Trevor Williams Trade Was a Compensation Deal

Jayson Stark is reporting that the Trevor Williams trade between the Marlins and Pirates last month was a compensation deal for the Marlins hiring Jim Benedict away from the Pirates. That’s no surprise, as the deal was one-sided and when we asked Neal Huntington about the trade being compensation, he didn’t deny it.

The Stark article does point out that teams don’t usually let another team hire two front office people to protect themselves from being raided by that team. Because of that practice, the Pirates were able to demand compensation for losing Benedict, who was still under contract with the Pirates.

Williams was a second round pick and was sought after by the Pirates during the 2013 draft, but the Marlins took him a handful of spots before the Pirates next pick came up. He is currently in the AFL, where Tim Williams was able to talk to both him and Justin Meccage for this in depth report of the new acquisition.

The Stark article is a bit critical of Richard Mitchell’s value, but he is a little better than it makes him out to look. Mitchell went through a mechanical change late in Spring Training this year and didn’t adjust well to it at first, but finished strong with his best career outing. The scouts who likely saw him were watching him pitch through a mechanics change in actual games instead of working on it during Spring Training.

Mitchell was signed for $150,000 in 2011 and the Pirates were very high on him. He doesn’t throw hard, topping out at 91 mph, though he has a nice three-pitch mix and pounds the lower half of the strike zone, working the inside corner often and pitching to contact, limiting his pitch count. There is a big difference in the prospect status of the two pitchers, especially with Williams in AAA and Mitchell in Rookie ball, but I wouldn’t write off Mitchell like the Stark article does. All reports we have got on him call him a very smart pitcher, who sticks to his game plan. He also turned 20 years old in late July, so youth is on his side.

  • This is still not fair compensation for losing benedict- wouldn’t a better option have been not to let Benedict leave since he was under contract?

    • My first thought was that this almost comes off as petty.

      • Its also a terrible spot for PGH to be in. MIA makes an offer and Benedict wants it, so the options are let him go for nothing, let him go but ask for compensation, or keep him and either have him unhappy about that situation OR i suppose you could make up a title and give him more power over something…but that’d likely take a role away from Searage or a FO type.

        Seems like as soon as PGH was aware Benedict wanted to leave, it was a not ideal situation. I dont think the move was purely money related which does alter my above proposals. I dont see PGH throwing only money at him as enough.

        • It’s not really a terrible spot to be in I don’t think. It’s just business. When you are good people want your people and good managers don’t hold their people back. The great thing is talented people now want to be with this org.

          • Or you keep your people happy and don’t lose talented human capital you already control.

            • You can’t keep everyone. Eventually someone wants a higher position or title or money, and there are only so much of all that available.

        • “…make up a title and give him more power over something…” is *exactly* what has been happening around baseball for the last several years as execs are more and more coveted.

          • But they do actually give power in that made up role, and PGH likely doesnt want to take any role away from a guy like Searage. Someone feels slighted.

    • Think of it this way, how often do you hear any comp for a FO type move team to team?

      He’s not a terrific prospect, but he’s relatively close to the majors and could be a serviceable back end type (soon). Nice depth to have.

      • Or we could have just not let Benedict leave

        • And again, i see no logical way we do that and have Benedict happy about his job at all.

          Its easy to say “he’ll get over it” but the last thing you want to do is piss off a key FO member and send the message that if you are good enough, we’ll stop you from doing other things you wanna do.

          Call it stupid all ya want, but i do like the way this FO doesnt stand in the way of their team members wanting to pursue higher career goals.

          • Or you can give that guy the power he deserves…

            But no, smartest guys in the room. Always.

            • So Benedict gets whatever power he wants, and a guy like Searage just deals with it?

              “Hey Ray, we love ya. But that overseeing of all pitching you do? Thats Jims job now, you just focus purely on the ML team”.

              Along with many many FO people who you inherently have to take roles away from to appease Benedict. Its not crazy to see why PGH wouldnt want to give Benedict any power he wants and just say who cares about whoever just lost a chunk of their job responsibility.

              • First of all, if you read through the interviews the only significant change in responsibility Benedict will now be getting in Miami has to do with the draft, and player acquisition in general.

                Guess what, there’s *nobody* in the Pirates Front Office that’s shown they deserve that power any more than Benedict. Nobody. If it pisses somebody off, then that no-name employee can find work elsewhere.

                Good managers, and good leaders in general, find ways to keep their employees happy. Doesn’t matter what walk of life. You don’t even know that Searage *wants* a front office role. He’s a pitching coach, and it would be downright silly to think that nobody has approached him to be more than that. Yet he’s still a pitching coach.

