the Month. As I’ve been saying, he’s looking like the biggest steal of the year.

**A.J. Burnett Diagnosed, Estimated Return in Approximately Four Weeks. Some good news here, as Burnett could return sooner than later.

**Michael Morse Joins the Pirates, Jaff Decker Optioned to Indianapolis. It won’t count in the stats, but Morse had a great debut with the Pirates in their suspended game.

**Chad Kuhl Put It All Together in July. Sean breaks down what was working so well for our Pitcher of the Month for July.

**Steven Brault and Christopher De Leon Win Pitcher of the Week Awards

**Morning Report: DSL Pirates Have Been Disappointing From a Prospect Standpoint


  • No doubt the trade looks good long term. For the short term, consider: Snider has been worth +1.1 war in 236 PA. If you add up all the other guys who have served as a backup OF this year: Morel, Hernandez, Lambo, Tabata, Lombardozzi, Decker, and Rodriguez (OF PAs only), you get 156 PA and -1.0 WAR.

    So, I don’t dispute that the trade was a good move long-term, but short term it has cost the Pirates about 2 wins this year. Was it worth it? Guess it depends on how much they win or don’t win the division by.

    • Careful there Arik, somebody will call you stupid for dealing in facts and pointing out how this year’s team has been hurt.

    • At this point the wild card is at risk, and the Bucs are still scrambling for a pinch hitter and a 4th outfielder to replace what Snider did last year in Pittsburgh. The schedule gets tougher. Don’t worry though, we traded a guy who performed here for a couple of good prospects who MIGHT make a contribution a few years out. If the Bucs miss the playoffs I am sure the season ticket holders and fans will be fine with that.

  • Really? Too early to judge that it is a steal yet. Lets delve a little deeper into it being just TS for two pitchers:

    Because we traded Travis, we had to go and get Hart. When Hart didn’t work, we had to go out and get Ishikawa. And when that doesn’t seem to be working we go out and get Morse. If we still had Travis has a backup, would all of those moves been deemed necessary? I’m sure there are those here who will fault my logic, but i think the jury is till out.

    • Well, unless Travis Snider plays 1B all of the sudden then yeah all those moves are still needed. Snider doesnt take the spot of any of the men you mentioned.

      That and the giant problem of Snider sucking this year. If we keep Snider, he’s a bad 4th OF via his current stats. If we dont, our 4th OFers arent great. None of the above are good 4th OFers this year

      • Now your argument is down to the assumption that because Snider has been a disappointment in Baltimore so far this year, he would have failed this year in Pittsburgh as the 4th outfielder and pinch hitter……………a role where he was successful last year. These players are not robots, and stats driven only analysis leading to a conclusion that Snider would have failed in Pittsburgh this year is myopic. Different team, league and role. Hart, Decker, Lambo, and Tabata, all failed at replacing Snider. Polanco did struggle in the first half( the two walk-off errors are hard to forget), and we had nobody to insert to give him a break. I’ll stand on the initial opinion I put on this thread days ago…the Pirates can make a trade for prospects that on paper creates good value to the organization now and in the future, but that same trade can have a negative effect on the major league club this year. The organization has stood up and admitted as much in its actions(trades, constant roster shuffling) and in more than one interview. If the Bucs miss the playoffs I don’t think the players, season ticket holders and fans are going to take solace in the fact that the organization continues to accumulate prospects.

        • Actually i use this year in BAL +every year in PGH and the first half of last year. You look at Snider this year in BAL or anything in PGH beyond 2 great months and he’s not good. You are arguing off of 2 great months and assuming much off of that. He wasnt good for multiple years before it, and the “he’s figuring it out” didnt pan out. You basically have to go “well, he figured it out here and if he was here it would have continued” which is just as assumptive as anything.

          If PGH misses the playoffs, Snider was not likely to change that much at all. Based on this year, and basically his entire career. Flashes of good, almost always followed by long periods of replacement level.

          • Ok Luke…we can respectfully disagree. When a guy like Snider improves and performs like he did in the second half you hope it would have continued this year as a Pirate. It is no different than hoping Polanco finds himself and continues to improve.

            • I certainly would hope it continued, but when arguing the merits of that hope id admit that it looks highly risky based on his track record in the majors.

