The Pittsburgh Pirates have sent outfielder Tito Polo and left-handed pitcher Stephen Tarpley to the New York Yankees as the players to be named later to complete the Ivan Nova trade.

Ivan Nova has shown a lot to like so far, and if the Pirates were trading for this version, then Polo and Tarpley would make a lot of sense as fair value on the market. But that’s not the market Nova seemed to have on August 1st. He had a 4.90 ERA and a 4.10 xFIP. He seemed like a reclamation project (and has immediately jumped in value, posting a 2.87 ERA and a 3.44 xFIP with the Pirates). The numbers he’s putting up now would probably demand more than Polo/Tarpley, but the numbers he had before seem like they would only be good enough for one of those players.

In our mid-season rankings, Polo moved up to the 20th best prospect, while Tarpley dropped down to 21st. So the Pirates traded two guys who were in the bottom third of the top 30, which isn’t the worst. They also traded from a position of strength, as they have plenty of outfielders, and plenty of future back of the rotation starters, which is what Polo and Tarpley project to be at their best.

Tarpley saw improvements to his secondary stuff this year, but took a step back with his fastball command. The improved fastball command after he came over from the Orioles was one of the reasons I was initially high on him, and that’s the big reason he dropped in our latest rankings. He was going to drop even more once Taylor Hearn passed him up, which would have been certain to happen at the end of the year. I like Tarpley’s upside as a future back of the rotation starter, and maybe higher if he gets consistent command. Lefties who sit low-90s and touch 97 have value, but I don’t see him as more than a back of the rotation starter, with a small probability that he improves everything enough to go higher.

Polo is a guy I was really high on. He’s not really hitting in Bradenton, with a .697 OPS, but this league can kill offense, and Polo has looked good every time I’ve seen him. I think he’s a high upside guy, with the ability to hit for some power and add some speed, while hitting for average and getting on base. He can be a bit of a free swinger at times, and I’ve said his upside would be a Starling Marte-lite. That might be an average-to-above average starter, and maybe eventually higher if he really breaks out. And the thing is, the Pirates probably wouldn’t even need Polo if he does reach his upside, since they’d have better outfielders.

I talked with Polo briefly after the trade, and he said that the move would be difficult for him, but he was going to play hard whether it was the Pirates or the Yankees.

“I’m very happy,” Polo said. “A little bit sad. The Pirates signed me five years ago. That’s okay. I’ll keep working.”

So the Pirates traded two guys they aren’t going to miss in the short-term, and two guys they probably aren’t going to miss in the long-term, getting a guy who could help their biggest need this year, and has helped their biggest need so far. I think they over-paid, considering Nova’s value at the time. It would definitely help if they extend Nova, as that would soften the blow of losing these two prospects for a guy who had little value when acquired.

I think the Yankees will win this trade in the long-term, and it could end up being very good for them. Meanwhile, the Pirates are benefiting this year from Nova, but it would definitely help if they got some long-term value from the deal, and based on Nova’s comments about being comfortable with the team and with Searage, it seems like they’ve got the inside track for that.

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238 COMMENTS

  1. Totally agree Tim! IF Nova gets away, this trade was a small disaster. Polo and Tarpley have too much value. I liked both of them. I hope we’re not getting to a point where we’re just unloading some of what seems like minor league excess on some of these deals? You’ve got to have guys pushing up from every level of the system for it to be productive. Players like Polo and Tarpley were those kind of players, pushing outfielders and pitchers above them. Believe me, guys playing, for example, at Altoona, in the outfield and on the mound know well who these two guys are.

  2. Tim I would say this. If the Pirates retain Nova and get the Nova they have seen so far even if only for one year next year. This might still be a Pirates win for a trade. If not I agree it may be a win for the Yankees down the road. Overall I would say this would actually fit the NH phrase of “trading from a position of depth.”

  3. The other issue not really elaborated on is that these two will have to make the Yankees 40-man roster at the start of next year or the Yankees risk losing them as well

  4. Tim I seem to recall that you’ve written some interesting articles in the past about placing monetary value on prospects. I’m wondering what the “value” of these prospects is vs. the difference b/c what the Pirates offered to Happ and what he accepted. Is that possible?

  5. And this was the key to the whole article”

    So the Pirates traded two guys they aren’t going to miss in the short-term, and two guys they probably aren’t going to miss in the long-term, getting a guy who could help their biggest need this year, and has helped their biggest need so far.

  6. I don’t like this trade at all. The Pirates traded 2 decent prospects for a guy who’s going to be leaving via free agency after the season. Plus, as Tim stated, Nova’s numbers at the time of the trade were unimpressive. So maybe trade one of those guys, but not both. Add in the fact that the Bucs aren’t going anywhere this year anyway, and it makes it even worse.

    • They both were. Which is why I am not bothered so much by them trading them. Especially Tarpley as he would have been very likely to be claimed. Easy to hid a pitcher in the bullpen.

  7. If they would have announced this at the trade deadline I would have been pissed, but as of now I would rather have Nova down the stretch than Polo and Tarpley. Although I will miss saying Tito Polo, cool baseball name. At the deadline I would have given Huntington an F, but it seemed to work out for the Bucs. Looks more like a B now. Guess that’s why I am not a GM.

  8. Best of luck to Tarpley and Polo, but like Broxton and Herrera before them, will they really be missed in Pittsburgh? Probably not.

  9. To bad I am late to the party on this one. You don’t make this type of deal and expect to continue to win in the future. Nova is gone at year’s end, so what did you get for two good prospects, a few wins in a lost season? I think this move plus the prior salary dump should put N.H. in the running for general manager of the year. Now pirate farm system is bottom half in baseball.

