Tag: 2012 MLB Trade Deadline

MLB Trading Deadline: San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean Delivers the Goods

The San Francisco Giants went into the trading deadline needing to fill three obvious areas of deficiency: a lack of power in the lineup, a lack of depth on the bench and in the bullpen due to the loss of closer Brian Wilson earlier this season.

For Giants’ general manager Brian Sabean, two out of three wasn’t bad.

The late-inning reliever never materialized, because it didn’t exist. The relievers that the Giants were rumored to be interested in were ultimately not legitimate options to replace Santiago Casilla in the ninth inning.

Jonathan Broxton and Brandon League were the two biggest names that were moved on the relief market, and while both throw hard, neither misses enough bats to be considered an upgrade on Casilla. You can’t fault Sabean for failing to acquire bullpen help when the help that was out there wasn’t good enough to warrant selling part of the farm for.

Casilla has been awful over the past month, but his strikeout rate per nine innings (K/9) of 10.2 is much better than that of Broxton (6.31 K/9) or League (5.44 K/9).

In acquiring Marco Scutaro and cash from Colorado for minor league non-prospect Charlie Culberson, Sabean bought low on a player who is a good bet to bounce back in the second half. Scutaro struggled in Colorado, but the main culprit was simply bad luck. Despite an excellent line drive rate, Scutaro saw his batting average drop to .271 from .299 last season.

Scutaro struck out looking in a crucial at-bat on Monday night, but he’s also hitting .400 with a walk in three games since coming to the Giants. With Pablo Sandoval on the shelf, Scutaro is probably the best hitting infielder on the current roster. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy is going to have a hard time keeping Scutaro out of the lineup when Sandoval returns.

When Sandoval comes back, the Giants could play Scutaro over the light-hitting Ryan Theriot at second base, over the similarly offensively-challenged Brandon Crawford at short, or they could leave Scutaro at third and replace struggling first baseman Brandon Belt with Sandoval. More likely, Scutaro will be a spot starter at all three infield positions, and a massive upgrade over Joaquin Arias and Manny Burriss, who was recently designated for assignment, on the bench.

While the acquisition of Scutaro did not garner the same excitement as Tuesday’s acquisition of Hunter Pence, the deal for Scutaro may turn out to be just as valuable given the low cost to pry him away from Colorado.

The Giants’ acquisition of Pence on Tuesday was more costly in terms of both cash and prospects, but it filled the huge need for thump in the middle of the lineup. The Giants entered Tuesday with the fewest home runs in baseball and the 25th worst slugging percentage.

Pence is having a down year, but his 17 home runs and .447 slugging percentage provide a huge boost to the middle of the Giants lineup. Like Scutaro, Pence is a solid bet to improve over the final two months of the season. His .784 OPS this season is down from his career .823 OPS, and way down from the .872 OPS he put up last season.

The Giants had to part with Nate Schierholtz, number two prospect Tommy Joseph and minor league pitcher Seth Rosin to get Pence. The cost was high, but with the Los Angeles Dodgers acquiring League, Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino before the deadline, the Giants were forced into action.

Sabean gets high marks for his deadline work, but that doesn’t automatically mean the Giants will hold off the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in the tight National League West race. All three teams are evenly matched on paper after the flurry of trade activity over the past week.

While I hated to see Joseph get dealt, Sabean did well to hold onto top prospect Gary Brown as well as all of the Giants’ top pitching prospects. In the end, he gets an ‘A’ for upgrading the roster without dealing Brown, Belt or any of the top arms in the system, and for getting a player in Pence who the Giants control for next season as well.

The only question left to answer is whether or not these moves are enough to hold off the surging Dodgers and Diamondbacks. If the Giants come up short, it won’t be for a lack of in-season activity by their tire-kicking general manager.

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MLB Trade Deadline: What Do NL Central Moves Mean to St. Louis Cardinals?

While the St. Louis Cardinals did make a move before Tuesday afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline, their NL Central opponents made a bigger splash.

Will the Cardinals be able to make it past the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Cincinnati Reds? Have those teams shown they mean business in 2012?

I think the second question answers itself.

The first question, however, isn’t as clear-cut as some may think.

Through 102 games, the Reds sit atop the Central Division with a 61-41 record. They don’t need to get too comfortable, though.

