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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Where’s A.J.’s help?

LONDON — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday Olympics column looks at the amazing double redemption of Jordyn Wieber and Michael Phelps, best things that have happened here yet.

>> I also have a Pirates column about the trade deadline.

For full coverage of everything that happened on that front, check our Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel and Karen Price have much more.

Those took up the better part of the day, so I’m humbly turning over the bulk of blog duties to you today with this simple, broad question: What did you think of the trades?


  1. JRay3 says:

    I liked the moves the Pirates made with obviously the biggest being the acquisition of Wandy Rodriguez who immediately makes the rotation much more formidable. The Pirates showed they were willing to give up prospects for the right deal, this was the right deal.

    Getting Snider for Lincoln was a very good deal, to get a guy just 24 years of age with the potential to be an everyday OF who can hit 25+ HR a season for a late inning relief guy advantage Pirates.

    Gabe Sanchez, he has been an All-Star, he was 4th in rookie of the year voting his first season, has hit for power, has he taken a step back this year, yes but is till just 28 and was hitting extremely well when sent to AAA. Who knows what was going on with the Marlins…that management doesn’t know if it is a buyer, seller, who they want on their team just look at Carlos Lee. I believe Sanchez has a great chance to get back on track in new environment. We gave up nothing for him.

    Qualls, meh, not sure he lasts the rest of the season but with guys like Morris, Slaten, McCutchen down on the farm there does seem to be other options available to look at.

    At the end of the day we gave up three prospects which we have no idea what tey will be at the MLB level, Gorkys who had not much of a future here, McGehee who there was no room for and Lincoln.


    All in all I would say the rotation was vastly improved and a some slight position player upgrades.

  2. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m torn. I like the deals, but agree that I wish it was in the off season.

    I also think the team has improved, but not to the scale it could have.

    I’m curious as to who the Phillies asked for in return. They didn’t get any top prospects from the Dodgers or Giants, but maybe they asked a higher price from NH.

  3. CWalton_67 says:

    “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.”
    -author unknown

    So your hero was there all along, Dejan; Jordyn Wieber’s character revealed by adversity. Victory made even sweeter by the earlier disappointment.

    Mental toughness, discipline, character. I’d take that kid on my team any time, and my teams played for keeps.

    Sorry you were not here for A.J’s gem. Fairly certain that guy is going to will this Pirates team all on his own.

    Honestly believe the Pirates should have made a serious run at Hunter Pence. I think the trades improved the team, but it seems that the other contenders managed to get the better players. Time will tell.

    DK: Agreed emphatically on Wieber.

  4. DMFH says:

    In Rob Biertempfel’s story about Casey McGehee’s departure, he mentions that there’s an open spot on the 40-man roster. Jeff Clement, anyone?

  5. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Agree with Huntington. Giving up any big time prospect for a 2 month rental is bordering on insane, and can be very damaging.

    Love getting Snider for what it cost. I’d have given up more for Snider than just Lincoln. I like Lincoln and hope he does well, but Pirates always find good relievers and even the minors have some worthy candidates. Looks as though Phils may have given us Victorino for Lincoln, but I would take the 24 year old long term power prospect over the 2 month rental of Victorino any day.
    This trade and getting Wandy bode nicely for the Pirates future, and improve the team right now too.

    Gaby Sanchez for Gorkys? Are you kidding me? Steal!!!

    Won’t dis Qualls because even though numbers look bad this year, he has a good history. Plus Huntington has a magic touch with relievers.

    Won’t miss McGehee, just like Matt Diaz only with a few home runs thrown in. Garrett Jones needs to play everyday at first, Snider everyday in the outfield, and that means no room or need for Casey McGehee. Nice guy though and hope he does well.

  6. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Another aspect is that the Reds didn’t get any more hitters, namely Pence, Victorino or Shin Soo Choo. I like that all they added was a reliever.

    Still, just because the waiver deadline is past doesn’t mean trades still won’t happen. Surely the Pirates will even make a few more moves by the time we have to set our playoff roster on August 31st. Isn’t that a weird and unfamiliar thing to say and read? It’s reality and has been a lonnng time coming.

  7. Ryan76 says:

    I love the moves, aside from Qualls that was just a way to move CM. Rentals are not the way to go. Have the TB Rays ever rented a player at the deadline? No. Smaller market teams can’t operate that way. These moves help a little now and in the future. I’m thrilled we didn’t move any of the top prospects. This division can still be had with the current team…but, for me, that would be gravy. Winning baseball has to come first. Then consistent winning will come from not giving up the farm for a 2-month rental.

  8. Juan Pizarro says:

    The trade deadline is always a bit like being a kid on Christmas morning for me, esp as a Pirate fan. Always holding out hope there will be a new bike under the tree, but at the end of the day settling for a toy truck and a new sweater. As a kid you always knew your parent’s were doing the best they can for you, but just once you really wished there was a Santa Claus.

  9. MBS says:

    I’m fine with the trades NH made. Stick with the disciplined approach that got this team to where it is now. “Where’s A.J.’s help?”. I think AJ liked Walkers HR plenty last night.

    I would have loved to see Pence here, but I’ll bet they wanted too much in return from the Pirates and he’d have eaten up future payroll next season. I’m OK with not going “All in” if it means giving up prospects for a rental or paying a huge salary to a recognizable name that may not produce like they have in the past. Build a team that can win for years.

  10. Curt says:

    I liked the moves. I think time will tell. You look at yesterday and really nothing major happened. Dodgers, Giants, Reds and us were the only ones making trades.

    Yeah, Rangers got Dempster, but outside of that, quiet day.

    I do think we could swing a deal or two in August. I guess patience will have to be the course for now.

  11. JayH says:


    On the fan yesterday, Huntington implied that the Phillies were demanding a young player that was currently on their roster. He really implied that it was either Marte or Alvarez. His exact quote was that if he made a trade like that he would be thought of as the dumbest GM in the world. So either he is lying, or the facts in your article about what it would take to get Pence/Victorino are a little off.

    I would have liked to see a more impactful hitting acquisition but not at the expense of losing players that will make this club strong for the long term. I don’t buy the line of thinking that says – hey, the Pirates are lucky, the cubs and cardinals are down this year and they will never get a better shot. I also don’t buy the concept that they should do whatever it takes because of the last twenty years. I didn’t want them to trade Marte or any of the top three pitching prospects. If Huntington could have gotten Pence without giving up any of those pieces then he failed. But we will never know.

    DK: Our Rob Biertempfel reported last week that the player in question was Brad Lincoln. Wouldn’t have found that all that dumb.

  12. Turner Ward says:

    DK – I think that you’re sort of overdoing the point of the trade deadline. Sure, it would have been nice to add a serious, impact bat, but you made the point at the beginning of your column: THIS team is 3 1/2 games off the majors’ best record. Obviously, you can always improve somewhere, but the fact is the team as it was constituted was pretty good. And the fact is that in the last week, the Pirates improved more than the Reds or Cardinals improved.