          • Okay- so if Cutch says tomorrow he wants out of his contract to go play in San Francisco and be a third baseman instead, we should let him. There is absolutely NO reason why one contract is not viewed the same as another.

          • A better option is to match his offer and keep him here.

            • Better how? We match the offer, throw whatever Benedict wants at him and we are taking roles away from someone. If Benedicts oversees all pitching, he’s now taking a role that Searage at least shared.

              There wasnt a way PGH could match what MIA offered without pissing someone off, and they choose a relatively safe method. He leaves happy, we get return, we continue to show all FO members that we have no problem with you going after your career goals even if you leave. Being the nice guy gets you made fun of, but does attract people to the organization.

              • I disagree.

                • What good is it to “attract people to your organization” if you’re going to replace high-level front office members with rank-and-file promotions?

                  Who have the Pirates attracted, with all this good will? Name somebody.

                • It simply blows my mind that somebody can watch the proliferation of title creep as organizations pile up smart front office people, yet actually think there’s no possible way to keep two people happy in the same organization.

                  This is a real thing that’s happening across Major League Baseball. As we speak. Not theoretical. A real thing.

                  But sure, believe the Pirates are the smartest ones in the room.

              • Is everyone’s ego that large Luke? Get real man- great front offices get creative to keep people happy. At the end of the day, I’m sure Searage and Benedict would prefer to have eachother to bounce ideas off of and have support to help develop players more than they just to have a penis measurement contest

  • Poor Williams, he looked promising, this trade all but guarantees he’ll be having TJS in 2016.

  • Can anyone tell me what Morse is making this year? and if the Dodgers are picking any of it up? Im confused about it. Also I think Benedict was very important for the Bucs and his loss will hurt some.

  • This really didn’t come as any surprise. This deal made no sense from the beginning unless it was a compensation deal, and the timing was even more of a sign of it being so.

    I still think Mitchell is not that bad of a pitcher, and he may surprise some people.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    November 11, 2015 4:58 pm

    Considering Williams’ reported velocity, “stuff”, and best case projection as a back of rotation starter, the trade may have been tilted towards the Pirates, but it doesn’t appear to be overwhelming one-sided. Mitchell is further away, but may have a higher ceiling and could very well be better than Williams. Time will tell, but if this represents our compensation for Benedict, it doesn’t appear that we broke the bank…….

    • “Mitchell is further away, but may have a higher ceiling and could very well be better than Williams.” I doubt you even believe what you typed….Williams was a 2nd round pick in 2013, 4th best pitching prospect Miami had, could see Pittsburgh this year. Mitchell is a reliever who tops out at 91 mph and has spent 3 years in rookie ball, who wasn’t even close to the top 50 prospects in the Buccos system. Come on, MD!

    • “Mitchell is further away, but may have a higher ceiling and could very well be better than Williams.”

      One of these statements is true.

    • Williams fills the hole created by the upper level TJS and shoulder surgery vortex created by cumpton, Sadler, kingham injuries. Regardless of the time it came it was necessary

  • Tim not knowing the values of the players like you and your team do this now makes complete sense to me. Williams also seems like a high character type of guy which fits into the Pirate mode.

    • The Trevor Williams article from the AFL is highly recommended. As someone who was trying to get as much info on him as possible after the trade, what Tim put together blows everything else out of the water. MarlinsProspects dropped the ball with him

  • We’d better hope Williams works out better than Mitchell…losing Benedict was awful.

    • Eddie: I am probably one of the few people in Pirate Nation that does not believe the Benedict loss will be that big. It’s seems that they have depth in the pitching coach talent department and their analytic’s are the best in baseball. It would seem strange to me that this organization which firmly believed in drafting pitching would only have one guru (Benedict) to rely upon.

      • I hope you’re right Mrs Cleaver. 🙂

      • Its fixing vets that we need benedict for, not developing prospects. He’s a better fixer than a developer

        • We sure about that? Benedict had way more impact on the young arms that Searage, and depending on which “vet” you are talking about, Searage worked with them a good deal along with Benedict.

          Guys like AJ and Liriano surely benefitted from extended ST time, but Searage also was working with them the moment they showed up.

          • I think Y2’s point is that the “impact” he had on those young arms hasn’t exactly been anything to write home about.

            • We just disagree on that. Its why i think the argument isnt fair at all, because if the bar is “its not a huge impact because guys arent in the majors yet” thats missing the point.

              I think Glasnow is a win for Benedict, even right now.

          • Sure? No, it’s an educated guess based on the stories i’ve heard. I could be wrong.

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