The Pirates, 58-44, follow by only three games and made several moves in the last week. showing that they plan to go all-in for 2012.

The Cardinals sit seven full games out of first place with a 54-48 record and made only one move before the trade deadline. Is it enough?

Follow the break to see how these deals affect the Cardinals’ efforts to defend their title.

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New York Mets: Recapping Their Moves at the 2012 Trade Deadline

The New York Mets showed up as an utter failure in the MLB Trade Deadline of this season.

It’s funny how well your sports team can act as a perfect mirror image of your life at some points. The relationship of your favorite sports team and your role as a fan is entirely abstracted in that you essentially make of it what you wish.

While we like to think (and often humorously firmly believe) that our superstitious antics of not moving from a lucky spot on the couch during an important at-bat or not discussing a no-hitter while in the process of one makes a difference. All too often, we realize that it pays no matter to any substantial result.

That’s the most fatalistic way to explain to a Mets fan that, while other teams made a difference this trade deadline, our beloved Mets stood idle.

Sometimes, that’s just the way it is. Sometimes in life, you’ll sit and watch as the tides violently throw you into the water as a suave surfer glides right by as everyone watches him and you simply get no regard. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who were recently as bankrupt and lowly as the Mets were over the offseason, came out of this trade deadline with two bit time hitters (Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino), and were inches away from pulling in starting help with Ryan Dempster. Their fans realized that they cared.

Meanwhile, the New York Mets sat and watched.

“30 minutes until deadline,” explained ESPN’s New York Mets writer Adam Rubin. “So far recapping #Mets activity: Traded Omar Quintanilla to Orioles for cash.”

According to Rubin, there were many scouts interested in trading for Mets outfielder Scott Hairston.

In their final game before the trade deadline, Hairston hit his second homerun of the game to beat the Giants in 10 innings. Hairston remained on the Mets for another day.

“I’m kind of glad I’m still here,” Hairston confessed. “Like I said last night, I’m having a lot of fun playing for the Mets and this is a great team to be a part of. I admit I didn’t sleep as good as I thought I would last night. I kept staring at the clock. So I’ll get that out of the way. But I’m just excited I’m still here.” 

Well, so long as Scott Hairston is “kind of” happy to be back.

“Right now, he’s a very important part of our team,” explained Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. “And we do feel it’s important to field as strong a team as we reasonably can for the rest of the season. We haven’t given up on the season. We didn’t move players off the team for a reason. We think we still have lots of good baseball in front of us. And Scott can be part of that.”

With the addition of a second wild card team for this season, there’s an increased perception for MLB teams around the league that they’re still in contention for the current season. Right now, however, the Mets are sitting 12.0 games back of the Washington Nationals for control of the NL East.

With a winning percentage of .485 (50-53), the New York Mets are also 8.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are tied for control of the two wild card positions in the National League.

 “I think there’s a lot of value, for example, in finishing well over .500. I think there’s a lot of value in finishing over .500,” Alderson continued. “I think those things create a perception. What happened or didn’t happen on the deadline may be largely forgotten if a team is able to create a positive impression the second half of the season.” 

That doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly frustrating in the moment.

Just like I explained earlier, sports can be eerily similar to the world that we as fans live in outside of the baseball diamond. Sometimes a job can go the wrong way. Sometimes a romantic interest can spurn. It simply doesn’t matter. The tide can be brutal to those unprepared.

Recently, I’ve been watched the television show Louie written, starring and directed by comedian Louie C.K. In a fictional version of his own life, he makes situational humor at those terrible instances in which everything seems to go wrong in an individual’s life. Each episode is given the darkly humorous motif of the New York life that Louie C.K. lives, which is a perfect fit for all things New York Mets.

“It’s hard to really look at somebody and go: “Hey, maybe something nice will happen.” You just don’t—I know too much about life to have any optimism, because I know even if it’s nice, it’s going to lead to [expletive].” he explained in one episode of his show. “I know that if you smile at somebody and they smile back, you’ve just decided that something [expletitive] is going to happen.” 

While the quote had nothing to do with baseball, it had everything to with the New York Mets. The disappointment begins to pile on more and more and it begins to become too much to bear at times. Yet writers and fans like Adam Rubin and myself keep coming back for more.