    • Wrong on sooooooo many levels. Nova is reason #1 we are still in wildcard race which is why this isn’t a “lost season” and over a third of World Series champs have been wildcard teams. Oh, and this trade didn’t deplete Bradenton let alone the whole organization. Unless your goal is to be an old minor leaguer retirement home you have to trade off some players every year.

      • I agree that the farm system hasn’t been depleted, however, this is a bad trade. The Liriano trade was also bad trade. Don’t kid yourself. This is definitely a lost season. The Pirates aren’t going anywhere.

  10. They’d better pay him or this trade was a total fiasco and waste and overpay. Even then, they could have gotten him for nothing more than money if they’d waited until the end of the season. And if they really didn’t see Polo or Tarpley as future players, why not group them with Maguire, Ramirez and get some really deecent at least No. 3 starter? This looks like crappy “asset management” to me. And if you think Hutchison will turn out to be even Jeff Locke, then I have some Florida swampland I’d like to sell you. This FO is really getting bizarre! And by the way, they are not making the WC this year, so getting Nova makes no difference at all. And if a miracle happened and they did get to the WC, they’re not winning it, or at least not getting past the division series. Not with this team.

  11. I see the opportunity for a periodic “Where Are They Now?” feature focusing on the prospects we traded away: What we thought their upside might be at the time of the trade vs. where they actually are. Might provide some perspective, even if it turns out to be a slow news day type of thing.

    • How many of our prospects that we traded away are doing anything anywhere?

      Grossman has resurfaced in Minn and Dilson Herrera is supposedly going to be the Reds’ 2ndbaseman. JaCoby Jones was just called up, but he is still striking out 33% of the time, hitting only .243 and NOT playing SS.

      Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone else that we moved that is doing anything.
      ======
      For Ramirez, Tarpley and McGuire, John Sickels just updated his Top 20.

      5) Harold Ramirez, OF, Grade B/B-: Hitting .311/.360/.407 with two homers, 22 walks, 66 strikeouts in 383 at-bats in Double-A at age 21; unusual mix of skills, no power but always hits for average.

      12) Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Grade B-: 20 starts in High-A, 4.32 ERA in 100 innings, 90/37 K/BB, 93 hits; I felt he was capable of better and a major breakout but it didn’t really happen though he hasn’t been bad; live-armed lefty controls southpaw hitters and may end up in pen eventually.

      16) Reese McGuire, C, Grade C+: Traded to Blue Jays in Francisco Liriano deal; hitting .254/.330/.336 in Double-A, 32/33 BB/K with one homer in 307 at-bats; retains reputation has excellent defensive catcher but lack of power has turned out to be a significant problem.

      • “Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone else that we moved that is doing anything. ”
        Ralph Kiner, Aramis Ramierz and Dots Miller!

        • Dude seriously none of those players were moved even during the current ownership let alone management. Lets move to the current century (Ramirez barely makes that at 2003). The only player that remotely has so far is Brock Holt and that is a stretch as he is still only a back up not every day player.

          • Brock Holt is an every day player. He was out for a bit this year because of a concussion, but he mans third every day. The guy was an all-star in 2015.

            • In that case his numbers for a 3rd basemen are less impressive. Not much power. Great defender don’t get me wrong but not the power you want from a 3rd basemen. So then still remotely a loss. I would rather have David Freese at 3rd.

              • Boston actually plays him at 2nd 3rd and LF a lot, kind of the way J Hay used to play here. I’m not a big Red Sox guy so I couldn’t say where he plays most. My point was it’s completely unfair to describe Holt as a part time player. He had more than 430 ABs in both 2014 and 2015. If he wasn’t hurt this year he would meet that number again. Holt is a very good young player who would definitely play here if not start.

                • Where would he start??? Is he going to unseat Marte in LF… No, Freese at 3rd….No, JHay at 2nd…. No. 56 games in LF, 10 at 3rd, 8 at 2B, 6 at SS, and 4 in RF. He has no permanent position as a starter so he would fall into the Utility player category meaning he is not an everyday player by definition in MLB regardless if he plays every day. I am not taking anything away from him being a good young player but, it still goes to the point. We have not traded away any prospects that have gone on to become top players at their position.

                  • None of the Pirates infielders are “top players at their position” except maybe Kang when healthy. Because of his youth and offense, I’d rather have Holt than Jaso, Harrison or Friese.

                    • OK well in your own argument Freese is only playing because Kang is hurt (and probably distracted) but either way there is no team in MLB that would take Holt at 3rd over Freese his offense is better. More power and roughly the same average so the only value is he is younger there.
                      Harrison and Holt are like the same player. Similar offense similar age. Harrison has been more of a spark plug in Pittsburgh though so if you want one over the other great but its really a very very weak argument.
                      Jaso is not starting anymore that would be Bell at this point. So would you still want him over Bell. Keep in mind players have to play positions. Jaso and Bell play 1B. There is no way you are going to march out a 5’10” player at 1B everyday or really period. That would make him the shortest 1B in MLB history. A few 5’10” players have played 1B for a game in a pinch but not by design.
                      So I am still not seeing your argument of how the Pirates are better today with Brock Holt.

  12. Do you think the Pirates have a reputation of being so high on guys with currently low value that they believe they can turn around that other GMs are taking notice and using the Pirates own desires against them and demanding high prices for what is at the time a low value return? It only takes one misinterpretation to really get hosed in a deal like this.

  13. We all are chortling about getting Hearn and Rivero for Melancon. But we are freaked about giving up Polo and Tarpley for Nova, who has pitched extremely well. And Nova has way more trade value than Melancon because he’s a SP with a track record and a currently affordable salary. I,too, hope we sign him, but if we don’t, there are other guys out there.