              Which is why i loved trading him. Huge 2 months, high risk to continue that. Snider wasnt young enough to think his lack of performance was adjustment related, nor was the sample size big enough to think the chance of him being above average was great. I see, and saw at the time, no reason to assume a ton off his 2 months. Too many players have that type of spurt and return to career levels for me to use it as predictive.

    • Why is Ishikawa not working out? He has better numbers than Snider. Morse was added for a different role.

  • Tarpley is almost 23 playing in low A. You’re making it sound like the John Smoltz trade. It also didn’t help that huntington put Lambo in as a replacement. Look no matter what is said the vast,vast number of trades are won by buyers. The reason I brought up the Smoltz trade is because this the sellers fantasy that almost never works. Also the Tigers didnt actually lose that trade. Both teams won. How bout we talk about when the Tigers traded the equivalent of Tarpley, Tailion and Meadows for a lefthander showing the signs of decline and third baseman. You’d be outraged how’d that trade about a decade ago. Have the Marlins won a World Series because of it?

    • Tarpley doesn’t turn 23 until February. Saying he’s almost 23 is like saying it’s almost time for Spring Training.

      • Close enough it’s still low A. You’re splitting hairs and you know it. I noticed you didn’t respond to the rest of the post. Particularly the part about the Cabrera trade. Generally the buyers almost always win trades. If you don’t believe look up Tony Paul Detroit Free Press beat writer and his analysis of Dombrowski’s sellers trades. He did however lose the second Fister trade which was you got it a sell off.

        • Isn’t this like the third time in a week you’ve been slobbing all over Dave Dombrowski? Say hello for us.

          • Fine what about the Royals it was said that the James Shields trade would devastate them this year and that they would regret losing Will Myers. Who by the way is dare I say putting up Snider like numbers this year.

            • Wil Myers, and Jake Odorizzi, the starting pitcher with a sub-3 ERA they could’ve had at the top of their rotation for the next five years instead of trading three *more* prospects for a couple months of Cueto.

              I actually agree with part of what you’re saying; singular “big” trades are rarely organizationally devastating. But you’ve also failed to prove they actually make an appreciable difference, and it’s quite clear that they can lead to a snowball effect of chasing the next big trade to fill gaps left from the last until the well is dry.

              The Tigers are done. And the have one World Series appearance to show for it, while also literally being funded by Daddy Warbucks.

              The Blue Jays will be done after next season. They have two years to put a banner up.

              The Giants, you may have heard of them, have made just one “go for it” trade in their dynastic run, and that was Zach Wheeler for Carlos Beltran. They, of course, missed the playoffs all together that season.

              • I see what you’re say as well but I did prove that they do make difference. The Miguel Cabrera trade. And have you proved your point the other way. There’s a reason nobody talks about that trade. It’s because the buyers almost win. For the same reason everybody always brings up Doyle Alexander. Rarely do the sellers end up with HOF. Which brings this point who has OPS in their career the very maligned Tabata or Cabrera trade centerpiece Cameron Maybin?

        • I didn’t respond to the rest of the post because it’s pointless to respond to that. You’re saying that there’s an example of a buyer winning a trade? How does that change this specific example, where the Pirates are clearly winning the Snider trade?

          Also, Dombrowski was just fired.

          • Sometimes the world shines upon thee, sometimes the guy you’re using for an argument gets shit-canned mid-discussion.

          • “Released from his contract” is much different than “fired”.

            IMO, by end of August he’s president of either the Red Sox or Blue Jays… because that’s what he’s been working on for the past few weeks. DD wants to get paid too… and early line says he’ll get as much or more than Friedman.

        • You are acting like half a year is splitting hairs, and thats absurd.

  • I was impressed with what I read about Brault at the time. Didn’t he pick up pitching relatively recently? And iirc, he was quickly developing a good feel for pitching.

    And I do wonder if Polanco would have continued to be an everyday player in July if we had Snider as an option.

    So lots of positive aspects of this trade.

    • Yes, Polanco would be an everyday player. Because Travis Snider is not good at baseball, and would not have been good at baseball regardless of what jersey he was wearing this season.

      The only reason Snider took at bats away from Polanco last year was due to playing way, way over his head for about a month and a half.