 “I understand our fans are disappointed with what’s happened the last three weeks or so,” Alderson concluded on the slump that brought the Mets below .500. “But it’s not the end of the season. And there are a lot of impressions to be made over the remaining two months. I happen to think those impressions can be more valuable than a low-A prospect, below the top 30, from some organization in the American League.”

Just as Rubin continued to tweet the lineup for the Matt Harvey-Tim Lincecum matchup, and just as I simply had to stop in the MLB apparel store near Laguna Beach and dish the necessary $25 for a retro Mets snapback simply because I was infatuated with the Mr. Met logo on it.

As sports fans, that’s just what we do. We’re the most reliable consumers out there in the market.

If there’s an episode of The Newsroom on HBO that I don’t like, there’s a pretty good chance I just say forget about it and discontinue my interest in the show. Their ratings may go down if enough people agree with me, and eventually the show could be cancelled if the network no longer wishes to support.

For a teams as established as the New York Mets, however, there’s virtually no chance that they’ll be leaving Major League Baseball.

Alderson may be replaced as the GM one day, David Wright may follow the suit of Jose Reyes and leave for free agency, Scott Hairston may be traded over the offseason for one of those low-A prospects we were hesitant about, but there will always be the amazin’ New York Mets playing ball for fans in Queens.

That’s a fact about sports that we just have to learn how to accept.

So the Mets did virtually nothing this offseason, and there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll finish exactly where they are right now: middle of the pack. They were unable to bring in relief help, they were unable to bring in batting help, and they were unable to bring in another starter to help an injured rotation.

Earlier this month, I was adamant that this was one of my favorite New York Mets teams since 2006. That team went on to play the Cardinals in the NLCS, only to lose on a Carlos Beltran strikeout. The memory haunts me to this day.

While I was assured that this team would do me better, leave me less crippled and without the heartbreak, sometimes you just have to wonder.

“Then again, when’s the last time that anything good happened?”


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Hunter Pence Shipped to the San Francisco Giants: Analyzing the Deal

Hunter Pence did not expect the news he received early Tuesday afternoon as he was preparing to face the Washington Nationals later that night.  He was no longer a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, who had just traded him across the country to the San Francisco Giants.

Pence described himself as “very surprised,” adding that he did not see the deal coming.

“I didn’t really hear rumors. I talked to the media maybe one time, so really it just kind of happened, so I’m on to play for San Fran and hopefully in a playoff race” (from Philly.com).

The deal will most likely come as a shock not only just to Pence, but also the majority of Phillies fans.

As John Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported, the Giants will send two prospects to the Phils, along with current major-league outfielder Nate Schierhotlz.

The prospects are C/1B Tommy Joseph from Double-A Richmond and right-hander Seth Rosin from High-A San Jose.

While Baseball America ranked Joseph as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect entering this season, Rosin did not appear on the top 10 list.

After the haul the Houston Astros received last year from the Phillies for Pence, fans have to be wondering if this deal was worth it.

Pence, after all, was the youngest starter on the Phillies’ everyday roster and has an additional year of salary arbitration. It seemed like he was one of the few players management would definitely hold onto as the trade deadline approached today.

Schierholtz can clearly not replace the production that Pence provided, and Joseph is blocked from entering the big leagues for at least a few years by Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard.

What then, do the Phillies actually gain from this deal?

At the moment, only salary relief. Pence, currently due the remainder of $10.4 million salary, is scheduled for a raise in this offseason, most likely bringing his total cost to around $14 to $15 million.

Apparently the Phillies, now facing the luxury tax due to the mega-signing of Cole Hamels, were very interested in trimming salary from the payroll. It is somewhat of a shocking move for a team that has steadily increased its payroll over the last decade. Perhaps it should serve as a reminder that the Phillies are not the New York Yankees in that they do not share the same financial flexibility.

Is it possible the team dealt Pence with the idea of inking an outfielder during the upcoming free agency period to a long-term deal. Free agent outfielders this season include Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino and BJ Upton.

The only player seemingly better than Pence is Hamilton, though he is already 31 years old. It is hard to compare Bourn and Pence, as they are completely different types of players.  However, perhaps Bourn, as a pure contact hitter and base stealer, is the player the Phillies’ lineup most desperately needs.

Bourn will most likely command a large contract, and not be much cheaper than Pence.