    If you look at the impact hitters that were moved, I’d say Hanley Ramirez is the only hitter that was traded who is a big name having a good year. He would have been nice to have, and it’s impossible to say what combination of prospects we would have needed to match what LA sent for him. But if you look at the guys moved yesterday, Pence and Victorino are big names, but both on down years, so you’re sort of rolling the dice there. Around the rest of the league, no other big bats moved. So yes, NH could have pulled the trigger somewhere, but it’s pretty apparent that no one was moving productive, big-time hitters who are having good years.

    This isn’t to oversell what they got in return, but a team that was 3 1/2 games off the majors’ best record is improved today over where they were last week. On paper, on August 1, this was a good trading period.

  13. twentytwo22 says:

    Get the win today. Win another series and bank 5 wins on this trip. Offday tomorrow. They beat Travis Wood twice last year. Hope Sanchez makes it to Chicago. Might see Harrison at 3B.

  14. Drew71 says:

    It is hard for me to make that leap. Every trade ranging from ok to bold-smart. And then to jump to a 2000 word essay on, essentially disappointment.

    Ok is ok. Not either extreme. Ok. Just ok. But ok.

    Ok doesn’t make very interesting reading. Not to say that that is the purpose for writing. I take these opinions, ours and Dejan’s, at face value.

    But I keep going back to the Hypodermic Oath. First, Do No Harm.

    Ok. I’m done.


  15. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with Turner Ward (#12) regarding hitters on the market.

    I’m not a Victorino fan. If the Pirates could have given up what the Dodgers did to get him, then that would have been fine. But I would have not traded Lincoln for a rental.

    I think getting Gaby Sanchez for a player that isn’t really ever going to help you -certainly never as an everyday player- and a draft pick was a very good deal.

    I think that if the Pirates don’t make the playoffs it will be because their 25-man roster is not good enough. Not because of what they did or didn’t do at the trade deadline.

  16. JAL says:

    JAL’s Beechwood 45789 Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Profiling the Trade Deadline Additions

    Pirates Focus on Short Term and Long Term Help at the Deadline

    Gerrit Cole Pitches Six Shutout Innings

    Prospect Watch: Cole Has Best AA Start, Clement Homers, Four Hits For Rojas

    Chris Leroux Goes Six Innings, Jeff Clement Homers in Indians Loss

    First Pitch: The Pirates Had the Right Deadline Strategy

    5 Bucs Dugout

    A.J. Burnett Loses No-Hitter In 8th, Pitches 1-Hitter Against Cubs

    6 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Moves: Masterful or Submissive Moves By Neal Huntington and the Crew?

    7 McEffect

    7/31 Recap | Pirates 5 Cubs 0

    Deadline Over, Pirates Better

    8 The Green Weenie

    AJ, Walker Double Team Cubs 5-0

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    An unconventional trade deadline approach

    The amazing AJ Burnett

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 103: Pirates 5 Cubs 0

  17. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Cubs Game Preview

    12 Toronto Star

    Blue Jays trades: Getting to know Brad Lincoln, Steve Delabar, pitchers acquired for Travis Snider, Eric Thames–blue-jays-trades-getting-to-know-brad-lincoln-steve-delabar-pitchers-acquired-for-travis-snider-eric-thames

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Cubs get only one hit in 5-0 loss to Pirates–20120801,0,2239334.story

    14 NY Times

    Yankees Acquire Corner Infielder and Activate Chamberlain

    15 Miami Herald

    Miami Marlins trade Gaby Sanchez to Pirates, Edward Mujica to Cardinals

    16 Chicago Sun Times

    Revamped Cubs one-hit by Pirates’ A.J. Burnett

    17 Wheeling Intelligencer

    Tekulve Stops By to Talk to Legion Players


    18 PBC Site

    Burnett hurls one-hitter after losing no-no in eighth

    Bucs bring in Sanchez, Qualls at Deadline

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Seven August Moves that Mattered

    20 Fangraphs

    Pirates Take Calculated Risk In Acquiring Sanchez

  18. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Open Thread: Sprained Feet and Power Offense Edition

    Battle of the AFC North: Cornerbacks

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Schedule Preview: Week 11 & 13 Analysis Versus Baltimore Ravens

    23 Steelers Gab

    Colts Coach Pagano Picks a Fight with Steeler Nation

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Analyzing the Steelers Schedule: Weeks 1 – 8

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Big East Media Days Kick Off With Disappointment

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Basketball Round-Up: Ranking Dixon, Steven Adams Hype And A Possible New Commit

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    WVU Sets Record Setting Ticket Sales

    28 WV Illustrated

    Geno Smith Expects To Lead A Deeper Offense This Season


    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Arsenal will recover if Robin van Persie leaves the club, says Thierry Henry

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Ten stories you need to read, July 31st, 2012


    32 Pensburgh

    My Name Evgeni, I Have 26 Birthdays

  19. JAL says:

    Beechwood 45789, The Marvelettes, 1962 One of the early Motown groups. Their biggest hit was please Mr. Postman which also could fit the theme. Marvin Gaye was one of the writers of this song and he played drums on the recording session.

  20. NMR says:

    I know Dejan has written multiple times on the “Bob Nutting is not cheap” movement, so it’s wise of him to come forth acknowledging that money was certainly a factor in yesterdays trade deadline.

    As for my personal reaction? Underwhelmed overall, but not necessarily with the Front Office. Check that, not necessarily with Neal Huntington.

    Count me as one that is waiting to be proven wrong in assuming that Bob Nutting would never have let Huntington acquire Pence or Ramirez. In the context of players moved, the only one left is Victorino. Lets be honest, do you really think the Shane Victorino of 2012 puts this Pirates team over the top?

    I don’t, and I wouldn’t hand out participation medals for aquiring a rental player at the expense of Lincoln just to say “we tried”.

  21. Jandy says:

    I was under the weather last night, and still not so hot today. Didn’t feel like blogging. But man, I was watching. What a thriller by AJ. Bummed out majorly that he missed his no-hitter, on a pinch hit single. Still, what a gem. This guy is fast becoming the heart beat of this Buccos’ team.

  22. David says:

    I don’t get the Pirates trade deadline article. The suggestion at the end that money might have been a factor HAS to have a mention that the Pirates actually SENT money in one of the deals. That is a necessity to make it a fair and balanced piece.

    And that is an awfully lot of guessing pegging Pence for 13 million when nearly everywhere else I saw estimated next year’s salary to be above 14 million. I also believe I heard someone say the price for Pence would have been Lincoln and Marte. Maybe Marte is no longer a significant prospect since he is up in the majors now but still a high price.

    The Pirates added a power hitting corner outfielder who could have more value to the Pirates than anyone who was linked to them (including Upton). Its a big risky calculated move. If making a high risk high reward move like that isn’t all in I don’t know what would be short of emptying the farm?

    DK: $250,000? Really?

    The more important and fairer mention was that the Pirates invested $12.2 million in Wandy. And that’s very much in there.

  23. First off, I’m only talking about the Snider trade because that was obviously the marquee deal of the day for the Bucs.