      I’m probably the high guy on Brault, but I think he could replace Jeff Locke as early as the second half of next season. Everything about his profile fits the underrated prospect mold to a T. You’re alwasy taking a chance expecting a guy with more command/deception than stuff translating, but I think Brault has what it takes to keep the ball away from the barrel.

      • I think his ceiling is a left-handed version of the good Vance Worley. And the good Vance Worley is really quite good, so I’ll take his left-handed counterpart.

        • I’d take that comp. Maybe even a few less K’s, but I also think Brault is going to be a ground ball machine. Worley was a fine starter as long as the ball didn’t get above the knees, which happened too much too often.

      • Snider has seven years in the Majors. At one time he was rated the 6th best prospect in all of baseball. He made the big club at age 20. “not good at baseball” is a phrase you throw around that destroys your arguments. If a prospect does not become a major league starter is he “not good at baseball?” Tarpley and Brault are a long way from the big club and they are good prospects. I hope they both make it and have seven plus years in the majors.

        • I hope in those 7 years, they arent replacement level in 5 of them. He’s good at baseball compared to us and minor league guys, bad compared to his actual peers.

          • Or I could’ve been less of a dick and just agreed with what Luke said before responding. Sorry, Michael.

        • Let me help you out, michael…

          Relative to you, me, and John Dreker Travis Snider is excellent at baseball.

          Relative to his professional peers, he’s not.

          • NMR
            Even when you try to backtrack you stumble……..aren’t all of our beloved prospects professional peers? If you are a prospect are you not a professional? Your statement is “relative to his professional peers, he’s not [good at baseball]” I think you and your buddy Luke might benefit from a vacation from the stats and enrollment in a good course on logic.
            How many game winning hits and RBIs did Snider deliver last year? How many did Hart and Lambo and Tabata deliver this year? Who do you think Cutch and Walker would rather have had on the team opening day? Building up the prospect pool is great if you handle those assets properly, including trading them for needed assets. Obtaining prospects for a valuable major league asset is part of the business. The fact that Snider was traded does not make him a bum, obviously Baltimore does not think so. It also does not erase his contribution last year or the fact that the Bucs did not find an adequate replacement. It is too early to judge this trade

            • Of course the guy talking about logic trots out at least four logical fallacies in a single post. Brilliant.

              • Why don’t you outline the four logical fallacies? You remind me of one of my college roommates who if the chemical intake reached a certain level thought himself amusing if he could engage anyone in a debate of the question “do ducks eat fish?” He could argue both sides of the question, but was mostly interested in amusing himself and attempting to convince anyone within earshot that he was witty.

                • Quickly, imma point out that you brought up Snider’s game winning hits (didnt actual look up that to verify, just asked and insinuated) and acted like that equates to good value or is means anything for future value.

                  Not sure how game winning hits=overall value or how anything from last year is relevant to this year. You pick and choose random points to argue with no real method. You used
                  A) Snider game winning hits from a previous year
                  B) Cutch and Walker’s opinion (which you made up via assuming them)
                  C) Pointed to other guys being bad as reason why Snider would be good (which is dumb, bad vs bad is still bad).

                  None of that actually addressed Snider’s value this year.

            • If you took any course on argumentation, the instructor would inform you that you just used about 3-4 of the worst techniques for trying to argue a point.

              You ping pong around from one thing to fallacy to unrelated thing to strawman and finish by acting like it said anything. You’d use overall value but it kills your point.

              • You have no idea what I do, which makes your response actually worth the best laugh I’ve had all week. I’m headed down to the best ballpark in America, to watch the debut of the Bucs’ new pitcher. Have fun with your theories. Win or lose I’ll be enjoying a major league game in person.

                • Idk why that was an attempt at a dig at me, glad you are enjoying the game. Should be a good one.

                  But yeah, you are sucking at making a logical argument. Job be darned, your argument is 5 bad fallacies.

                  • When the best somebody can come up with is “you suck” it is time for the playground lights to go off and the kids to go home.

                    • You can be condescending all you want, but i’ve made plenty of attempts at valid points and you act stupid the entire time. At some point, you get called on it.