Until the Phillies reveal their future plans this December, it is hard to be anything but frustrated with this deal.  With general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. battling for his job next year, hopefully the front office leader has something up his sleeve.

If not, the Phillies just dealt away a young, productive starter for nothing more than a salary dump.

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MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Players Who Will Disappoint in Their New Uniforms

The MLB trade deadline wasn’t uneventful, but it lacked its signature dramatic flair. A handful of teams made moves to benefit their playoff picture, but not all of these will pan out in the end.

Factors have to be considered when picking up a new player. A change of scenery can have a negative, as well as a positive, impact. A new ballpark can impact their productivity, and their new teammates may not lend the same comfort as their previous home did.

Let’s take a look at which players will falter in their new homes for one reason or another.


Shane Victorino

Victorino will flop with the Dodgers for one reason: he isn’t the player he used to be. It’s that simple, but that didn’t stop Los Angeles for rolling the dice.

I can’t say I blame them for picking up “The Flyin’ Hawaiian.” They needed a leadoff hitter, and he fits the bill. At least he did in his prime, but that’s long gone. 

He’s hitting .261 with nine home runs and 41 RBI this season. His on-base percentage is around .320, but that’s just about all he brings to the table. He could fill a role as a table setter, but the change of scenery won’t help him.

Victorino was revered by Philadelphia fans, and that makes a difference. Dodger fans could love him too, but it’s not the same for a player who played his primary years in front of one crowd.

I love the idea behind this acquisition, but the Dodgers won’t get the player they were hoping for.


Ryan Dempster

Dempster’s value was understandable. His 2.25 ERA through 16 starts made him a very intriguing option at this year’s deadline, but his numbers will inflate in hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark.

Texas’ acquisition of Dempster wasn’t misguided. Their minuscule lead in the AL West can be erased quickly, and contending teams can never have too many arms. Dempster will provide a veteran presence, but Ranger fans shouldn’t expect his ERA to remain the same. 

Dempster faces larger expectations in Texas. That, plus the change in venues, will increase his ERA. He doesn’t have dominant stuff, and he won’t get away with the same pitches in the hitter-heavy American League.

This pickup looks good on paper, but Texas will be disappointed sooner rather than later.


Brad Lincoln

Lincoln isn’t a noteworthy name. You may have already forgotten about this deal.

Either way, this is worth paying attention too. Toronto gave up on once-prized outfielder Travis Snider in exchange for starter-turned-reliever Lincoln. In 28 games this year (five starts) Lincoln is 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA. He’s got 60 strikeouts in 59.1 innings, and he’s actually done a very solid job in his new role. 

That was in the NL Central. Toronto plays in the AL East. It’s a completely different world, and it’s littered with hungry power hitters. It will take Lincoln awhile to adjust, and by then it will be too late.

He’s probably going to work as a setup man, or potentially as a closer down the line. He hasn’t proven himself in either role, and this rigorous division isn’t the place to do that.

This was a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Snider has been disappointing, but relievers like Lincoln are a dime a dozen. 

Toronto may not regret losing Snider, but they will wonder why they ever asked for Lincoln.

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5 Reasons the Ryan Dempster Trade Will Be a Bust for the Rangers

Just before the 4:00 non-waiver trade deadline, the Texas Rangers made their biggest move by acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs for two minor leaguers.

The move came after the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim traded for Zack Greinke over the weekend and after learning that Neftali Feliz will have Tommy John surgery.

The cost wasn’t high; the Rangers only gave up a minor league third baseman blocked in the system by Adrian Beltre and Mike Olt and an organizational pitcher who isn’t much of a prospect.

Dempster has good numbers this year, and the Rangers needed a No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher, but Dempster was not the answer. Here are five reasons why.

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MLB Trade Deadline Report Cards: 10 Teams That Cleaned Up at the Trade Deadline

It is Wednesday, August 1, and everyone in baseball knows what that means. The 2012 July 31 non-waiver trade deadline has passed, and any deals that hope to be done from now until August 31 will have to be completed by attempting to pass players through waivers. Not an easy venture.

So, as usual, 2012 saw its fair share of players switch uniforms over the past week or so. But which teams made the best trades? Which moves will most greatly benefit their clubs, giving them a better shot at reaching the postseason, or maybe just enhance their chances of victory once they get there?