    I agree with the earlier commenter that Hearn is a better prospect than Tarpley – younger, bigger, throws harder. We also need to consider that Barrett Barnes has looked like a first round draft pick for a couple of months now, and at AA. I suspect he is the next man up as the future 4th OF, and I am all on board with that since he is bigger, stronger, and faster than Polo.

    Tito Polo will be replaced in our hearts next year by Sandy Santos or someone. I really like Edison Lantigua, and Jeremias Portorreal is not chopped liver either. Tarpley could well turn into something, but if he does, it’s no big deal – we seem to have lots of lower level pitching prospects right now, including a lot of lefties.

  14. I don’t know enough about the mechanics of trades to have an informed opinion…so, this is more a question than anything…

    I assume, since these are PTBNL, the quality of the prospects the Pirates gave up is tied to Nova’s performance.

    So, 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA in 5 starts probably dictated who was given up more than any decision NH could make.

    Is this correct?

    • I think we won’t know for certain because the scenario you stated is possible. However, I would think that if Nova’s performance was a factor, it would not likely have triggered the decision point midway through the two-month rental. My guess is it would have triggered at the end of the season or even later to see if the Pirates possibly sign him beyond this year.

      • My assumption is…and it is just my assumption…

        There is was probably some matrix in place to judge the possible values of Nova over a month and eligible prospects were given values as well.

        So, hypothetically, if Nova pitches five perfect games in a month, his performance warrants…say…Meadows and Newman…but, conversely, if he has 5 starts, 1 1/3 inning and an ERA of 200…maybe it’s Whitehead and whoever is worse than Whitehead.

        My gut tells me that NH probably didn’t have any choice in who was sent in return.

        I could be totally wrong, but it seems reasonable.

        • My thoughts would have been Whitehead and Haley at the lower end of the spectrum and Wily Garcia and Tarpley at the top. Polo was a surprise (and not in a good way).

  15. Tim stated that he thinks we’ll get around the same return from Mariners in the Caminero PTBNL, so we’ll see. Hopefully they aren’t David Whitehead clones.

    • No matter who we get the same people who hate the trades we made will be unimpressed with what we get back and the people who thought NH snookered everyone will think we fleeced the Mariners.

    • I remember Tim or John saying that too. But I look at it like this – I wouldn’t have traded Nova for Camineiro straight up. So my guess is we’ll get less than Tarpley and Polo

    • I would imagine if Hutchison reads P2, he’s glad to see Whitehead in the spotlight for even a brief time.

    • One difference, Caminero was (is) a scrap heap reliever, albeit one that throws 100 mph, and Nova a starting pitcher. Big difference there. Would not expect much back for Cam.

      • I remember getting this impression too. It was in an article some time in the last 2 weeks where you mentioned the PTBNLs for the Nova trade and the Caminero trade were likely to cancel each other out. Or something like that.

      • Sorry Tim, you’re right. It was in one of John’s Morning Reports from 8/24. He thought 4 years of control and just a 2 month rental would balance out.

  16. zeise wrote a good article today about the future of the NL central and us looking up at the cubs for many years to come…cant say i disagree….cubs have a solid, young core of players and are willing to invest in plugging holes with above average talent

    • Unlike a certain team that shall remain unmentioned. My view is that this whole year has been a horrendous botch by the FO, starting with starting without enough starting pitchers, not keeping Josh Bell up and playing him at 1b when it was clear that his bat was more than ready, and these last two “trades” have just been awful.

      • While I agree with most of what you wrote, I must point out that the PBC assembled the best bench they’ve had in many years.

        Bell has looked tremendous with the bat. Love what he is doing.

        Nova will regress. Coming over from NYY is bound to be less pressure and there is a difference in parks. He has been a very good short term pickup for a team with a patchwork rotation.

        Theoretically, would any of us trade Rivero and Hearn for Polo and Tarpley or reverse that and trade Polo and Tarpley for Rivero and Hearn. Regardless, the head scratching will continue at least until spring training about Hutchison.

        • I’m rather have Rivero and Hearn than Polo and Tarpley. Rivero is a stud and future closer so if Hearn is simply adequate, then the Pirates make that deal every day of the week.

    • Your use of the term “willing” is a pet peeve of mine because it brings up this whole unanswerable debate about front office finances and an unstated assumption that a ‘true’ owner would spend his own money to win – like the Dallas Mavericks’ and the Detroit Tigers’ owners. You have to look no further than Lemieux/Burkle for why a salary cap is so important. Were Lemieux/Burkle evil people because they didn’t spend their own money to try to win? No. And now they’re great owners because once the playing field was leveled, they won two championships.

      The absolute worst thing I can say about Nutting and co. is that they are not leading the other 20 ‘not large’ market teams to force a salary cap into baseball.

      • Rich, i am saying that the salary component was and is a known issue when owning a MLB franchise and I am positive that Nutting was acutely aware….My problem is that it is quite evident (by the market hold this team has on it’s nielsen metropolitan) that Nutting is not only netting probably in the $25m/year range on baseball operation profits, that he is also taking advantage of the far larger $800m of equity that this club has provided to him. I would have loved to see the horrifying outcry if the bucs would have been leading the division this year and Liriano was on his way to a cy young type of a season, because, guess what, i think NH would have still been forced to make those deals (dumping melancon and liriano). Nutting lucked out that Liriano was having a terrible year and the bucs were floundering. People forget that the Nutting family had a sizeable number of board seats that allowed them to call the shots for the Ramirez fiasco as well – this is his Modus Operandi. He has even made deep cuts in his bucco administrative staff and at 7 springs (regular people) to solidify his take home revenue. He is an asshole that will never be at the helm of a championship for this city and it is a ‘pet peeve’ of mine when people give this loathsome lizard far more credit than he is due.