      • I wouldn’t swear to your time frame on that NMR, but I wouldn’t argue your eventual outcome.

  • Part of snider’s early success was a game was a Rays game I was working as a photographer at and he got on base 5 times and scored 4 runs. That might be 10% of his value this year right there.

    • He hit 13 home runs last year as a part time player and had 38 RBIs. When the deal was done Baltimore writers played up the fact that the Bucs wanted Matusz but had to settle for a couple of single A prospects that weren’t ranked high in their organization. It was also portrayed as a salary dump. I hope we have scored with these guys, but only time will tell. I say his absence has cost us a couple of wins this year…..and his replacements have been dismal flops so far. All of them.

      • My god…

        • That .2 WAR is crucial!

          • But Luke, people on the interweb said it was a salary dump.

            • Cant fault that logic, 2 million is tough.

              • Not just $2m, $2m that they agreed to just months prior through the process of arbitration.

                So to recap, the Pirates, who did not want to spend $2m on Travis Snider, willfully agreed to spend $2m on Travis Snider for the sole purpose of then dumping the $2m they agreed to spend.

                Because Nutting, obviously.

                • No. He was traded for the two single A prospects this thread is all about. Salary relief was one of the incidental benefits, along with clearing the path for Polanco. The guys relied on by the Bucs to be the 4th outfielder/ pinch hitter all failed.

                  • This isn’t a binary discussion. Fault the Pirates for failing to find a good fourth outfielder all you want. They deserve that.

                    But pretending Travis Snider would be that guy is simply reliving the glory of the only two good months of Major League Baseball he has to his name since 2010.

                    Holding onto Snider would’ve meant a crappy 4th outfielder *and* two less pitching prospects.

                  • Our payroll is over 100 million $ and to say that without any bonuses is more than I thought we would have ever spent on the team for a year everyone keeps on talking about salary dump what would have happened is Snider would have took some of Polanco’s playing time because how bad he started the season off we all know Hurdle and he is not a guy that has patience with young players unless upper mgmt says he’s playing but see it as a blessing cause we are now seeing what kind of talent Polanco has and should finish with a 260-270 batting average and I think he is going to start to drive runs in like Marte did in his 1st full season and trust me you have not came close to seeing what Polanco can do yet so I will say if I’m wrong at end of year .If I am but seeing power coming up Rbi’s also the best of this man is going to start next year I promise this. And 1 last thing any of you people that think Snider’s defense is better than Polanco what planet or have you been smoking Polanco has 2 times the speed so Snyder would not get to many balls Polanco does and has a much ,much better arm also so let me know why you think Snider’s d is better look at the UZR stats a check back with me so you can say Snider is still better

      • Definitely a better pinch hitter than anyone else they ran out there besides Kang early. Snider is arguably better than Polanco on defense. He’s definitely more reliable. Although Polancos arm has been incredible lately.

        • You’d have to rely on the eye test to get to Snider being a better defender this year. While fielding stats are new enough and with SSS to make them volatile, Polanco has a much better UZR and UZR/150.

          • Polanco has been steadily improving on O & D. He makes some mistakes that hurt his overall defensive value but it’s only a matter of time where he is confident and aggressive and a consistent plus out there.

          • Polonco may get to more balls but if he falls down when he gets there then it hardly matters. Getting back to the deal I think as fans of the Pirates we tend to view every deal as if we are spending our own money. In judging the deal i really just want to look at the deal. I think the deal will be a steal for the Pirates but at this time its not.

            • Again, im using the stats for defense and not assumption. Polanco has rated better on defense overall than Snider this year. SSS for those defensive figures but Polanco is faster with a better arm. Leaving running routes as the only area where Snider gets an edge.

              I think anytime you trade a player who goes on to post an OPS for sub .700 and you get 2 prospects for it, you win short term. We gave away a marginal bench player and got something for it. Snider is a poor option this year. We sold high.

          • I’m not going to argue for Snider because that’s just silly. But just wanted to say how much I distrust UZR. All one needs to look at is ARam vs Kang. The former has -6 DRS, the latter +4, yet Kang has the worse (by far) UZR and UZR/150. And I’ll dismiss anyone who cares to argue that ARam is more than a rusty Tin Man at 3b at this point. ARam is so immobile he’s 0-10 on “even” plays.