I’ve come up with a list of 10 teams who have made the best of the trade deadline for themselves, and now I’m going to bring us all back to school. For every team listed, I will assign a grade on how well I think the move will work out for the club this season, and perhaps into the future as well.

Now, these 10 clubs all made good moves, so we’re not going to see any “Ds” or “Fs” here, but really, just look at which teams were smart this deadline, and which made honors, if you will.

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MLB Trade Grades: Best Marks for Playoff Contenders That Made Moves

The MLB teams that will be fighting for a playoff spot needed to part ways with prospects and add solid veterans, and a few clubs made all the right moves.

These teams will all pass with flying colors as trade grades are handed out, but even among the ball clubs who did well for themselves, there are still some that stood out.

The clubs that added productive players to their rosters will see the benefits in September and October, but for now, they will be praised with top marks.

Here are the teams that pulled off the most impressive deals.


Los Angeles Dodgers 

Players added: Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Brandon League

Grade A+ 

The Dodgers needed to add bats, and they were able to put two big-time hitters in their lineup before the trade deadline.

The team traded with Miami Marlins to get Ramirez on July 26, then pulled off a deadline-day deal with the Philadelphia Phillies for Victorino, who is batting .261 this season. They were also able to add pitching depth by acquiring League from the Seattle Mariners.

Los Angeles will be locked in an air-tight playoff race with their archrival, the San Francisco Giants, and the team did everything possible to give itself the edge for the remainder of the season. 

Ned Colletti and the front office made bold moves, and they get the top grade for their trades.


San Francisco Giants

Player(s) added: Hunter Pence, Marco Scutaro 

Grade: A

The Giants had their hand forced by the Dodgers. Every game counts now as the two teams battle for NL West supremacy, and the team needed to add players to its lineup in order to keep pace.

The team made its first move by acquiring Scutaro from the Colorado Rockies. He will add depth and provide stability to the infield. 

Then the Giants added the big bat they desperately needed in order to match the Dodgers’ moves. The team sent three prospects to the Philadelphia Phillies for Pence, who has 17 home runs this year.

San Francisco needed to make a move before the deadline, and they did exactly that, earning them an impressive grade for their trades.


Texas Rangers

Player(s) added: Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto 

Grade: A-

The Rangers needed to add a starting pitcher, and they picked up one of the best available by trading for Dempster, who has a ridiculous 2.25 ERA in 16 starts. 

The team now has a rotation that can dominate a playoff series to go along with their terrifying power at the plate. 

While Nolan Ryan and the Rangers’ brass had the Chicago Cubs on the phone, they also acquired catcher Geovany Soto. The 29-year-old is having an off year, but he has still been a talented and productive player throughout his career, and a change of scenery could elevate his play.

Texas certainly has a roster that can get them back to the World Series for the third consecutive season, and they may have picked up just enough talent to finally get a championship.

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MLB Trade Deadline: Breaking Down Reds Acquisition of Jonathan Broxton

The Cincinnati Reds made a relatively small splash before today’s MLB trade deadline by acquiring relief pitcher and Kansas City closer, Jonathan Broxton, according to Jerry Crasnick on ESPN.com.

In return, the Reds send minor league pitchers J.C. Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph to the Royals. Sulbaran has continued to put up solid numbers but is still a ways away from earning a shot in the bigs, while Joseph is a flame-throwing reliever that is expected to be in a Reds uniform later this season.

Broxton joins an already impressive collection of arms in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen, that has seen Aroldis Chapman put up ridiculous numbers as Cincy‘s closer. With that being said, one must begin to wonder just what Broxton‘s role will be?

Chapman is and will remain the Reds’ closer for the time being, so Broxton will join Sean Marshall and Logan Ondrusek in the revolving door for set-up man and most likely be the go-to choice to close when Chapman is not available.

This move by Cincy could also be an attempt to free Chapman or Alfredo Simon up to start—in the instance that a rotation spot were to come available because of injury. In this case, Broxton could easily slide into and take over the spot at the end of the bullpen if needed.

Either scenario is a possibility and no matter which way it goes, Jonathan Broxton is going to bring some rather impressive numbers to the table. Through 35 appearances and 35.2 innings pitched this season with the Royals, he has posted a 2.27 ERA while notching 23 of 27 save attempts.

