Trade Deadline Recap

All told, the Pirates made four deals leading up to yesterday’s 4pm trade deadline.

Traded CF Robbie Grossman, LHP Rudy Owens and LHP Colton Cain to the Houston Astros for LHP Wandy Rodriguez

Traded RHP Brad Lincoln to the Toronto Blue Jays for RF Travis Snider

Traded CF Gorkys Hernandez and a draft pick to the Miami Marlins for 1B Gaby Sanchez and RHP Kyle Kaminska

Traded 1B/3B Casey McGehee to the New York Yankees for RHP Chad Qualls

They also made two moves to balance the roster:
Recalled Daniel McCutchen from Indianapolis Indians.
Designated LF Drew Sutton for assignment.

The new lineup looks like this:

Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS

Bench:
Gaby Sanchez will platoon at first base.
Michael McKenry play 2-3 times a week at catcher
Alex Presley becomes the 4th OFer.
Josh Harrison
Jordy Mercer

New rotation:
A.J. Burnett
Jeff Karstens
Wandy Rodriguez
James McDonald
Erik Bedard

and the Bullpen:
Joel Hanrahan – closer
Jason Grilli – setup man
Jared Hughes
Tony Watson
Chris Resop
Kevin Correia – long relief/spot starter
Daniel McCutchen
*Chad Qualls – hasn’t joined the team yet, one of the above will need to go make room.

Overall the Pirates improved at RF, 1B, bench and the rotation and lost one good arm in the bullpen. Here’s what the other contenders did:

NL Central
Reds: Traded two minor league pitchers to Kansas City for RHP Jonathan Broxton.
Cardinals: Traded minor league 3B Zack Cox to Miami for RHP Edward Mujica

No huge improvements to either of the Bucs’ main opponents. Mujica is a nice piece that the Cards can use. Broxton doesn’t have a clear role in what was already a strond Reds bullpen. Both are still really good teams.

Wild Card:
Braves: Traded two minor league pitchers to the Chicago Cubs for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson

Dodgers: Traded two minor league pitchers to Philadelphia for Shane Victorino, araded a minor league pitcher and outfielder to Seattle for RHP Brandon League, traded two minor league pitchers to Miami for 3B Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate

Giants: Traded OF Nate Schierholtz and 2 minor leaguers to Philadelphia for RF Hunter Pence, traded minor league IF Charlie Culberson to Colorado for IF Marco Scutaro

All three of these teams made big upgrades and addressed clear needs. The Bucs clearest path to the playoffs is to win the division and avoid what could be a four team race for a single elimination game.

Trade Deadline Tree: Chad Qualls

Kind of a disappointing end to the trade deadline. Casey McGehee was shipped to the Yankees for Chad Qualls. McGehee became redundant when Gaby Sanchez was acquired earlier in the day. Casey seemed like a good guy and I’m sorry to see him go. The more I think about this, I think the Pirates were going to cut McGehee and this way the Yankees pick up part of the tab. Qualls has been horrible with both the Phillies and Yanks this season. Anything they get from him is gravy.

Trade Deadline Tree: Gaby Sanchez

The Pirates acquired 1B Gaby Sanchez and minor league RP Kyle Kaminska from the Marlins for OF Gorkys Hernandez and the Pirates’ competitive balance pick in next year’s draft.

Sanchez was horrible for Miami earlier this season, hitting just .202/.250/.306, but he was an All Star last year and has a career line of .260/.334/.402. Gaby is expected to take over Casey McGehee‘s half of the first base platoon. Against lefties Sanchez hits .298/.390/.488.

Kaminska is a 2007 draft pick with a career 4:1 SO:BB ratio in the minors.

Sadly, we say goodbye to one of the great names in the org, Gorkys Hernandez. Your defense will be missed off the bench.

Marlins Trade Tree: Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez and everyone else

I sat down last week to make a quick trade tree for the Marlins/Tigers trade which sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit for Jacob Turner and other prospects. Little did I know what I was in for. This tree has branches and roots going all the way back to the inception of the franchise. There’s only one question that boggles my mind: How does a tree that includes 76 players and 26 trades NOT have Jeff Conine involved?

Trade Deadline Tree: Lincoln to Jays for Travis Snider

All over twitter just now:

Pirates12:31am

The @Pirates have acquired OF Travis Snider from the @BlueJays in exchange for RHP Brad Lincoln.

matthewpouliot12:33am

Glad to see Travis Snider will finally get a long look in Pittsburgh. It’s not the high-profile pickup most wanted, but he could surprise.

enosarris12:33am

Holy crap yeah. Brad Lincoln for Travis Snider?!!! RT @whygavs: Um, I am a fan of that trade.

mtmeyers12:32am via Web

Brad Lincoln for Travis Snider? It’s a dissapointing-2006-first-rounder challenge trade!

Travis Snider should see lots of time in RF. He’s a power bat that hasn’t lived up to his potential yet, so this is an upside play for the Pirates. Alex Presley and Casey McGehee are about to see a lot more of the bench.

The bullpen is going to miss having Brad Lincoln around but the Pirates dealt from their strength. Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan will continue to handle the 8th and 9th.

Update: Made the trade tree to go along with this deal.

Trade Deadline Tree: Wandy Rodriguez

The Pirates made a big splash to upgrade their rotation tonight, adding LHP Wandy Rodriguez from Houston. In return, the Astros get LHP Rudy Owens, LHP Colton Cain and OF Robbie Grossman.

Wandy has made a league leading 21 starts this season. While his 3.79 ERA is his highest since 2007, his 1.27 WHIP is his lowest since 2009. His strikeouts are down this year, but he’s walking fewer batters too for a 2.78 K/BB ratio. Rodriguez is an immediate upgrade to the rotation. Kevin Correia will likely be the odd man out but nothing has been announced yet.  It looks like Rodriguez will start this weekend in Houston. I honestly wouldn’t be too surprised if they skipped James McDonald‘s next start just to give him a break.

Owens had shown remarked improvement in his second season at AAA Indianapolis. In 19 starts over 117.1 innings the 6′ 3″ lefty from Arizona posted an 8-5 record, 3.14 ERA, 1.168 WHIP, and 6.5 K/9.

Cain is also a 6′ 3″ lefty and gets to return to his home state. In his first season at High-A Bradenton, Cain has thrown 75 innings to the tune of  a 3-5 record, 4.20 ERA, 1.240 WHIP, and 6.1 K/9.

Robbie Grossman was the Pirates second best OF prospect coming into the season and is also a Texas native. He was putting up a .262/.374/.403 in his first season at AA Altoona.

Trade Deadline Tree: Ryan Ludwick

The Pirates made another deal just before the trade deadline, acquiring OF Ryan Ludwick from the Padres for a Player To Be Named Later or cash.

Ludwick is an immediate upgrade in the OF for the Pirates. Xavier Paul has been exposed playing everyday while Jose Tabata and Alex Presley are hurt. Once they return it will be interesting to see how Clint Hurdle makes out the lineup.

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