            Sometimes the eye test is sufficient.

            • I was with you on distrusting UZR (defensive stats arent totally great on their own, but when all point to a similar sign its usually trustable) but using that to assume what you see is accurate is too much for me. A Ram doesnt have good range, but a good arm and tends to gobble up anything he gets to.

        • *was* a better pinch hitter, freddy. *was*. In his career year, which he never came close to matching previously, and certainly hasn’t come close to replicating.

          • Agreed. Pinch hitting such a small sample thing. Look at even the phs considered excellent like Lenny Harris had mixed results over time. It’s nice to have an experienced one like snider down the stretch. Especially because he can play of too. Not a fan of no field 1b phs like you see a lot just eating up a roster spot.

        • Snider a ” better defender ” than Polanco ? You are out of your mind !

          • I am talking early in polancos career Leo. You are just looking at tools. Numbers don’t back up that polanco is a great defender yet. Polanco still honing his routes and still makes a lot of mistakes while snider does everything solid out there.

            • Thats a lie. Its a factual lie to say numbers dont back up that Polanco is a better defender yet. Stats this year have Polanco as better overall. UZR, UZR/150, DRS all side with Polanco.

              • I can’t even remember what the conversation was anymore. All I know is that you jacks keep disagreeing for the sake of disagreement. UZR is one fielding measurement.

      • Pirates get maligned about salary and in snider’s case it was highly laughable. He’s not making much…he looked ultra cheap before the season started….now he looks a little expensive.

      • Snider in three of the past four years, including this year, has been a dismal flop. His WAR’s for three of the four years are below zero! That is what the Bucs would have had this year had they kept him. Instead they have two good pitching prospects. Was clearly not a salary dump.

  • I also like the deal at the time, in particular the fact they were left handed. The trend of the players has been fortunate and credit to the scouts. I’m not sure that I feel as strong about giving credit in terms of scouting hitting – the Morse comment – although hey I’m as hopeful as the next guy. I haven’t felt like our scouts have been particularly good at scouting bats and also not sure about our development of them either.
    Not trying to make to big of blanket statement but we haven’t developed any significant bats outside of the international players yet. We’ll see how things come along over the next few years but is Josh Bell the best bat in the system? Even the younger players have shown little.
    I feel pretty good about the scouting on pitchers and we’ll see tonight with Happ’s debut how well they scouted him, but I’m not sold on their ability to produce bats.

    • I get what you’re saying, and for the most part I think you’re right. But we did develop an American into an MVP.

    • The scouting of Jung Ho Kang looks pretty good

    • If we ignore the Latin comment (not for blanket statement reasons but to just evaluate overall development of all players) its not bad when you get the majority of the offense from your development system. Give DL whatever amount of credit you will for helping NW and Cutch to where they were when he left, but NH has Marte, Polanco, Mercer, Harrison as fully his development wins. Not on par with their pitching, but capable.

      • Except that’s only one actual good hitter…

        • It’ll be parsing what “good” is at this point. I see Harrison as starting IFer level, Marte as quality, Polanco as good (i suppose one could argue he’s been average overall but i see the development of his tools as great and a good overall hitter). Ill concede Mercer as meh. Has great stretches, has awful ones. They’ve been able to develop 2-3 starters, continue the development (and make needed position switch) for guys on their way. Not great, not bad.

          • I think it’s very good Walker dose not get a deal done this off season he could be traded and Hanson could be our lead off man next yr Polanco above avg I believe ( has had some bad luck with balls hit so hard but right at someone ) and getting the big hits lately is improving . Cutch is clutch and Marte has good upside with best arm in major not to mention Kang and J Hay plays great in my mind, and a very good d minded catcher on way up next yr( Diaz) their is some very good things about the future of this team as long as we don’t see traded away and good pitching pros p sects also not all will pan out but have a lot this coming year and the following one that if 2 players work out we could have best team In the majors and a very young 1 at that

  • I liked this trade from the very beginning, and never wavered, even after Snider’s hot start.

    Just like McLouth, who they traded at his highest point, they moved Travis at his highest point.