Broxton isn’t quite the power arm that he was early in his career, but he maintains the ability to be a very good and reliable piece to this 2012 version of the “Nasty Boys.”

While assessing this trade it would be mute to ignore the fact that this was the only move of significance the Reds made at the deadline.

Many will argue that relief pitching was not at the core of their immediate needs—I would happen to agree. But early on as trade rumors first began to fly, it was still a need—even with its’ current success.

The Reds have been rather lucky to avoid the injury bug to this point in the season with their arms. Insurance was needed—especially to open up Chapman or even Alfredo Simon to start if needed down the road.

The Reds were linked to many other players throughout the past two months and especially leadoff men like Denard Span, Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre.

It looks as though the price was just more than the Reds were willing to pay—and if the price wasn’t right, they were better off standing pat. Let’s just hope they are able to solve their leadoff issues in-house.

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MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Trades Will Keep Pittsburgh Pirates in Playoff Hunt

The Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t land any of this year’s most coveted trade chips, but they approached the July 31 deadline with a level head and the necessary poise.

Pittsburgh added four players either at, or prior, to this year’s trade deadline. Check out NBC Sports’ Matthew Pouliot‘s overview of the Pirates new acquisitions:

They certainly got more interesting with Travis Snider in right field and Sanchez replacing Casey McGehee in the first base platoon. Snider hasn’t been quite as much of a disappointment as everyone thinks—he has a .248/.306/.429 line and 31 homers in 835 at-bats—and he’s just 24 years old. Sanchez is a career .298/.390/.488 hitter against lefties. He’s been way off this year, but if the Pirates can get him straightened out, he’ll be a nice part-timer. Again, I’m not sold on the moves—Brad Lincoln was looking pretty good since a switch to the pen—but factor in the Wandy Rodriguez pickup last week and they belong in the winners category.

The only move he doesn’t touch on involves the Pirates flipping McGehee to the Yankees for Chad Qualls. Qualls has been designated for assignment once this year, and he probably would have fallen victim to the same fate in New York. He is carrying a 4.89 ERA into PNC Park, but his career ERA (3.84) suggests a possible turnaround. 

None of these moves jump off of the page and shake you. None of these players are “star” players, and the Pirates didn’t improve exponentially, but each player provides stability to the Pirate roster.

Adding Snider allows Pittsburgh to move Alex Presley to a permanent bench role. This makes the Pirates’ lineup more versatile and adds more power to their home run-happy batting order.

Snider hasn’t proven himself this year. He’s hitting .250 with three home runs and eight RBI in 10 major-league games this season, but the potential is definitely there. His Triple-A numbers are excellent (.335, 13 home runs and 57 RBI in 61 games), and he gives the Pirates another piece for their future nucleus (under team control until 2016).

Sanchez doesn’t provide the same potential, but he is coming off two very solid seasons. He has the potential to hit 20 home runs, and he could flourish in a platoon role with Garrett Jones at first base. They only had to give up speed merchant and defensive outfielder Gorkys Hernandez who was no longer a valuable piece on the bench.

Qualls and Rodriguez both add stability to the stable of Pittsburgh’s overachieving arms. I mentioned Qualls’ struggles this season, but he’s a solid middle-innings option on a young squad. Rodriguez is an above-average lefty, and those don’t grow on trees.

Some Pittsburgh fans may groan at the thought of these moves. The Pirates didn’t make the big splash that everyone was hoping for, but they got the job done without sacrificing anything important for the future.

For this particular organization, that’s what’s important. They’ve worked too hard to get their farm system back to respectable status, and they’ve spent too much time developing their current nucleus, to blow it up in one year.

Small market clubs can’t throw dollars and prospects around like it’s nothing. Each move has to be calculated, and the future always has to be considered. 

Pittsburgh did an excellent job of making the moves necessary to continue their playoff run this year without diminishing their future plans. In Snider’s case, they actually added a potentially valuable piece.

Expect Pittsburgh’s new players to keep them in the thick of this year’s pennant race. They got stronger in important areas, and the added energy will give them the momentum they need down the stretch.

Neil Huntingdon was in unprecedented territory for any Pirate general manager in recent memory, but he showed an acuity that comes with experience.

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