    I understand the point in your column about not adding the biggest star on the market in Pence or Victorino. Sure, it’s probably easy to extrapolate better numbers than you will for Travis Snider, but that isn’t the only thing they evaluated in making a trade. Pence and Victorino would be strictly one-year rentals, gone at the end of the summer. Those rental types, I believe, belong on teams who are about to make a World Series run and need maybe that one extra piece to really put them over the hump.

    The Pirates are not one of those teams. They would be fools to pretend they are. Instead, Neal Huntingon evaluated his team and probably determined it’s a team on the rise that won’t seriously contend this year, but might be a little more able in a year or two. So he added a player who also fits that description. I would much rather see an addition that can help a little bit now and also grow with the rest of the team than a player who’s head and shoulders above everyone else on the team but will still leave in the winter.

    To give up Brad Lincoln and whatever prospects would be needed just for a couple months of a big-time star would be a tragic failure by management to recognize what this team is. This team is not a championship contender. They’re still building up to that. But the team is competitive and the right move would be to add a player who can help now and again when they expect the team to be a serious contender. I would guess NH is optimistic for a 2014 run or so.

    Taking Snider over Victorino/Pence was not about money. It wasn’t about the front office not being “all-in” or not committed to winning. It was about sticking to their plan to build a good baseball team. Just as when a pitcher has a few bad starts, you don’t immediately trade him for peanuts, you don’t add guys just to watch them walk away when you suddenly find yourself playing well.

    I really liked the Snider acquisition because it wasn’t an overreaction by Huntington. It was a calculated move to add someone who can be a piece of this team’s core.

  24. Fat Jimmy says:

    Fans seem to be split into two camps (minus that flat out crazies): 1) Happy with the trades 2) Would have been happy with the trades in the offseason, but feel disappointed that FO didn’t make a “big trade” to bolster stretch run.

    Since fans are uniformly happy with Marte, Cutch, Alvarez, Walker, and GFJ, and most fans acknowledge that there wasn’t much in the trade market at SS or C, we’re basically upset that the Pirates didn’t land a “big bat” at RF or 1B.

    But how big of a deal is this? The biggest big bat on the market was essentially Hunter Pence, who has a career SLG of .481 (which is higher than his SLG this year). Travis Snider’s career SLG is .429 (which is lower than his SLG with Toronto this year). There are 60 games left. If we assume 4 ABs/game and each guy gives us their career SLG, Pence would have given the Pirates an extra 12 BASES over the remainder of this season. What would that translate in wins? Maybe 1 extra win? (I think, by statistical win calculations like WAR, it’s probably not even 1)

    I realize that 1 win can make all the difference, but you’re essentially saying that IF both guys perform to their career averages that it MAY result in one extra win that MAY influence the playoffs. Sorry, that seems like a non-issue to me.

    The root issue for most people … and it seems like Dejan is part of this based on his column today … is the PERCEPTION of not being “all in”.


    It’s inarguable that the Pirates better off today — long term — than they were yesterday morning. It’s also inarguable that the team on the field is better today than it was yesterday morning. It’s arguable … but logical … that the team won’t be hurt THIS SEASON by having the players it choose vs. the ones that may or may not have been available to them. So if the team is better today, not worse than it could have been, and better long term, we should be happy, shouldn’t we?

    The feeling of being “all in” isn’t worth impacting the future, in my book. Let’s see what happens.

    But let’s definitely get Travis Snider to shave.

  25. JMB says:

    Well put DK!

    It’s funny on the various blogs how people say most people hate these trades, but the blogs are full of people defending them. I don’t live there with some of you guys, so maybe you mean talk radio, which I don’t hear.

    “All in” isn’t buying lottery tickets to borrow my buddy Biz’s phraseology.

    Sanchez & Snider are guys who could help, but they could just as easily be terrible.

    As others say, there are no sure things. But give me a Verizon or ATT (Pence) as a stock that stays strong and generally performs while paying a nice dividend vs. a penny stock (Snider) that could either hit gold or go bankrupt. You bet on penny stocks & lotto tix in 2010 & 2011, in 2012 you go for the title.

    While not knowing what the Phils asked from NH for Pence, a comparable package is Presley or Tabata, TSanchez, and Lincoln. I make either deal every day of the week and 2x on Sunday.

    NH was very clear last night that money didn’t play into his thinking, but since they were scared of Pence’s arb #s last year, it just makes sense that they didn’t want to pay him $14m in 2013. Does that make Nutting cheap again? What would Mark Cuban have done?

    The announcers were parroting the “Jones is just as good as Pence” meme. If Jones is truly just as good and much cheaper, teams would have been clamoring to get him from NH, and I didn’t much about it. If anything, NH made it sound during the interview that the team will look at all options for 1B in 2013, so GJ might not even be in his future plans.

    The main thing I learned (again) is NEVER, EVER buy tix to games before the deadline. I figured I would see either Upton, Choo, Pence or Victorino in late August, but now I get to Snider & Sanchez…WoooHUrummmph.

  26. bdubb says:

    I said it yesterday (on one of these blogs) and I will say it again today – these trades made a lot of sense had they happened this coming winter. And playing two rookies and unproven’s is ballsy.

    I like the Snider trade. “Potential” for the cost of a reliever is a no brainer for teams like the Pirates, A’s, Indians,etc. I just wish we could have gotten Victorino for the stretch run and had Snider off the bench and our OF of the future.

    I don’t think the Pirates are better today. They may have gotten better for 2013 but I don’t see this being an upgrade for this pennant race. Disappointing considering the attendance the last month at PNC. As you said DK – the fans are all in. The players are all in. The manager is all in. The front office????? To me they have never been all in. And I doubt they ever will

  27. Jandy says:

    “But let’s definitely get Travis Snider to shave.”

    Fat Jimmy, lol

  28. Naje says:

    Fat Jimmy–nice post…well said.

    So now the front has to be all in, but only in DK’s eyes… does anyone here think that no matter what the front office did at the trade deadline, that DK would find fault with it?

    All in is such a subjective term and ideal here… lots of moving parts to an organization and lots of extraneous factors with which to deal in these dealings. This is just a reactionary, “I don’t agree that the front office did enough, therefore I’m right and I will show you” columns. Yawn. I don’t agree. An opinion based on a one year run at a title that could and would have had major implications moving forward.

    Yeah, let’s add $25M to in payroll at the trade deadline, lose a few top future pieces of the organization and watch Hunter Pence decline before our eyes….or Shane Victorino “mahala” his way outta Pittsburgh in three months.

  29. Chuck Snow says:

    Trades..Yawn..We had really good chemistry before all these moves..Time will tell if it continues..Old enough to know rosters change all the time. Just hoping one of these moves doesnt turn into hey Lets hand Andy Laroche the third base job over whats his name:0

  30. NMR says:

    “The main thing I learned (again) is NEVER, EVER buy tix to games before the deadline. I figured I would see either Upton, Choo, Pence or Victorino in late August…”

    You honestly thought that the Pirates would’ve traded for Upton, Choo, or Pence?

    Man, thou has great faith…

    You should really rethink that ticket thing, though. Baseball is fun.