    • In my opinion the ORGANIZATION can say that it benefitted from the trade because both Brault and Tarpley are having very good years as prospects at the appropriate level. Also, Snyder did not become a star or anything close to it in Baltimore. The Pittsburgh Pirates MAJOR LEAGUE TEAM has missed Snyder this year. His pinch hitting and clutch RBIs last year have been missed and Tabata, Lambo, Decker, and Hart did not step up to fill the void. If these two prospects become valuable major league players or trade assets then the organization clearly won the trade. They both look good, but I would bet the Pirate players and coaches would have preferred Snyder on this year’s roster.

      • If you continue to misspell his name on purpose like a kid, its tough to seriously have a conversation and respect the merits of what you say.

        • The chips have always been a favorite of mine. Luke, look through the spelling and analyze….this isn’t The Voice.

      • Chris Snyder was never as good as you say.

      • They may have missed last year’s version of Snider (a fluke). Didn’t miss this year’s version – or that of 2012 or 2013. It’s likely he would have been very mediocre if in a Bucs’ uniform this year. For those three years collectively (2012, 2013, 2015), he has an offensive WAR below zero!

  • pantherfan83
    August 4, 2015 9:42 am

    Lets hope Alvarez has a great final month this season.

  • For anyone disagreeing – Brault and Tarpley while not major league pitchers, are assets to this team right now. Snider is not an asset anywhere. He has been DFA-ed. Add in the years of control, the ability to trade either next year for something to help the major league club. This is a no brainer. No one is calling them Kershaw and Price.

    • To put it another way, system depth is inherently valuable. It helps your top prospects to surround them with capable other prospects because it allows them to develop more naturally without having to compensate for teammates’ shortcomings, sparks friendly and productive rivalries, and, ultimately, can lead to a number of players reaching the Majors at once to provide a big boost to the Major League club.

      But even if they don’t make it, they give the system depth for trading, and they give the system more options for creating a productive Major Leaguer. Since each player has a sub-1 probability of becoming a Major Leaguer, the more you have, the more likely you are to get a Major Leaguer. It’s just playing the averages, and it’s how you build a strong and productive farm system.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      August 4, 2015 5:15 pm

      I think I already stated this in my original post…..

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    August 4, 2015 9:17 am

    How do we declare this trade a steal already? Although it is looking that way, it will only be a steal if one of the pitchers gets to Pittsburgh and contributes or one gets traded for a player that contributes in Pittsburgh. If neither happens, it’s a bad trade for both teams.

    • If the alternative to having 2 solid looking LHP prospects is a ML bench player with a poor OPS, its in no way a bad trade.

      As it has panned out to this point, there is no way you can objectively look at that trade and go “bad trade both ways.” There has been 0 downside for PGH.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        August 4, 2015 5:07 pm

        If the two prospects wash out and never make it to Pittsburgh, its a bad trade for both teams – because neither got any significnat benefit. When prospects are involved, you cannot assess trades until the prospects run their course. Just like you cannot assess a draft right after it was completed. To claim it was a great trade now make make some people feel good, but it is still too soon to make any conclusion.

        • Making it to the bigs isnt the only way they bring value to the organization. Thats myopic.

        • This statement is nonsensical. Please review your trash before you post it, this isn’t like talking, you can actually read it before you click “post as buccasfanstuckinMD” – The only way this could be a bad trade for us at this point is if one of the pitchers we got in the trade went berserk and shot half of his team in a mad fury. Or Just as Likely, Snider goes to Toronto, rubs on the same lamp that Jose Bautista did, and hits 40 homers next year.

        • Yes but cutting playing time for a guy who I not only think is just starting to come into his own Snyder would have been holding very valuable time for Polanco which I think could be the best of the big 3 outfieldiers and if I’m wrong that’s fine but I love the big time hits he has been coming u opp with not to mention he didn’t play lead off when JHay was on this team taking a lot of walks not striking out much and wreaking havoc on the base paths that’s a win not having Snyder blocking his progression

      • Everything that this FO does is wrong if you pay attention to his comments. He is one of those people who think they can evaluate players better than the people who do it for a living.

