July 15, 2008

Warning Signs (Part 2)

Here is my take on what possible deadline trades may mean to the Pirates and their fans.  This is part 2, part 1 can be found here.

Lets start with the least impacting working our way to "another rebuilding phase".

Damaso Marte- Trading Marte means the bullpen will be seriously depleted of talent.  The odds of Marte being traded are slim since he will likely be a class A free agent allowing the Pirates two additional draft picks in 2009.  In order for a trade to make sense, two viable prospects would have to come in return.  Not your usual deal for a reliever who isn't a closer.  Huntington would really need to be impressed by what is offered in order to give up two draft picks for Marte.

OVERALL: This trade would signify a painful end to the season with only Yates to rely on in the back of the pen.  If the trade is made, the two prospects would likely be from the 2007 or 2008 draft.

Jack Wilson - This would really signify a change of the guard.  A Wilson trade would open shortstop to a hodgepodge of players cycling through much like the beginning of the season.  Wilson will only be dealt if a young nearly ready shortstop is acquired in the deal or one of the other deals.

Why do I see this as the most impacting to the fans and the Pirates?  The depth in the minors is in the outfield.  There is no depth at middle infield, especially short.  If Wilson goes, so does the defense.

While I believe Bixler will be a good MLB shortstop, he was not ready when he got the call early in the season.  I don't think he is quite ready yet either.

Wilson would have to fetch a upper level prospect and a marginal pitcher, a 4 or 5 starter type, for this deal to make sense.  When I say upper level, I am referring to AAA not a top prospect.

OVERALL: The defense would suffer but long term the team should be better if the right talent is acquired.


The reason I believe Marte and Wilson affect the team more than Bay or Nady is referring to 2008 and the lack of depth in the system at either position.  Short term they signify a huge change in approach.  While Nady and Bay would bring a bigger return, Marte and Wilson would be the bigger loses for this season.

According to a few sources, as many as a dozen teams have inquired about Bay and as many as a half dozen have inquired about Nady, with his numbers this season, that number should rise.  The best Huntington can hope for is a bidding war and a healthy July for both.  The 5 or more prospects acquired from those two deals could replenish a sagging farm system to the point it could be in the top 1/3 of the league, that prediction changes depending on how many come directly to Pittsburgh.  Add in what the front office believes is a bumper crop from this years draft and the future begins to look pretty bright for the Pirates.


Now lets see what happens...



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