        Lastly, i would like to say that Nutting will do EVERYTHING in his power to never allow a salary cap in MLB. He is tremendously content with the way things are.

        • I completely disagree with you. The pirates have proven you wrong already. They did not trade away Martin when they knew he was going to walk and kept him to try and win. They did not trade away Burnett (the first time) when they knew he was going to walk and kept him trying to win. So you have no basis for your argument with the current management. If you want to keep living in the past with the Littlefield era fine, but the rest of us are slowly trying to move on.

          • Ron, while i normally would simply disagree with you at a distance, your incomprehensible comments force me to retort.

            What you are suggesting is that the bucs trade away their all-star starting catcher and one of their best starting pitchers in the middle of a heated pennant race? Im guessing that the commissioner’s office would be forced to step in on that scenario

            • Again way to wait like 3 weeks to respond to a post. This is perhaps the stupidest response to a post I have ever seen. You make no sense in your argument and you are just making baseless arguments to make yourself come across as you know what you are talking about. Where did I suggest that????? WHERE???? Seriously if you are going to come back at someone stay on point. This is just ridiculous rambling to try and make yourself feel better. Stop, its not cool.
              You said if Lirano was having a Cy Young year NH would have been forced to make these trades….. that was what YOU SAID. My point was the previous year the All Star Catcher we had was not traded away. That completely rebuffs your point. END OF ARGUMENT but go ahead keep rambling, just wait another 3 weeks before you do.

      • rich,
        it is tantamount that you understand that nutting is completely against a salary cap…he is happy with the way things are….see, any salary cap would have to include a salary floor (which would probably be in the $125m-$150m neighborhood) or it would be like the rest of those major sports that you point to where every team spends at the highest amount of the salary cap…..

  17. Tim … I’m sure you are way too busy but … I really like the tier system PP uses but not sure if it is universal.
    – For instance, we are describing Polo and Tarpley as ‘Tier 4’ players. I believe that is an arbitrary tier – meaning that it just happens to be the 4th current grouping of prospects and as such tier 4 for the Pirates might be a tier 3 for the Yankees.
    – Or do the tiers coincide with the universal Grade/Risk system meaning that Tier 4 is always Grade level 5 with Med to High risk (for example)

  18. The lefty SP depth is with little upside, that’s my biggest complaint. Glad to have Osuna, Barnes, Holmes.

    • I am also glad to have Barnes for what looks to be a helpful AAA outfielder next season. Other than Meadows there is a clear need.

  19. In my opinion, I believe Tarpley will be missed more than Polo. I know there was a lot of talk about Polo, but seeing him in Bradenton the past couple months, you see more short comings than positive things in the long run. Very weak arm was seen by all.

  20. Procedural question: Why were these players named later in this case, rather than traded a month ago? Did the Yanks choose from a list this week? Were there other contingencies?

    • And Nova was their Locke… somebody they didn’t want but got 2 prospects for. Too much to pay for his value at the time. Doubt Polo makes it more than a 5th outfielder. Think Tarpley makes it as a starter or reliever.

      • Doesn’t matter what his value was at the time, it’s what the Pirates and their scouts saw what he could do for Pittsburgh….Similar to Happ. I’m certain the Pirates put a list together with lesser players and the Yanks said no thanks. I do agree with your last 2 sentences.

      • But were either one of them going to be able to make the Pirates 40 man to be protected from the rule 5 draft???

  21. prospects are poker chips – without Nova, we would be out of the playoff race. I would rather be excited about these games than turning my attention to the Steelers already. WE HAVE THE 6TH BEST FARM SYSTEM IN BASEBALL!

  22. The best way to judge this trade is to compare it to last year’s trade for Happ. Both Happ and Nova had similar values at the time. I think Sampson and Tarpley are comparable prospects with perhaps a slight edge to Tarply since he is left handed. Polo is quite an excessive throw in on top. He had a big breakout season this year and has held his own so far in a pitchers’ league since being promoted. In addition, the Pirates were in much better shape to make a WS run last year. This year they did a sorta throw in the towel but maybe still try to get a wildcard spot series of moves at the deadline. So the logic of trading a decent amount more to get Nova this year as compared to last year’s acquisition of Happ escapes me. Ya Nova has exceeded expectations but so did Happ. In both case the Pirates lucked out. The Pirates have a deep farm system but this year they have wasted some of this advantage on very questionable moves. Hopefully the front office knows their players better then everyone else. Only time will tell.

  23. People are really complaining about trading our 20th and 21st ranked prospects for a guy who’s has pitched great since we got him? Some people complain just for the sake of complaining

    • Well they were technically our 17th and 18th best prospects. So the two trades together removed 4 of our top 20 guys

    • Nova is going to have pitch well for a much longer period than a month for me to be sold on him….look at his career numbers in New York….plus, what is the likelihood he re-signs with Pittsburgh? I give that about a 25% probability….

        • Nova signing an extension will not determine the value of the trade. This trade is only successful if the Bucs make the playoffs otherwise its bomb. I could argue we are driving his value up and out of our price range and we still will not sniff the playoffs. Had we skipped the Nova deal and signed him in the off season with his crappy numbers in tow we get him for pennies on the dollar.

    • They just think you can go and get Clayton Kershaw (yes I know he is hurt), for Polo and Tarpley so anything less is a bad trade.