  31. NMR says:

    “does anyone here think that no matter what the front office did at the trade deadline, that DK would find fault with it”

    I’ll emphatically say no.

    If you switch out DK with the fan base as a whole, then yes. You’re never going to please everyone.

    DK: Yeah, I’d have found fault with anything, just like the glowing praise I had leading off the column two weeks ago for the Wandy trade. Really panned that one.

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    I buy my tickets in January every year. Boy am I dumb.

  33. B-97 says:

    It took the Pirates a long time to rebuild the minor league pipeline and get to the point where they are now competitive at the major league level. I am happy that they did not trade any top prospects for someone in their 30s who would have been a free agent at years end. They are built to be competitive for the next few years and would have had to start over if they moved any of the top prospects. The best midlevel prospects were moved for Wandy. I have no problem with any of the moves when you consider their economic standing compared to the rest of the league.

  34. Naje says:


    They are better today, even if only slightly better, and it goes like this:

    –acquisition of Snider puts Presley’s anemic bat and below-average defense on the bench. It also moves Jones to 1B more often, which allowed McGehee and his slumping lumber to be moved.

  35. JClare says:

    Listen people, the Pirates want to be the Rays (contend with youth, build from within) not the Royals (came close in 2003, haven’t been heard from since). Why is this so hard to understand?

  36. Fat Jimmy says:

    Naje, I agree with Dejan that they weren’t “all in”. My argument is who cares if they were or weren’t. “All in” is really an emotional cry, not a logical argument or a baseball decision. I put the calculations up there. We’re talking about — even in a generous scenario — 12 extra bases. Hey, I’d rather have 12 extra bases than not have 12 extra bases, but at a significantly higher cost? Then I can live without it. And so can this team.

    Before we put too much stock in the emotional component, let’s acknowledge that those guys last night didn’t look depressed about their FO’s “commitment” to winning.

  37. Thundercrack says:

    Fat Jimmy,
    I think I am closer to Camp #1 than I am to Camp #2.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion regarding the trades and what the FO did.

    What I have a very hard time grasping is this notion that you don’t get this close very often so you have to do whatever you can. We still have to field a team next year and the year after that. I can’t put on blinders to that fact.

    Granted in 1992 I felt totally different. That team was going to blown up so I was in favor of doing whatever you had to do to win that year.

  38. Mike C. says:

    Is it against site rules to mention other sites? seems like my post got erased

  39. pants-n-at says:

    Man, did you see AJ after the hit last night? He was fired up!! Then the glare he gave Searage when he came out. Barajas even chuckled about that. Priceless!! That performance last night is going to pay huge dividends the rest of this year….the other SPs will learn alot from that. JMac….get your Mojo back and pound that strike zone kid.

    Let’s take this series and move forward. Yesterday is over.

  40. Eric says:


    I would not have traded Lincoln for Victorino yesterday, but I do approve of Snider trade. It’s very possible that Snider is a better hitter than Victorino TODAY.

    That being said, the Giants gave up NOTHING for Pence. Tommy Joseph appears to have been the main piece. Joseph started out in SF’s system this year as the number 2 prospect, per Baseball America. However, that ranking is deceiving because he was not in BA’s overall pre-season top 100 nor was he in their mid-season top 50. In other words, he is currently ranked well below several Pirate prospects (Cole, Taillon, Marte, Hanson, probably Bell if he were not hurt). Nate Shierholtz is a nobody, and Seth Rosin is even more of a nobody.

    Going strictly based upon what SF gave up to get Pence, it is totally realistic to think that a combination of McGehee, Tony Sanchez, and Justin Wilson could have fetched Pence. (I know this is pure speculation, but since we have real SF players to make comparisons, I’d say it’s a fair one.)

    My conclusion? The Pirates (i.e. Bob Nutting) did not want to pay Pence for the rest of tihs year and next.

  41. Naje says:

    Please define “all-in”, then. You don’t. Like FJ wrote: it’s an emotional cry.

    I’m saying that you’d have found fault with anything they did on July 31… we know you liked the Wandy pick-up. We also know it’s not enough… and the sense of your column is that only you know what enough is and only you have defined what is enough, or whatever Rob B. reported on a trade for a declining Pence last week or 10 days was still fact (was it fact then? was it the total deal then?) Enough. Easy pickins: plug-in front office failure to go all-in and run with it.

    And that’s not to say you haven’t heaped praise on the front office. It’s just July 31 and the moves weren’t the ones you wanted so plug in the old FO failed angle and go.

  42. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Not crying over spilled umpire’s calls, but a couple of pitches to that kid looked close enough for a veteran to get those calls, at least from the WGN view. A 1-hitter was still nice to watch, especially after 14 the night before. Time to take the series today. The trades will work out in time. Good column, especially when you have to sort out the trade deadline, swimming, gymnastics and a 1-hitter. Oh and skeet shooting, etc.

  43. NMR says:

    Just in case anyone forgot.

    “This is precisely the kind of commitment the Pirates’ front office needed to show to this remarkable team…”

  44. Stickyweb says:

    “The main thing I learned (again) is NEVER, EVER buy tix to games before the deadline. I figured I would see either Upton, Choo, Pence or Victorino in late August…”

    Really? Your acting like they traded Cutch, Walker, Pedro, AJ and Hanny to rebuild for the future. Since you screwed up and bought those tix so early, I guess you’ll just have to settle for watching a pennant race. Or sell the tix and miss out on what the whole city is embracing.

    It seems like you have to work hard to be devastated about watching Snider instead of Victorino for 50 some games.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Buy the tix. I’d have to drive 500 mile to see a Pirate game or 5 hours to Atlanta when they’re there or 4 hours to Cincy when they’re there or 60 miles to see a low-A game with the Rays farm club. The last time anyone in our family saw a game at PNC, Mark Redman was the starter. Buy the tix and see a good team down the stretch. (This message brought to you by Neal, Frank and Roberto and Pirate Marketing, Inc.)

  46. JIm says:

    Baseball America rated Tommy Joseph the #2 prospect in the Giants organization. If that is what it took to get Pence, the Pirates were absolutely smart in not giving up that kind of talent. The Phillies weren’t looking for money, they needed players and to move salary to get under the luxury tax.

  47. JMB says:


    I’m driving 200 miles myself to San Diego.

    With tix $350 for two games, hotel $350 for one night, and expenses, this will be around a $1000.00 trip.

    My point is, if I’m spending $1k for a trip, I’d rather have seen Pence than Snider, so I might make a different decision next season.

  48. Thundercrack says:


    NMR out-linked DK.

  49. The Gunner says:

    Actually, NH did OK at the deadline given what was available.

    The way things are going with the starting pitchers, too bad he didn’t pick up another one besides Wandy. Bedard is unreliable and God knows what is wrong with McDonald.

    Too bad we can’t pitch AJ everyday.