      • And I do not care with Brault topping out at 97 mph someone is always going to want to take a chance on him and could get good return if he doesn’t work in pitt but that still down sent mean that Tarpley who has a lot of movement on 4 steamer even in the low 90 high 80’s that isn’t what Maddox did for years and years not saying this kids a Maddox but we have 2 good to great prospects that are LEFT handed starting pitchers and those are not everywhere it’s very hard to find a good starting left hander in MLB

    • It’s a steal because if they had Snider now, they wouldn’t get anything for him, and he’d be a non-tender candidate this off-season. The fact that they got two actual prospects for him makes it a steal.

      • I think what Bucco fan in Maryland is saying and I agree is if neither of those players ever make it to the big league club(which is quite possible) then its a wash, If one of those two pitchers makes it but stinks it up its a wash. At this time it looks like a potential steal of a deal but that only happens if one of these two guys makes it to the majors for the Pirates and contributes. Its great that both pitchers have performed well at their levels however neither has done anything yet to justify calling this deal a steal already

        this deal as a steal.nd without

        • While I agree with you guys, Tarpley and Brault have been great at their respective levels. There’s nothing right now to suggest that they won’t make it to Pittsburgh.

          • And making it to PGH isnt A) the only way to evaluate value and B) not the only way to evaluate a trade like this

            • BuccosFanStuckinMD
              August 4, 2015 5:11 pm

              Care to elaborate??

              • A player can bring value before/without playing a single game in the majors leagues for you. If “he’s gotta play in PGH for us to win” is the only thing you see, you dont see how value is more than just on the big league level and via playing on that level.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            August 4, 2015 5:08 pm

            There have been far better pitching prospects than Brault and Tarpley who failed to make it – due to injury or just not being good enough…

            • Your argument is the equivalent of saying that a lottery ticket has no value because it might not win.

        • I disagree that you can’t analyze it now. If Snider was playing well, people would be saying the opposite, even though the jury is still out on the prospects. And if the prospects weren’t playing well, there would be complaints without waiting to see what they eventually do.

          Right now it’s all about value. Even if Tarpley and Brault never make it to the majors, they have value right now as guys who could make it to the majors. And the value they have is much higher than the value Snider has.

          • Yes, obviously the Bucs ended up with much more value. After half a season, you couldn’t have traded Snider for either of the pitchers, let alone both.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            August 4, 2015 5:10 pm

            With all due respect, you are talking in circles Tim….anyone knows, when prospects are involved in any trade, you cannot make final assessments of the trade until those prospects prove themselves one way or the other. To suggest otherwise is just wrong.

            • I disagree with that. I’m looking at this from a value perspective. Snider has none, and Brault/Tarpley have value.

              You’re looking at this from the angle of MLB production. That’s not final yet.

              • I disagree with this Tim. The two lefty’s have potential, but no value until they produce at the MLB level or or dealt for something at the MLB level.
                They are like a stock that you bought that has gone up. Until it’s cashed out it’s all just paper.
                I like the way this is going, but I’ve seen enough Bobby Bradley’s to think that the Pirates have won this trade.
                I can’t see either of these guys seeing the bigs until 2017 and a lot can happen before then.
                I will also happily pronounce myself wrong if one or both end up being “valuable” one day.

                • John not true. Tim is talking about $$$ value, not WAR value towards winning games. If you were to attempt to trade Tarpley and Brault RIGHT now, they would bring a hell of a lot more than Snider would, in fact noone wants Snider for free. In fact, both of their stocks are up, and their value would be far more today than it was when we acquired them. Snider has no value. Zero. If you got 10 pennies in that deal, at this point, the ten pennies win that trade. Do you understand????. The expiration of the way to value the trade is actually at the end of the year, when Snider would be non-tendered, thus anything that happens after, even him becoming a better hitter or an all-star, would be moot in evaluating the trade.

        • If you want to evaluate moves strictly on results, then I can understand you feeling this way. If you want to evaluate the move based on which team had the better process behind it though, then I think it’s pretty clear we got the better end of it. And I think most people here would agree that it is preferable to evaluate the process and not just the results.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            August 4, 2015 5:12 pm

            Processes are nice, but they don’t get hitters out – in professional sports, results are all that matters. To try to assess a trade on anything else is irrelevant.

            • $$$ is relevant, so you can evaluate based on the sunk cost we would have paid to have a worthless bench bat making millions over paying two minor leaguers minimum salary in the minors.