  24. Receive:
    $15 million (half in in 2016 and half in 2017)
    Bastardo (+1 year)
    Rivero (+3 years)
    Hutchison (+3 years)

    Pay:
    Melancon
    4 top 20 prospects: McGuire, Ramirez, Polo & Tarpley
    Two guys that should have been cut (Liriano & Niese)

    • With some of that money saved on Liriano, they were able to extend Freese. Pretty smart moves if you ask me.

    • Polo and tarpley aren’t top twenty prospects drama queen. If you can’t add or read, I wouldn’t make fun of other people on the site.

      • If you can’t handle basic subtraction concepts you shouldn’t comment either. And speaking of being unable to read, where in my comment did I make fun of someone?

      • Get real. What does hutch cost. Liriano wasn’t 18 million either. Nova’s Era and background didn’t warrant either prospect.

        • Hutch is less than $700k for 2016, TBD for 2017 and beyond.

          Liriano is $4.5 million in 2016 and $13.6 million in 2017 (or $18.1 million)

          • Too funny. Did you graduate high school? He is due between 2 and 3 million next year and liriano has been worth more than hutch since the trade… but keep the “we don’t know what he will cost next year” at zero to match your narative.

            • “Did you graduate high school? He is due between 2 and 3 million next year and liriano has been worth more than hutch since the trade… but keep the “we don’t know what he will cost next year” at zero to match your narative”.

              Um. Perhaps you should learn to capitalize , spell and use proper grammar, before you ridicule someone’s perceived educational level.

            • First, yes, Hutch is arbitration eligible so his contract would presumably be worth more than the $2.2 he got from Toronto this year – but he didn’t play in the majors much so not sure what that would be for 2017.
              Second, my ‘narrative’ is that the Pirates have weakened the system partially for money flexibility and they have a choice to release Hutch or use the money to pay him. This is a choice they didn’t have with Liriano.

              Third, why are you introducing a completely different discussion point of relative values of Liriano into the discussion? Because you are losing the first argument? If it makes you feel better to base an argument on Liriano’s 4 starts and 3.97 ERA … Go for it

      • The money we used to sign Freeze for two years. Probably will have to trade only one prospect to give him away next year at this time.

  25. Unbelievable…..trading one of our few lower level position player prospects for what is likely a 2 month rental, with a terrible career record. I would have been annoyed if Joe, Tucker, or even Craig was included instead of Polo. NH is an idiot. The Yankees must be howling in laughter that they got those two for Nova.

    • Why are you acting like they traded Bell & Meadows (who you thought were PTBN after the trade) ? These guys are C prospects and nobody in baseball would give them much value. Have you seen what Nova has done in Pittsburgh?

      • Can you detect sarcasm? I was being sarcastic about Meadows and Bell being the PTBNL….it was in response to the moronic Liriano trade….

        • I can detect sarcasm, but with you, I never know….Everything you say is out of left field…You literally question every single move they make, think they intentionally hold guys back and think that every vet that is slumping should be DFA’d….So, I don’t know when you’re using sarcasm, even when it seems obvious. Not attacking you, man.

          • Catch you have trashed every player who NH has ever traded. You still think it was well worth trading two top ten prospects and Lirano for 13 million dollars

            • I always said McGuire was over ranked on here…I doubt either him or Ramirez will ever amount to anything.

      • Two things….
        (1) Nova has pitched well for a month – that’s nice, but he will need to do a lot more than that to convince me, given his career numbers.
        (2) Nova is a free agent – I give the Pirates about 25% chance of re-signing him. Some stupid team will throw tons of money his way and outbid the Pirates by a large margin….

        • The man gives us a much better chance than without him…It’s worth trading a couple of guys that will likely never make any type of significant contribution in the majors. Your 2nd point is probably true.

  26. Man, I was really attached to those two guys, too. Watching their development has been a lot of fun. Both are really good stories. Feels like my kids just left for college or something.

  27. OK, let’s get this straight. NH trades 4 top 50 prospects. The return is a dump of Liriano’s salary (probably could have found someone to take him off their hands for the equivalent of Hutchison), Hutchison himself who seems like a major question mark given what he has (not) shown so far, and 2 months of Ivan Nova. I find it hard to believe they couldn’t have gotten a better return for Reese Maguire, Harold Ramirez, Tarpley and Polo. This only makes sense if none of the players they traded away pans out at all and either they make the WC thanks to Nova (major question whether they will). If they liked Nova they could have signed him for nothing but money after the season. Who is betting that they will, and they won’t get outbid for him. I’d be really curious to know what Tim thinks of all of this. My view: very very very poor work. As if it isn’t bad enough that they’re going to be staring up at the Cubs for years to come.

    • Cubs – looking like a 100 win club, with very smart management, seemingly unlimited resources. Bucs – smart management (well, that’s what I thought before this season, not so sure now), limited resources, can hope for occasional 90 win seasons when things go mostly right. Yep, I’m afraid at best we got that damn wild card game facing us in the upcoming years.

    • Its worse they actually traded four top 25 prospects. Catch22 says they all sucked and have zero chance of making it to the show no matter how well they hit, pitch or field

      • I hope they all make the show, I never want to see a prospect fail. I just see 4 very flawed prospects and I don’t think they will make any major contributions. Tarpley is a couple years away from pitching in Japan or Independent ball. If he ever figures it out he could be a backend or BP guy. Polo’s upside is Rajaj Davis, floor is – never makes it past AA. McGuire could make it as a back-up catcher for a few years, then a AAAA guy who is up and down, when a guy gets injured. Ramirez is the closest thing to Jose Tabata in every sense, the way he hits, the way he runs, his body type. I could be flat wrong on these guys and I hope I am, as I mentioned I root for any prospect to make it.