  50. cmat0829 says:

    I love the blog but seems to me the reaction to the trade deadline is a bit overheated. A little balance would tell us that across all of MLB the trade deadline activity this year was different..much different. How about some objective reporting and analysis about the double wild card and the impact it has on deadline deals? How about some analysis about the luxury tax and the value of prospects that led the Yanks and Red Sox to be very quiet and led to the Dodgers refusing to part with any of top 4 prospects for Ryan Dempster? Yes, those Dodgers that made a huge splash to reinvigorate the fan base and demonstrate how much new ownership has changed things in a year (from bankrupt to big spenders!)…. how about a comparative analysis of what the Cardinals and Reds did at the deadline? And 24/7 actually writes that he thinks the Braves pickup of Maholm and Reed Johnson as a big deal that he thinks is better than the Bucs pickup of Wandy and spare parts? Really????

    Objectively, yes, the Dodgers made some big moves and the Giants got Pence… I do think the prices they paid could’ve been prices the Pirates could’ve paid but also not clear the Phils would do the deals with the Bucs….

    DK, your article opines that it is hard to believe that NO IMPACT HITTERS were available that could’ve been had for perhaps ONE of the Pirates top prospects… can you name a few? I know it’s not your job, but objectively looking at what happened across ALL of MLB, not just the “ALL-IN” Pirates, I can see no evidence of big bats moving hands.

    Seems to me the Bucs feel like their top 5 prospects are as close to “sure things” as they can get…. deadline pickups with IMPACT require the same… “sure things” to dramatically alter the pennant race. Is Victorino that ‘sure thing’? Personally I would have pulled the trigger for him as I think he is perfect for the Bucs, but “sure thing”? No way. Is Pence?

    Easiest thing to do here is to rip the front office but better thing to do is to look at facts as much as we can and compare realistic alternatives.

    I finish with Exhibit A. The acquisition of AJ Burnett. The Pirates, seeking a top of the rotation starter could have packaged Marte, Taillon and a few other prospects and traded for someone like Cole Hamels or Josh Johnson, et al. Or they could take on salary and take a chance that a change of scenery would pay off big time. I much prefer the latter, as the Pirates just cannot be in the position of dealing away their top tier prospects when, unlike other teams, they cannot just go out and sign a top FA for big bucks the way their payroll must be constructed.

  51. JMB says:


    And it would have been Pence or Choo for 210 games and Upton for what? 500 games, but you’re right about Victorino.

    I’m not sure that “I’m working hard to be devastated,” but baseball is an entertainment dollar function. And I’d rather spend my entertainment dollars watching blue chippers but to each his own.

  52. Timber says:

    Like the Sanchez pick-up because it didn’t cost much at all and while I liked McGehee, Sanchez should be able to at least match his numbers, if not surpass them, this year. And going forward, McGehee was probably a non-tender candidate in the winter and we have Sanchez for three more years.

    I’m intrigued by the Snider trade, but am disappointed by the timing. Really thought Lincoln could wind up being the closer by as early as next year. From a true “value” standpoint, what if we would have kept Lincoln through the end of the year and tested him in more late-game situations. If he stands up, maybe we go really bold in off-season and trade Hanrahan while moving Lincoln into closer role. And if Neal liked Snider that much, he could have possibly even gone back to Toronto with Hammer and say a AAA arm for Snider and another piece (maybe the catcher Arrencibia, who may be expendable because Jays have a stud at AAA in Travis D’Arnaud). My belief is you could get more for Hanrahan in off-season then you did for Lincoln now.

  53. SJB says:

    I completely agree with Dejan. These trades would have been better in the off-season, or ok if the team was a few games out of a wild card but for any team 3 games out of the best record in baseball, these moves will not get them any closer. If fans and the FO alike think the team has no shot anyway, then why play the games…for the food?

    Qualls is simply no good. Snider is a project and Sanchez is a bench player. The Pirates needed more than that. Victorino even right now is a better player than Snider or Gabby and yes he is worth giving up Lincoln and a even young player for as long as it wasn’t Marte, which based on the trade that did happen with Philly, wouldn’t have been.

    Sorry, but they could have and should have gotten more. For all we know it could come down to a one game playoff and that 1 rental player — even if it was a rental — could be the difference in making the playoffs or not.

    This “the Future is not here yet” thinking is absurd. Fact is, the future is never here and that’s why they call it the future. The only thing that matters is the present and how you make it the best it can be because that’s what we live in. For all we know the future could be bad. Heck we can all be dead tomorrow, every one of us. Who knows what the future holds, they might indeed be a better team next season and STILL not be in the position they are now. who knows…Snider may be great but will Burnett pitch as well next year? Will McCutchen hit as well?

    The future? I remember last season’s “future” saying the Phillies win the World Series. How’d that work out? I do remember the Cardinals qualifying for a wild card on the last day of the season and I remember some key trades that helped them. Sure wasn’t Snider and Sanchez fringe AAA type players either. I guess the Cards weren’t going to stand around waiting for their future and decided to make it happen.


    Dejan’s point is a valid one. It’s got to be frustrating for Clint Hurdle. It’s taken him less than two seasons to turn a perennial laughing stock into a team destined for the playoffs. He’s had to completely change the culture in the locker room and on the field, and he’s done a masterful job bringing this team together. And yet, it’s the Pirates front office that is the bigger challenge.

    The front office can’t seem to get out of the mindset of saving for a rainy day. Well, wins are pouring in, fans are showering the team with praise, and lightning is striking… and management is still hopelessly hyperopic.

  55. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    i think the front office did a great job at making moves for the team to be as good as possible, for as long as possible.

    Getting Snider and contending in 2012 aren’t mutually exclusive.

    i don’t understand why victorino and pence are viewed as franchise saviors. I wanted victorino because i thought the phillies would be giving him away for free. they did not. they gave him away for a brad lincoln type and a prospect. if i’m giving away brad lincoln, i’m getting the guy that could hit some home runs along the way and be here another 4 years instead of the flyin hawaiian. Maybe Victorino has a Derrek Lee-Type resurgence in a pennant race, maybe not. but victorino’s a guy that you give salary relief and Aaron Baker for.

    the front office is “all in” on being as good as possible for as long as possible, and i’d guess that that’s what Clint Hurdle means when he says “all in” as well. and i don’t think they punted on 2012 yesterday. The team is better. And they got a lot better than the Reds and Cardinals did.

    we are all armchair GMs, so my opinion ultimately doesn’t matter :(. let’s go bucs.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    I think it was Jon Morosi who was on MLB XM this morning. He said that no team flies a flag for having the top rated prospects in the minor leagues.

    It seems to me that the same could apply for the trade deadline. No one puts out a marketing campaign saying “We were winners at the trade deadline!”

    Let’s watch the remaining games, see what happens, and then determine if the Pirates did enough at the trade deadline. Plus we’ll have to see how the Reds & Cardinals play the remainder of the way too. Well, at least that is what I am going to do.

  57. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I read you loud and clear (#48). I have a hard time spending the $20 to get MLB audio. I hear ya’. Guess I’ll stick to the minor league trips, $10 per ticket, $5 to park, $30 for gas and eat at home and stop at Sonic on the way out of town.

  58. NMR says:

    FWIW, I thought the link proved that Dejan could praise the front office for a trade at the deadline. Because he did.

