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Trade Deadline Eve: Calm Before the Storm?

Published on July 30, 2012 by in Features, Rumors

Things were pretty quiet today on the Pirates’ trade front as tomorrow afternoon will mark the deadline players can be traded without clearing waivers.

- The Indians are very unlikely to deal Shin-Soo Choo. The Pirates were among the teams interested in the right fielder, but reports are that they would have to trade Starling Marte to complete a deal, and Huntington balked at that idea.

- Reed Johnson was traded by the Cubs to the Atlanta Braves today along with Paul Maholm. The Pirates apparently made an offer for Johnson earlier today.

- Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Pirates don’t seem to be very alive in talks about Phillies’ outfielder Shane Victorino. Apparently the Phillies aren’t shopping Victorino as hard as they are Hunter Pence, either.

 
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Game 102 Live Chat: Pirates vs Cubs

Published on July 30, 2012 by in Live Blogs

 
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Pirates Showing Interest in Shin-Soo Choo

Published on July 29, 2012 by in Features, Rumors

 

This is an interesting rumor.

Adding a bat like Shin-Soo Choo would be amazing. Currently, Choo is hitting .291/.378/.484 with 12 home runs. Choo also still has one year left of team control as he does not become a free agent until after the 2013 season. This type of production is also pretty consistent over the course of his career. Since 2008, Choo has posted an OPS+ of 151, 136, 147, 108, and 143 with the MLB average being 100.

The other side of this deal is that there are now two people (Heyman and Rob Biertempfel) saying that in order for a deal to occur, the Pirates would have to give up Starling Marte.

It is certainly an intriguing offer to think about because there is no question that Choo’s presence in the Pirates lineup would be a pretty significant upgrade. Also, Choo wouldn’t be just a rental player, as he would be controlled through all of next season.

Here’s my take on it. If Choo were to become a free agent after the 2014 season, I would pull the trigger on this deal. Marte for two years and two months of Choo. However, Marte for one year and two months of Choo seems like a lot. The Pirates have control of Marte through the 2018 season, at least. So it comes down to if a year and two months of Choo is worth six years and two months of Marte. I say no.

Another scenario that crossed my mind was perhaps if Choo were traded, he would be willing to sign an extension, buying out a year or two of his free agency. After thinking about it, that is pretty highly unlikely. He’s not too far away from getting a big-time payday. Also, he is represented by Scott Boras, who will definitely be steering him towards testing the free agency market.

It’s an interesting debate and there are definitely pros and cons to either side of the argument.

 
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Kevin Correia asks Pirates to Trade Him

Published on July 29, 2012 by in Features, Rumors

Rob Biertempfel reports:

Right-hander Kevin Correia, who last week was taken out of the starting rotation, has asked the Pirates to trade him. “I want to start,” Correia said. “For that to happen, I’ll have to go someplace else.”

I think that can be arranged.

Seriously, at this point, just trade the guy to anybody who is willing to take him on. He is not one of the top five starters on the ML roster and probably isn’t even the sixth or seventh best on the 40-man roster. If he is upset about being in the bullpen, then he will serve little use there. The last thing this team needs is someone who is upset or uncomfortable with their role on the team, and Kevin Correia obviously feels like he is being misused.

The Pirates also have plenty of options internally if Correia were to be moved. Indianapolis’ roster is littered with relief pitchers who are dominating that level knocking on the door. Juan Cruz will also be coming off the disabled list shortly. There really is little need for Correia, who has literally been the definition of “replacement level” over the past three years (0.0 WAR in ’10, 0.0 WAR in ’11, 0.1 WAR in ’12).

 
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Game 101 Live Chat: Pirates vs Astros

Published on July 29, 2012 by in Live Blogs

 
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Pirates comeback again to win Wandy’s Debut

Final: Pirates 4, Astros 3

WP: Chris Resop (1-3, 3.10 ERA)
LP: Chuckie Fick (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
SV: Jason Grilli (2, 1.86 ERA)

Wandy Rodriguez was all over the place in his Pirates debut, but was able to labor through six innings to get a “quality start.” I have to imagine that I would feel a little weird and a bit nervous making my debut with a new team against the club I was a part of the past eight seasons. Rodriguez ended the start giving up three runs and five walks over six innings while striking out five.

Alex Presley started things off in the first inning with a solo home run, his second in as many games and eighth of the year. But the Astros answered back capitalizing on back-to-back walks to start off the bottom of the second with a run to tie it up.

Neil Walker then drilled his 10th homer of the year into the second deck in right center field to break the tie in the fourth inning to put the Bucs back up 2-1. However, Jason Maxwell hit a two-run triple in the fifth inning to grab a 3-2 lead after Rodriguez allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the frame.

But the Astros relinquished the lead quickly when Garrett Jones scored on a passed ball in the sixth to tie things up. Then, in the eighth, following a leadoff walk by Andrew McCutchen and a single by Garrett Jones, Rod Barajas delivered a two-out RBI single to left field. Amazingly, it was the Pirates’ first hit of the series with runners in scoring position.

Brad Lincoln pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth and Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close things off as Joel Hanrahan was not available.

Starling Marte went 0 for 5 with a strikeout and is 0 for his last 10 after starting off his ML career 2 for 3. I could see him getting a day off tomorrow, especially with Presley hitting the past two games.

Neil Walker is having himself a July. Before today, he was hitting .361/.432/.639 for the month. His homer today was his sixth of the month.

Brad Lincoln had an ERA of 0.52 with a 39:8 K:BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings as a reliever going into the game. He pitched a scoreless inning today with a strikeout to improve those numbers even further.

The Pirates are now 58-42.

 
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