        • First off to compare anyone to Tabata is insulting. He is nothing like Tabata in any way shape or form. Tabata never hit like him and never fielded like him. As for Mcguire he is youngest catcher in AA and you have already pegged him which doesn’t allow for any growth which I think is foolish especially when you see that he has a good eye and his body still has a long way to go to fill out. As for Polo and Tarpley I really have not followed either much but I do know that Tim spoke highly of Polo and he was promoted this yea and has put up some good numbers recently.

          I just question the fact that until these guys were traded you never had a negative word or concern with any of those guys but now they are nothing prospects. Its OK to support this management team they have given us something to support however its certainly understandable given the information we have here to question a lot of recent moves.

          • A short stocky, single hitting, corner OF’er, with heavy legs. Similar career minor league #’s, with Tabata being a higher ranked prospect. I’ve said on here a couple of years ago that McGuire would never amount to much….Guys like him are a dime a dozen, solid defense, no bat….He can’t hit, never has, career OPS in the minors in the mid .650’s. Coming out of high-school scouts questioned the bat. Spare me the age non-sense, just because player X figured it out at age 23 that means McGuire will is total bs. Not sure what info you have, but outside of this site non of these players were highly sought after….2 guys we traded for Nova won’t even crack the Yanks top 30. I don’t think any of these guys have much of a MLB career, the only one in my opinion that has a chance is Tarpley, but he has a long ways to go and the odds are against him.

    • You are way too negative. Put the Liriano and Nova trades together:
      Going out:
      Liriano – 2 months, plus a year
      Ramirez
      Maguire
      Tarpley
      Polo
      Coming back:
      Ivan Nova – 2 months, maybe more
      Hutchison
      Liriano was the poorest performer in the rotation by record. They had to move him if they were to have any shot at the playoffs this year. Nova is helping keep them in the wild card race. Extending Liriano’s past performance we’d have expected him to go 1 – 3 or at best 2 -2 whereas Nova has gone 4 – 0.
      The also got rid of Niese, whew! They still have Locke, but perhaps there were no takers anywhere in the League.
      There are two uses for the farm system. One is to provide about four players per year to the MLB team. The other is to trade everyone else from the graduating class to solve immediate needs before they expire as far as prospect status.
      So far the trades are working well, with losing Liriano and Niese, and gaining Nova and making room for Kuhl the best benefits.
      There could be unexected secondary effects as well. Such as the increase in Jhang’s playing time turns him into an actual prospect.

  28. Two groups of people who like this deal: The ones who though we should have put Taylor Hearn in our top 20, and the ones who though Erich Weiss belonged in the top 30. Well, they both got their wishes. Hearn was #24 at one point! If Kuhl goes 6.1 tonight, he will be #19

  29. My first reaction was “Nooooo!” I know this site does make the prospects more familiar to us, and as such maybe we could tend to overrate them, but still, I like both of those guys as prospects. Both have the tools to develop into major league players. As someone else pointed out, they’re just lottery tickets at the moment. But, yeah, if you want to acquire at the deadline, you’re going to have to overpay. Overall, I think it was a nice way to improve the big league club without losing any big time prospects. It’s not like we gave up Reece McGuire for him or anything.

    • Will buy you a case of Iron City if McGuire plays more than 10 MLB games in the next three years.

      I get accused of being negative- but I am ok with NHs in season moves…

      Do think he had a C- offseason – missing on Happ – overpaying for Jaso. Redeemed himself a bit with Freese and Joyce and Serpico way outperformed his 2015 numbers.

      • You are on, sir! I’ll pony up a case of brew of your choosing if you’re right. After thinking it through I’m OK with the move. Look, I like most of our prospects and I’d love for them to all stay with the organization; but that’s not realistic.

      • 100% agree with McGuire, if he makes it as a backup catcher for more than 3 years in the Show, I’ll be surprised. He is the most overvalued prospect this site has ever hyped.

        • Catch I would like to know who you actually like in our system because every time we trade a prospect he is nothing short of pond scum in your eyes (no matter what he is ranked or how he is doing).

      • I’ll bet you a case of IC if Mcguire doesn’t play in the league at least 4 years (I actually think he will p[lay 10 or more)

      • with the lack of catching depth across the league McGuire is nearly guaranteed to be a near term backup if not a starter in the next 3 years. That is an easy bet to take.

  30. I don’t think the FO sucks on this deal. I’m guessing there was a range of quality to the PTBNLs when the deal was made. If Nova tanked the Yankees would have gotten lower grade prospects, but he’s been pitching well, so the Yanks got the better prospects. If that’s the case, it’s hard to complain – you’re getting quality so you have to send some back.
    The Yanks FSL team also won the first half so they’re in the playoffs. Could be why they’re getting Polo and Tarpley now – in time to play for them, instead of against them (possibly), in the playoffs.

  31. We’re talking about two guys who if they ever do make the majors, would likely be as a reliever and a fourth outfielder. No big loss.

  32. Ivan Nova: 5 games started, 4 decisions, all wins, 31 1/3 innings, 30 hits, 1 walk and 1 hit batsman. 1 complete game and ERA of 2.87. Tarpley and Polo are a high price to pay but if the Pirates should make the playoffs, it is this trade that put them over the top, as much as trading for Marlon Bird for Dilson Herrera in 2013 and J. Happ for Sampson last year. You have to pay a high price in July but the Pirates have received full July market value and production in each case.