  59. LuckyNKentucky says:


    BTW, what kind of hotel are you staying in for $350 a night? I know things are more expensive in CA, but that sounds like one of DK’s rooms as opposed to a Motel 6.

  60. JMB says:

    Yes Tommy Joseph was the #2 prospect for the Giants, but he wasn’t a top 100 overall prospect.

    If your 2nd car is a Toyota Camry and mine is 2013 BMW M5, then they aren’t equal.

    Joseph is nowhere near Jamo. So we can’t say it would have taken the Pirates #2 prospect.

    Last year the Phils gave up two top 50 overall prospects, and they got back a terrible return.

    On MLBN yesterday, they played the uproar that Amaro created by getting the return he got from the Giants after giving up the guys the year before.

  61. Josh G. says:


    As requested on Twitter, I am bringing my question about the lack of depth in Bucs drafts to the blog. I assume that we are talking about drafts in the Huntingdon regime. Can you explain your definition of “depth” in this context? Thanks.


    DK: Plain and simple, Josh, just look at their results after the first round. Especially in the supplemental range that’s in play here. It’s bad top to bottom, and one glance at the Pirates’ list of top prospects confirms it. Half of their top six now are Latin American signees, which is way disproportionate to the funding and resources applied.

    They’ve done OK in the first round, not much at all beyond.

  62. Matthew says:

    Add one more as disappointed.
    The new guys haven’t played well this year.
    Good players reach free agency in 2014 or 15, notably Burnett and Hanrahan.
    This year and next is the window.

    I suspect Cinci muddled the market by ‘targeting’ the same guys as the Bucs needed. Namely leadoff.

    Choo is easily better than Pence. I wonder what it would’ve taken. There seems to be pressure there to win soon. Even a blockbuster type deal could’ve been made fair.

  63. JRay3 says:

    Interesting the pitching match-ups for the Reds series are set minus one TBD:

    Rodriguez vs. Latos
    J-Mac vs. Leake
    TBD vs Bailey

    I will say again like I did last night, I hope the team pushed Bedard back a day and allows Burnett to pitch on normal rest and pitch the finale, as this is an important series. Also Phillips still dealing with his calf injury.

    @ NMR – I know we share different views on the Bucs trade deadline acquisitions and I too have bought tickets, flights and few nights hotel for the SD trip. Hopefully we both can enjoy the game of baseball in a great city, with our team still in contention with games meaning something. A few Bucco victories will seal the deal of a great trip!

  64. NMR says:

    “It’s taken him less than two seasons to turn a perennial laughing stock into a team destined for the playoffs…”

    Clint Hurdle acquired a full rotation, bullpen, and 5 of 9 starting position players?

    Hmm, learned something new today.

  65. Jandy says:

    Lucky is on roll. Keep up the good work, Lucky ;)

  66. JMB says:

    @TC #57. I agree, but if people criticize these trades in Oct, then we are called “hindsighters” and dismissed. Blog culture says you have to take a position on the day of the trade. You’re right: ultimately time will tell.

    @Lucky — The Omni that is attached by a walk-bridge to Petco, but you’re right I could have stayed much cheaper at a Motel 6 and bought cheaper tickets. It is ridiculous in the grand scheme of things but also convenient.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think the “all in” gimmick works. These are tight rope decisions. Balancing the future and today. Not simple decisions, and not easily categorized as “All in” or not. If you’re like Blitzburgh and think there is absolutely no way we can legitimately compete this post-season the answer is easy. I’m guessing that’s the minority view, though. And if the FO agrees with that, shame on them. Personally I’d have moved Lincoln for Victorino for the leadoff ability and experience. And as much as we like Lincoln, if moving him for a rental would have put a huge dent in this organization, it isn’t as strong as we think, and we aren’t as close as we think.

  68. Vav800 says:

    I get where you are coming from in today’s column, but I think you may have been a bit harsh…

    I wanted Pence as well, but it just wasn’t going to happen…the trade price (most likely Lincoln and Marte plus prospects) and the salary was just too much for streaky guy like him. That’s not to diminish his ability, he’s a heck of a player, but the only “All In” player that may have been available this year was Upton whom Arizona took off the table a couple weeks ago. Shane Victorino is a solid guy historically, but he’s not having a “Victorino” type year so the assertion that he would’ve come in and significantly lifted the team is a bit misguided. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that they didn’t take a run at Juan Pierre to be the 4th outfielder/pinch hitter/runner, perhaps they still can during the waiver-trade period, but I think he’d have been an excellent depth acquisition.

    Assuming the Qualls deal was just a “Thank You” card for AJ, I’m happy with Snider and Sanchez…they aren’t the sexy deals that everyone wanted when names like Upton, Pence, Greinke, etc. were being tossed around, but they are deals that can pay off now (Sanchez will need time, but Snider will be a factor) and down the road. The “all in” mentaility can sometimes be as dangerous as the “play for the future” mentality…I think the Pirates play of doing a little of both is admirable. Hopefully the complaining subsides and people get back to watching the magic thats taking place on the field.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    The great Roger Federer has advanced to the quarterfinals at the Olympics. I think he might be included in that transcendent athlete fraternity. Sadly, the lovely Ana Ivanovic was sent home to Serbia….sigh…

  70. AJS says:

    –I’m curious as to who the Phillies asked for in return. They didn’t get any top prospects from the Dodgers or Giants, but maybe they asked a higher price from NH.

    If I understand what happened with most of the bigger names the bucs went after correctly, the story goes that NH called, other team asked for Marte and Taillon, Neal said no. Other team asked for Marte or Taillon and NH said no. Neal then decided that the asking price was too rich and walked away from the talks and moved on to adding in the margins. In the mean time the other teams kept calling until the price was acceptable. at the time i hear the Pirates walked away from Pence it was MONDAY night. At that point rumors were that the Phils were asking for teams top 2 prospects and a throw in. Eventually what they got was the Giants #3 prospect(not ranked int he top 100) and a major league ready outfielder they can use to fill a gap.

    My guess is the sticking point was needing that outfielder. Trading Victorino and Pence and really only having Adrian Brown to plug in meant they NEEDED an outfielder in the Pence deal. Who were the Bucs going to give them? They HAD to be asking for Marte. And to be honest trading Marter for another outfielder and having to keep playing the left field shuffle made little sense.

    I’d have jumped at the opportunity to trade Taillon or Heredia plus a couple mid levels for Pence. The Bucs just didn’t have what they wanted.

  71. SJB says:

    “The front office can’t seem to get out of the mindset of saving for a rainy day. Well, wins are pouring in, fans are showering the team with praise, and lightning is striking… and management is still hopelessly hyperopic.”

    I agree. It’s like when you eat with a depression era person and they tell you how they used to rinse the dirty plate water into a bowl to make soup for the next day. 19 years of losing has so polarized fans and the FO alike that they are afraid to make the next step for fear of falling and going backwards. I guess we have to wait until the novelty of winning wears off and everyone takes the training wheels off. Careful though, might scuff your new shoes. Right now, everyone is happy with being over .500. IMO, that’s a pathetic goal even for a loser. Next year’s Pirates Slogan: “We had a pot to pee in and we were grateful!”

