Monday, August 4, 2008

The Pittsburgh Pirates....

Just in case those of you living undera rock haven't heard, the Pittsburgh Pirates were involved in two huge trades this past week by trading two of their star players- Xavier Nady and Jason Bay.

To make matters worse for me, Nady and Bay were traded to the Yankees and Red Sox respectively. :(

What kills me is when I hear that Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington is getting slammed in the media in Pittsburgh. Now is that really fair? It is true that Bay and Nady were two of the best players on the Pirates and no fan wants to see good players traded away (unless they are potential Free Agents at the end of the year of course), but Huntigton needed to think about the future of his team. The Pirates are years away from even competing and in all likelyhood, they would not have been able to retain both Nady and Bay (or even one of them for that matter). It is also important to note that it feels as though the Pirates have been rebuilding forever. From the trade of Jason Schmidt (hello Ryan Vogelsong and Armando Rios) to the absolute debacle that was the trade of Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs (Jose Hernandez and Bobby Hill...YES!), it is clear the previous Pirates regime lead by GM Dave Littlefield failed miserably several times at rebuilding.

So why do I feel like Pirates made the right move in trading Bay and Nady now? It's simple economics.

-Both Bay and Nady have a year left on their current deals and they are both having solid (exceptional for Nady) years. Bay is batting .285 with 23 HRs and most importantly, a .380 OBP, while Nady is batting a ridiculous .334 with 17 HRs and a tremendous .390 OBP. For Nady, his OBP is about 40 points better than any other.

-By having a year left on each of their deals, both players become more valuable to the teams who can acquire them because they know that they will have the player for a year and a half and not solely be a rental for two months (see Teixeira, Mark).

-So by trading each player when they are performing at, or around, peak value, you can safely assume that the Pirates will get peak value for both players.

And who are we kidding, the Pirates have not won anything with either player (which is mainly because of horrid pitching), so by getting rid of them, the Pirates will still lose this season, but they will have their 3B for the next 5-10 years (Andy LaRoche), a potential star (Tabata), a potential closer (Hansen), a 4th outfielder/potential starter (Moss), a backend starter (Karstens), as well as good arms in McCutchen, Ohlendorf and Morris.
When you have been as bad and inept as the Pirates organization has been in the past, potential for success is key. And perhaps most importantly, the Pirates received 8 players in return that will greatly aid in advancing their organizational depth.

But hey, who knows? These are the Pirates were talking about. These two packages might not have been the best out there. There will always be second guessers. All I know is that these two deals are a step up from the glory days of Vogelsong and Hill...

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