    • Ya but you make a trade based on present value, not hopeful best case scenario. Nova was having quite a mediocre year prior to the trade. Not much better then Locke or Niese. Why would have he been worth so much more then those 2. Or would you have even traded one of Tarpley or Polo for either Locke or Niese at the deadline?

      • You make a trade based on the information you have at the time. If the Pirates and Yankees jointly had information which set Nova’s value as equal to Tarpley and Polo, then that’s the deal.

        I’m going to miss Polo, though, just because of his name.

  33. I know the usual suspects will be all over this trade, but consider the way Nova has pitched….To me, it’s a very fair trade. Now consider, Travis Snider netted us Brault, Nova and Snider again a couple months after the trade. You have to look at things from a much bigger perspective.

    • Who did we trade to get Travis? Oh yeh, Brad Lincoln. So it is even better.

      But then we wasted the 4th pick in the 2006 draft for two months of Ivan Nova, so there’s that. 🙂

      Couple of ways to look at it.

  34. Taylor Hearn is WAYYYY better than Tarpley!! So I can live with that!! Again Tito Polo was not going to play in Pittsburgh!! With Nova performing the way he is, we win this trade!! I am ok with this. We have a very deep farm guys. If the Yanks took anybody else in the system, the reaction would be the same. So good luck to Tito and Steven, I wish them well. We got to give to get!! Again Neal is chuckling every time Rivero puts up a zero. We have to give this dude some rope!!

    • Why do you think Polo wouldn’t play in Pgh? To me the assumption is that Marte, Polanco, and Meadows will be the OF in 2018. Polo seems like he might have been in line for 2019 as 4th OF or injury replacement.

      • Polo would have a shot!! But u still have other options like Barnes and other OF options that may show up!! He is a low A guy with still at least 3 years away from having a SHOT to get to Pgh!!

  35. I just checked and they were Tier 4 prospects (#21 & #22) so I guess we didn’t give up any really top rated prospects after all?

    I think P2 makes us so familiar with them, that it hurts more when they get moved.

    I really hope we sign Nova now, but given the Happ signing from last year plus it being a really weak FA year for SPs, I highly doubt it.

    • tito was basically a singles hitter during his stay at Bradenton. Because of the constant need for pitching, Tarpley seems like the bigger loss.

        • his power numbers didn’t really carry over from West Virginia with the promotion, though the FSL is not known as a hitter’s league

      • I agree, Tarpley will be missed more. Don’t know if he will make it as a starter or reliever, but he has legit stuff.

      • Completely agree. Tarpley had big upside and even his floor was a power reliever who could be pushed to the set up/closer role. I won’t knock the front office since they have a lot of great prospects but man, this season has sucked in terms of what we are giving up for these players. Prospects this season are being treated less than in years past.

            • Not sure what that has to do with Polo….Anyhow, just about every player not named Tucker has a higher slugging % than Polo. I give him a 50% chance of getting past AA. That’s when the men and boys get separated.

          • I think sometime guys need time to adjust. I am not at all excited about giving up Polo. here is a guy who appeared to break out and he is gone.

            • Meadows, Newman, Keller, Hinsz, Kingham and even Holmes. I also think Diaz can be a production everyday catcher…I’m on the fence with Garcia being a legit starting prospect. I have concerns with Glasnow as he didn’t show much more than last year, he didn’t regress, but he didn’t make the big step forward that we all hoped for. That said, I’m not giving up on a kid with that kind of arm…Next year is a huge year for him. I’m certainly not going to throw a fit over trading C prospects….Read some scouting reports on McGuire outside of PP. Same with Ramirez, who is viewed as a 4th or 5th OF’er. Polo is nothing more than a C prospect….He got promoted and put up an OPS under .700 in over 200 AB’s, not really a small sample. I could see him washing out in AA.

    • I would think the Happ situation makes it more likely we sign Nova. NH got BURNED on Happ, he was a steal for $12M/year in Toronto. I don’t think they’ll let Nova get away and let that happen twice in a row.

      • I think we’ll get outbid by a team willing to give Nova extra years.

        I think getting burned on Liriano had more of an effect on NH than missing out on Happ.

        Time will tell, I guess.

        • Think you are right on the button about Nova getting extra years elsewhere. Nova has done really well with the change but he’s going to regress. Whether the regression will be slight or full blown will determine if the PBC FO looks at resigning him.

      • I was just thinking this today. The combination of the bad PR from Happ, and the fact that Glasnow’s ETA seems to have been extended another year, they may decided to actually spend on him. The question is, what is their maximum no. of years and $/yr that they would spend, and what would he get on the market? I do think he likes it hear, and likes pitching to Cervelli and Stewart, but not if it costs him years of guaranteed money.

        • There is zero chance a decision is based on somethjng called “PR” . And thank goodness for that.

          Fan reaction has a much worse record than NHs actual moves . No one liked the Happ pickup when it happened. Few liked the AJ deal. No one liked Volquez and criticized it as dumpster diving. Everyone wanted SRod dumped last season. I could go on and on and on and on.

          • Yeh, agreed, NH doesn’t not care about PR alone. But, when the bad PR is due to an actual mistake, that’s different. He has gone on record saying that he mishandled a number of things last offseason, including not shoring up the starting pitching, due to a desire not to give Happ a 3 year deal. He may think twice about that this time around. Not sure if Nova will get 4 or 5 years somewhere, but I would think the Pirates have to consider a 3 year deal.

    • Bingo on line 2. I was just writing that. I think the consequence of having such in-depth coverage of these guys all the time is that we become too attached, and after a while, they start to seem like major leaguers to us. Myself included- I’m a big Polo fan and enjoyed following his progress. But at the end of the day, these are below top-20 guys in our system, and you can’t complain that they don’t spend or go for it enough, and then be upset when they move prospects to do so (Nova, not Hutchison).