              • money we saved which allows us the flexibility to go out and get Ramirez to help us win games, or to be able to get Morse and perhaps pay a little of his salary to also get rid of another sunk cost in Tabata. Think outside the box for goodness sake and see the big picture here.

                • ….or even a little extra payroll to afford to get KANG, whom maybe we don’t get if we have Snider’s payroll on the club

            • Well if you want to take that route than you would judge a player who drills a line drive right at someone as being inferior to one who hits a seeing eye ground ball. Results can fluctuate wildly based on things that are pretty uncontrollable. Process is the only thing you can 100% control.
              No team can “win” every trade. Injuries and a million other unforeseen things can torpedo a deal and make the results look one sided. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad trade. If you can repeatedly follow good reasoning and logic then I’m more than happy as a fan.

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          August 4, 2015 5:07 pm

          At least one person gets it! 🙂

        • Reading comprehension problems for you too ? Here is the explanation : What Tim is saying is that they made a deal where they go two prospects rather than lose Snider for either nothing or next to nothing. Simplified enough ?

      • Compare the two lefties’ trade value to snider’s right now and I think that signifies a steal. I think ishikawa has proven there isn’t much of a gap between him and snider if you compare their careers. Snider could still find his power stroke but he has not had it most of 4 of last 5 years.

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          August 4, 2015 5:14 pm

          For the the millionth time, you can’t assess a trade that involve prospects when those prospects haven’t even reached the majors yet. At this point in time, does the trade appear to lean in the Pirates favor? Obviously, a resound yes. But, if Brault and Tarpley flame out in AAA, then neither team benefited.

          • The pirates did in no t leaving Polanco figure it out and he’s playing extremely well which I will take over holding back him to start Snyder now and that would have happened as bad as Polanco started this season so it’s already a win for us

          • I didn’t have to assess their mlb value at all. I was only talking about what the return for them is compared to snider. Which is higher.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        August 4, 2015 5:04 pm

        That is still not a steal unless those prospects that were acquired do something for the major league team – otherwise we strengthened a couple of our minor league starting rotations….if they both wash out, its a bad deal for both teams….

        I think the odds are decent that one of these guys will make it to Pittsburgh and be productive in some fashion, but you never know.

        • They have more value right now than Snider has. They don’t even need to make it to the majors and be successful for the Pirates to get final value here. The Pirates could trade them and get help in the majors. And that’s why it’s a steal. Snider would be non-tendered at the end of the year. Brault and Tarpley have trade value that could lead to immediate MLB help, or they have good shots of reaching the majors individually.

    • It can’t really ever be a bad trade for both teams. the scale is balanced, or it tips one way or the other, you can’t have a broken scale. If both fail, we still save the money we would have had to waste on a .660 OPS hitter. We still win.

  • I thought it was a great trade when it happened. Snider’s presence would have been stunted Polanco’s development.

  • Until either of those guys play and play well in the majors, this trade is nothing but a wash at this time. It appears the Pirates may get the higher hand but at this time we can’t really say they have.

    • They don’t even have to play or play well. All we need is for one to even bring back a player who plays well in a trade. Even if they don’t, they do nothing at all, it’s still a win because Snider provided zero for the Orioles, and they had to pay them, so the money we saved still makes it a win for us.

  • Somebody had to say it. Great article.

    Add in the fact that Snider himself was acquired in a sell-high move (One good month of Brad Lincoln as a reliever) and that’s quite a successful little lineage.

  • An excellent trade by NH that I liked when they made it, and like it even more now for the reasons stated above, especially the performances of Tarpley and Brault.

    NH had a player in Snider that was not going to get the proper opportunity to succeed in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates had lost two LHP Prospects in trades – Blake Taylor and Joely Rodriguez. Tarpley and Brault have been better than what was lost, and their performances at the start of the season may have had a bearing on how the Pirates approached the Amateur Draft.

    • Tarpley and Brault have been better than what was lost,

      Excellent point.

    • I never said anything other than how great of a deal this was from day 1. Snider was never worth a crap. I was so tired of hearing about how Snider should be playing over Polanco.

  • Buy low, sell high.

    What a concept.