— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 31, 2012
News of this deal came out about an hour prior to the trade deadline as the Pirates acquired 28-year old first baseman Gaby Sanchez and 23-year old righty reliever Kyle Kaminska from the Marlins in exchange for Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance pick (Tentatively, 33rd overall pick next year).
Sanchez is obviously the headliner of the deal as he entered 2012 with decent numbers hitting 19 homers in each of his past two seasons, sporting a career line of .269/.346/.440. But this season, he got off to a very rocky start and was optioned to Triple-A after starting the year hitting .202/.250/.306 over 196 plate appearances. It seems like Sanchez is going to take over the right-handed first base role in a Jones/Sanchez platoon against tough lefties. If he gets back to his career norm, this can be a pretty good deal. Sanchez isn’t eligible to become a free agent until after the 2015 season.
Kyle Kaminska is someone I don’t know a whole lot about. Looking over his minor league numbers, he seems to have good command with strong K:BB rates, which is always a good sign for relievers. However, he has been hit pretty hard, posting a 5.20 ERA over 53 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A (mostly Double-A) in the Miami organization. He seems like a throw-in type guy, really.
Gorkys Hernandez heads to Miami after pretty much just running out of room on the Pirates roster for a defensive-oriented outfielder. With the acquisition of Travis Snider, it gave the Pirates another viable option that pushed Hernandez back on the depth chart, making him expendable. Hernandez should be able to stick around a Major League roster for quite some time because of his defense alone.
The wildcard in this deal isn’t even a person…yet. The Pirates also sent their pick obtained in the competitive balance lottery, which tentatively is the 33rd overall pick in next year’s draft. Now with a pick like that, a team isn’t expecting a top prospect, but it will probably be a solid guy capable of immediately becoming ranked in a team’s 10-15 range in prospect rankings. But the pick also has the capability to be absolutely nothing at all.
Looking over things at first glance, I would probably have preferred to just keep McGehee, Hernandez and the draft pick. There’s still a possibility Sanchez can turn things around, which would provide much higher value than those three players in the long term (and short term). But there’s also a chance he won’t turn things around, in which he’ll basically just be Casey McGehee and we won’t have Hernandez or the draft pick.