      I’m bummed about Polo, but I wish them luck, and I’m happy to have Nova and look forward to a fun September.

  36. Polo doesn’t bother me but we might miss Tarpley. I was hoping it was an older duplicative guy like Barnes but Tarpley fit a niche for 2020. Good news is Nova might be difference between second wildcard and first runner up.

    • I take the loss of Polo more…even if the 2020 is right…you’re talking about a 27 year old whose SP upside is back of the rotation. While pitchers/hitters aren’t interchangeable, Polo was playing at the same level and 1.5 years younger….with nice power and very good speed. If there’s one I think the Pirates will consider as ‘one that got away’ there is a greater likelihood it’s him.

      • Blaine, I agree completely. From what I have read, he is a five-tool player. Even if that pans out to 3.5 tools at the M.L.B. level, it is too much to give up for a two-month rental, which is what Nova is. Even if the Bucs extend Nova, I don’t see him being more than a number 3 or 4 starter. I think Polo may be a huge steal for the Yankees five years from now.

  37. Let’s hope we get good prospects for Caminero. And we can also sign Nova for the price we gave up.

    • For the life of me, I cannot understand shipping out Caminero and keeping Locke. Besides having the best name on the team, he also tossed multiple innings last season and we controlled him for multiple seasons past this one. Argh!

      • In NH defense somebody actually has to want Locke to trade you something for him. My guess is we will a couple of fringe prospects who we will try to teach the sinker to.

        • IC: So that’s how trades work? I thought you just pick your leftovers and ask for a top level prospect in return. NH has done very well over the years, but most of our team now and in the future will be kids we invested in and developed.

          • When I played fantasy baseball I got many trade offers like that folks actually thought I would take Locke for Arrietta. Both Tarpley and Polo are years away from the Majors – lots can happen between now and then.
            Nova is one of the reasons the Pirates can have a meaningful September.

            I for one am glad the FO tried to shore up a wobbly rotation with this deal and keep the season alive – on life support- but alive

      • Too busy to get involved yesterday, but glad somebody brought this info into the discussion. Tarpley has been less than hoped for, and the throw-in, Steven Brault, just pitched in Chi-town Monday. Go figure. Polo was good, but just got to Hi A even though he is 9 months older than Meadows and has Barnes, Osuna, and some of the guys in Hi A already ahead of him.

      • Really guys, we got trash for JBay, F.Sanchez, Nady, etc. the AJ trade was NY to dump, it was kind of similar to the Liriano trade luckily AJ worked out. If you are honest with yourself NH is not very good at trading, just look at this off season.

        • Bringing up trades that happened almost 7 years ago? Liriano wasn’t a trade, he was a FA. They apparently saw something in Burnett, maybe he was just one of the many guys who couldn’t play in the Big Apple, as he pitched pretty well in all of his other stops and along with Martin stopped 20 years of nothing. He’s made some good trades and some bad ones, just like all GM’s….Trading a middle reliever for Cervelli was a pretty good one.

        • Yeah bro, your pretty terrible at being a pirate fan. Just give up. Love the part of bringing up trades from close to 10 years ago when the whole organization was terrible. Let’s look at the AJ, J.A, Byrd, cervelli, melancon, etc. In all he has had some bad trades but no GM has a perfect record. I think Neal is a hell of a GM and this year he has had some bad trades but I still want him leading our team. Again, please refrain from speaking on this matter. Your knowledge is useless and uninformed.

            • I’d say up and down year. Gotta factor in Matt Joyce on a minors deal, David Freese just before Spring Training, Neftali Feliz, and Polanco extension too.

              • NH didn’t address the starting rotation in a reasonable manner. He seemed to think he had more than he did. Liriano tanking is not his fault but thinking starting the season with Niese as your #3 is inexcusable in a division with the Cubs and Cards. All of the prospects they burned the last 30 days could have gone with Walker towards getting a very good 3 or nice 2 even.

        • If we’re gonna go back that far, the McClouth and Hanrahan trades were brilliant. Nady got us Tabata, Karstens plus starters who spot started for us which gave us good value imo. No idea if we or they got more, don’t remember what Nady did. Nady wasn’t very useful for us in the rebuild.

        • They got 4 decent players for Nady and Marte. Nady had a career -0.4 WAR after that deal. Marte’s was -0.7. Karstens, Danimal, Tabata, and ohlendorf for that. Those four had an 8.3 WAR with the Pirates. That deal was an absolute wipeout if Karstens could have stayed healthy.

  38. If Nova re-signs, great deal. If we make the playoffs, great deal. Otherwise, it’s a complete swing and a miss.

    • I don’t see what a resign has to do with it. He could have just as easily been signed in the off-season as a free agent without ever having been traded for. I’d set the bar as: “if the Pirates make the playoffs, great deal.”

    • So whether they make the playoffs or not is based on what Nova does? The problem is Nova was not worth anywhere near what he is now when the deal was made. The Pirates front office went from plunderers to the plundered this past month.

  39. Thought they would be lesser prospects for our two month rental, but guess it really is fine.
    Tarpley seems pretty good, but not going to project as a top of rotation or closer.
    Going to miss Tito Polo! Maybe it is just the exclamation point, but will miss him

    • Based solely on last off season’s debacle related to putting together a competitive starting rotation, I believe NH HAS to re-sign Nova, and get another quality SP in addition. Depending on 4 kids to fill out a rotation below Gerrit Cole would leave them with five question marks – not a winning hand, especially when they’ll be competing for a wild card spot from Opening Day.

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