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Game 103 Live Chat: Pirates vs Cubs

Published on July 31, 2012 by in Live Blogs

 
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Pirates ship Casey McGehee to Yanks for Chad Qualls

News of the deal came just after the trade deadline as the Pirates and Yankees were able to squeak out a deal that will send corner infielder Casey McGehee to the Yankees for right-handed reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls, 33, has a 4.89 ERA and 21:12 K:BB ratio over 38 2/3 innings between the Phillies and Yankees this season. I would have to assume that he will take over for the recently recalled Daniel McCutchen once he joins the club. He has a career ERA of 3.85 in parts of nine seasons, his best coming during his time as an Astro in the mid-2000s.

McGehee, who became expendable after the acquisition of Gaby Sanchez will be sent to the Yankees. I am assuming that McGehee was probably going to be designated for assignment as there really would have been no room at all on the team for both he and Sanchez, so the Pirates took anything they could get for him. McGehee had been hitting .230/.297/.377 over 293 plate appearances with the Pirates.

 
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Pirates acquire Gaby Sanchez from Marlins

 

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.

 
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Pirates DFA Drew Sutton; recall Daniel McCutchen

 

In order to balance out the roster with a correct amount of hitters and pitchers following last night’s Travis Snider trade, the Pirates announced they have designated Drew Sutton for assignment and recalled RHP Daniel McCutchen.

Sutton played in 24 games for the Pirates posting a line of .243/.278/.419 with one home run in 79 plate appearances. The walk off home run off the Astros in the 10th inning he hit on July 3rd is probably one of my favorite moments, if not my favorite, of the season. Best of luck to him as he seemed like a really nice guy and a hard worker.

DCutch gets the nod, at least temporarily, to replace the traded away Brad Lincoln. McCutchen has a 3.56 ERA with a 31:13 K:BB ratio in 43 innings pitched for Triple-A Indianapolis. Last season, with the Pirates, he posted a 3.72 ERA in 84 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.

 
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Pirates acquire Travis Snider from Toronto for Brad Lincoln

 

The Pirates have made their big trade of the trade season by dealing reliever Brad Lincoln for OF Travis Snider.

Snider has played the majority of his career in left field, but also has played quite a bit of right field as well. He was widely regarded as one of the top hitting prospects in all of baseball while he was making his way through the Blue Jays organization and was ranked as high as 6th by Baseball America in 2009. He made his debut in 2008 at the age of 20 and had an inconsistent start to his career. He is under team control until through 2016, also.

Scouts believe that Snider, now 24, has turned the corner, as he demolished Triple-A pitching this season in 56 games hitting .335/.423/.598 with 13 home runs. In ten games with the Blue Jays, he was hitting .250/.300/.556 with three homers in 40 plate appearances.

Lincoln leaves the Pirates after emerging as one of the more dominating relief pitchers in baseball. He certainly has the stuff and the makeup to become a closer down the road and could possibly still blossom into a starting pitcher if he can ever harness his changeup. Lincoln has a 2.73 ERA this year in 59 1/3 innings with a 60:14 K:BB ratio. His ERA out of the bullpen was 0.50.

Overall, I like the deal. Snider is controlled for multiple years and could very well be on the verge of breaking into a productive Major League bat. He’s got the pedigree and the power will undoubtedly be there. At best, he becomes a fixture in the Pirates outfield for the next four years. At worst, he’s a productive power bat off the bench. I really liked Brad Lincoln as a reliever. But that’s what he is, a reliever. Without the development of a quality third pitch, he wasn’t going to be more than that. I’ll take a Major League hitter for a reliever any day.

 
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Biertempfel: Pirates Unwilling to Part with Top Prospects

Published on July 31, 2012 by in Features, Rumors

Rob Biertempfel reports:

The Pirates are reluctant to part with rookie outfielder Starling Marte or top right-handed pitching prospects Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole, which takes them out of the running for outfielder such as Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Shin-Soo Choo.

I think the Pirates are definitely being smart in not giving up any of these three guys for the people mentioned. I could make an argument that Marte for Choo would make sense, but I would prefer to not have that happen.

As far as Pence and Victorino, I don’t think the Phillies are going to get anyone with the talent anywhere near those three prospects for either of them. Victorino is a rental player in the midst of his worst season of his career. Pence is set to make about $12+ million next year in arbitration, which diminishes his trade value. Also, Pence’s numbers have also taken a hit this year from his career norms.

It is definitely smart for the Pirates to hold out a bit on these guys. By 4 PM, the asking price on a lot of these players will be dropped as more pressure is put on GM’s to deal players to get a return.

 
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