  72. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    I’m convinced that if Hunter Pence didn’t look funny, and if his name was John Smith, pittsburgh fans wouldn’t be as enamored with him.

    His long lanky frame makes him look ‘scrappy,’ an automatic plus in the hearts of pittsburghers, and he has a cool name.

    He is a solid player that would help a lot of teams. But the fixation of the radio hosts/fans/etc. on the guy since last year is just kind of strange to me.

    I could be wrong, but just my opinion (which are like bellybuttons in that everybody has one)

  73. Thundercrack says:

    AW great view point (#66)

    And I agree that acquiring Victorino now is much too close to his “sell by date”.
    We’ve been burned too many times getting players that are much closer to their end than their peak.

  74. Stickyweb says:

    @SJB #54

    No doubt the easiest thing is to say go “all in”, get us some sure fire parts that will put us over the top. You don’t mention the players that STL acquired to put them over the top, so I have to go by memory. I know Furcal and Edwin Jackson, so let’s look at them.

    Furcal had some great years and some good years in the past, but at 34 looked to be showing his age and literally put up an OPS for the Dodgers in 2011 worse than Barmes has this year. And he was hurt a lot. So STL took a flyer on him, the change of scenery did him well and he got back to his career #’s with the Cards. Sounds kinda like what we’re trying with Sanchez, though he has less historical success but should be much closer to his prime age-wise than Furcal.

    Edwin Jackson was a second tier starter that totally fit as a “rental” for a few months. STL gave up some talent for him and got good success from him for the remainder of the season. Kinda like what we’re trying with Wandy.

    If there’s another piece or two that I don’t remember, let me know.

    Also, nobody should forget the Giants and Indians last year. SF traded one of their best prospects for Carlos Beltran, more of a “sure thing” than anybody on this year’s market. Cleveland traded one of their top prospects for Ubaldo Jiminez, a higher end starter than Edwin Jackson. Both SF and Cleve missed the playoffs last year.

  75. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Stay at the Omni. Just kidding about M-6.


    I liked Pence because he kills us and has some tools. If looking funny worked, I could play right field. But good points anyway.

  76. Naterosboro says:

    I posted a lot of feelings on the trades yesterday, but not really on this forum, so maybe I’ll hash ‘em out with you folks…

    * Since it was the 1st deal done, let’s start with Wandy. I like Wandy. Solid veteran LH Starting Pitcher that can eat innings and get strikeouts. Also has playoff experience too. The only thing I’d say on this front that I’m not that happy about is that I wanted another starting pitcher. They’ve seen Bedard struggle most of the season and McDonald recently. I guess Correia, Locke and/or Wilson will be our acquisitions in that department. Not that I’d be upset with those, but other than Correia, they are virtually unknowns.

    * Travis Snider was the 2nd shoe to fall. And no, he wasn’t the “splash” acquisition I was looking for (especially after Wandy). BUT…I am cautiously optimistic with this trade. It has a chance to be a huge steal for the Bucs. Now, this all hinges on Snider smashing balls over the Clemente Wall, but it’s the type of gamble a team like the Pirates needs to take. Count me in the camp that is rooting for Travis Snider’s success. We’re gonna need it.

    * Gabby Sanchez for Gorkys/Draft Pick is a solid bench upgrade. Gabby has a career .920 OPS against lefties and has a good glove. He’ll platoon at 1B with Garrett Jones, and get the ABs against LHP. This was a need, and the Pirates filled it. Solid move (even if the player has been injured and in the midst of a bad season).

    * Casey McGehee for Chad Qualls/Cash (and mark this down) WILL GO DOWN as the WORST trade in Pirates History (unless Qualls never sees the mound for the Pirates). I live in South Jersey so I see a lot of Phillies baseball. He was absolutely the WORST pitcher I’ve seen pitch so far this season. I really could care less about losing McGehee (and by all accounts the Sanchez acquisition sort of made him expendable), but ANYONE but Qualls. ANYONE! I’m just hoping this was Huntington throwing Cashman a thank you for “dumping” AJ Burnett on us. I’m hoping…….

    Overall, I’m OK with the Pirates moves, but would feel so much better (and did until a little after 4pm yesterday) if Chad Qualls wasn’t the relief arm brought in. Chad Qualls killed my deadline. I’m just hoping he doesn’t kill this season. And TRUST ME, he CERTAINLY has the potential…

  77. Stickyweb says:

    It is not possible for McG for Qualls to be a terrible trade. It lacks anything significant. The biggest part of the trade is the $250k switching hands. If Qualls fails, we cut him and bring somebody else in via trade or from AAA.

    That being said, I can totally see McG batting 8th in the Yanks lineup with no pressure on him and producing decent numbers.

  78. DemonDachshund says:

    Short version, as I feel I’ve written a book about this the last 2 days…

    -Like the Wandy deal, but I hope that the money spent there wasn’t the reason they didn’t get a real bat.
    -Like the two deals for Snider and Sanchez, but don’t like at all that we’ll be putting 3 guys who were in AAA two weeks ago into prominent positions for a “playoff push”.
    -Qualls was awful. Shouldn’t let Gollum make deals within 15 minutes of the deadline anymore.

    Feels like they decided that they couldn’t make a push for this year, so started building for 2013. That disappoints me.

  79. cmat0829 says:


    In no way can you objectively opine that the Bucs deadline moves mean they “have given up for 2012 and are building for 2013″…. The Pirates don’t have to be the team that makes the biggest splash at the deadline, they just have to beat out either the Reds for the NL Central or hold off Braves/Cards/Dbacks for a wildcard….(THIS ASSUMES that the Dodgers/Reds win their divisions and the Giants, as boosted by the “Babe Ruthian” Hunter Pence claim the first wild card).

    Did the Braves deadline moves inspire or deflate? What impact player did the Cards acquire? How did the Dbacks do?

    Not sure I follow all the “woe is me” being bellowed…. the Bucs just have to be better than the teams they are playing not the all-time best team in MLB.

  80. bobhasis says:

    Maybe I don’t see the picture, but why are some in this blog so willing to condemn Presley’s offense without a critical analysis of Pedro, whom they are so willing to accept. To me they are equals – power aside, but not too far.

    And why are others so willing to condemn Jones defense, and give a pass to Pedro’s, as well as Barmes and McKenry’s arms which are OBVIOUS weaknesses in our defense. Jones may never earn a Gold Glove, but I doubt he will ever crush the team with his defense due to lack of skill or effort. Many are hoping for Tabata’s return, who is the quintessence of indifference and lack of skill

    What am I missing besides your pair of scratchy rose colored glasses?

    I’d like to forget immediately about Pence, Victorino, Shoo et al. They apparently won’t be here, so let’s go ahead.

    Does anyone here have all of “skinny” on Qualls, Snider, Gaby Sanchez besides what the black and white numbers indicate?

    In general, I think it is a mistake to under-estimate Presley and Jones.

  81. NMR says:

    Bob Nutting must be going broke with all the people he’s paying off to post on Dejan’s blog.

  82. NMR says:

    Alex Presley and Pedro Alvarez are basically the same.

    I’m basically a millionaire, minus $990,000 or so.

  83. tmp444 says:

    @Demon #79. +1, sir. My thoughts exactly. I’ll add this: are the Pirates a better team now than they were 24 hours ago? Probably, but not definitely. LIke you said, 3 AAA guys are now in prominant positions.

    IMO, the big-picture problem is the Bucs needed proven power at either 1B or a corner OF position. They did not get it, and two of the teams the Bucs will be battling for the bogus 163rd game of the season got proven power.. This, in my view, is what DK is getting at in his column.

    @Cmat #80: Sure, after the last 19 years, getting the WC would be great, and if it’s out west I’ll try to be on the first plane to Cali. But the division is ripe for the taking. Cards are down. Cubs stink. Why is this team trying to settle for being the visiting team in an extra game? Do these moves help them get to that level? Sure. Do they give the Bucs that added “oomph” to win the division? I’m much more skeptical.

  84. Naje says:

    Hey Bob,
    When Alex Presley hits 20+ home runs, let me know. Presley’s offensive production is abysmal… and his defense isn’t much better.

    Now, as a bench player? Maybe he helps or is more valuable… but he’s not a top 3 OF… on anyone’s team.

    I think it’s really dangerous to over-estimate Presley’s talents….lest you get satisfied with his his .280 OBP.

  85. cmat0829 says:

    @ tmp444

    OK, so then if the NL Central is the focus, and I didn’t say it wasn’t, then if you are a Reds fan and a Cardinals fan, what are you saying today about their Front Offices?

    I don’t see an impact pick-up in either of those clubhouses….. in my opinion, Bucs getting Wandy trumps anything the Cards, Reds or Braves did.

  86. Naterosboro says:

    “If Qualls fails, we cut him and bring somebody else in via trade or from AAA.”

    He already has failed this year…with 2 different teams (NY and Phila.). You’re underestimating how bad he is.

    He’s bad.

    I’m just hoping his stink (this year) doesn’t affect (or effect?!) this team!

    If you can’t tell, I really don’t like this Chad Qualls move.

  87. cmat0829 says:

    Oh, almost forgot to challenge the 2nd half of DK’s and other’s assumptions… in that the NL Central is “down” in 2012 and this is the best Pirates chance for postseason among the next upcoming few years….. hmmmmm, let’s flash forward to 2013 and 2014…would you rather have taillon and Cole and Marte on the Bucs roster, alongside perhaps Snider/ Gaby (maybe/maybe not, who knows)…or have to replace the departed Victorino/Pence, Shoo, whomever…and be without the services of one or two of the young prospects?

    Seems to me that is a big piece of the analysis that is missing and but that’s just me.

  88. NMR says:

    “But the division is ripe for the taking. Cards are down. Cubs stink.”

    Can somebody please explain what this has to do with the Reds, who currently have the best record in all of baseball and are on pace to win 98 games?

    To win the division you have to beat them. Not the Cards. Not the Cubs.

    Saying the division is ripe for the taking would be implying that no team has seperated themselves. That is unquestionably incorrect.

  89. Stickyweb says:

    @bob #81

    I agree that Jones defense is not nearly as bad as everyone says, either at 1B or RF. I’d say he’s average in RF and above average at 1B.

    But on Presley I disagree. I was a huge fan when he came up and was hitting line drives all over the place. But the pitchers seem to have adjusted to him and if he doesn’t adjust, he’s destined to be a 4th OF

  90. Curt says:

    Since I live near the Baltimore area and follow the O’s a little bit as. They were essentially in the same situation as the Pirates on adding pieces to bolster their playoff run and were looking at the similar available hitters.
    Dan Duquette essentially said the same thing NH was quoted as saying. DD said the asking prices were way too high and that it is not worth the calculated risks for rentals, etc.

    With that said, I feel like the Pirates did what they could and again many teams were inactive yesterday. Just think what A’s, O’s and Nationals fans are thinking today.

  91. Bizrow says:

    We’re on the hook for only 400k with Qualls

    I didn’t like giving up that draft choice, but saying that draft choices are crap shoots.

    But come to think of it, hoping Gaby returns to previous form and Travis figures it out once and for all is a crap shoot too….

  92. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    re: Pence

    Some have mentioned trading Tony Sanchez in a deal for Pence. OK, that’s cool, but the difference between the Giants and Pirates in regards to catching is that the Giants are VERY deep in catching depth. They have a young, perennial All-Star already in Buster Posey and the back up is also a young guy, plays the position very well. There are other guys that are behind them that they were able to trade their #2 prospect to get Pence.

    So trading TS to Philly for Pence I’d be ok with, but where’s the depth? The Fort is awesome, I like him, but you have to have position depth and catching is one spot that they do not have any depth at.

    Just a thought……..

  93. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I agree with your assessment except for 1 thing. Their needs are different than ours and have been from the beginning, thus a different market. Still what DD and NH said is true-the market was too high on everyone. Time will tell, but Neal might have done his best job yet, except for dumping McG for a warm body.

  94. Bizrow says:

    @68- AW – Frankie was on the FAN this am and said he strongly disagrees with the thoughts that the FO didn’t go “all in”

    Then I think he said, the FO “hopes”….

    Go figure

  95. Thundercrack says:

    Jon Morosi, who was on MLB XM this morning said that he really liked the trade that the Braves made for Maholm and Johnson. He thought it was a good deal for them.

    Disclaimer: I am not being paid by Morosi to post his opinions here.

  96. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You can’t compare AP and Pedro…….really?

    You can’t put power aside, that’s Pedro’s position. I don’t believe anyone expected him to hit .300 and put up the power numbers with it.

    Barmes, you’re favorite target, has NOT hurt this team defensively in at least a month. He’s made very good defensive plays and the arm strength that you complain about, is there. Does he have the strongest arm in the world, no, of course not, but he has been more than adequate.

    Pedro’s defense?? I have been extremely impressed with Pedro’s defense. Please find me a 3B that has a better arm. Yes, he’s not as mobile as some, but he’s been a vacuum on the corner.

    The Fort?? Well I have nothing on that one. I don’t understand how the Pirates cannot throw out base runners OTHER than the fact that CH mentions that they are more concerned with the batter than the baserunner. The pitchers, most of the time, don’t give the catcher a chance to throw somebody else.

  97. cmat0829 says:

    Not saying that picking up Maholm and Johnson wasn’t a “good deal” just that it wasn’t an IMPACT trade, all-in type of move…. MLBN, especially Tom Verducci, praised the Pirates pickups also… I’m sure we can find talking heads that back-up any sort of viewpoint not sure what that proves.

  98. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jones’s defense is adequate at best. Range is limited, arm is marginal.

    That said, he’s the best option at 1B.

    The good news; no more swan dives in RF……I know it was only one time, but it still cracks me up…

  99. Bizrow says:

    @ TC – well you should be ;-)

  100. Thundercrack says:

    I’m too busy stuffing my pockets with the money Nutting is giving me to post here.


  101. pants-n-at says:

    @ Ryan #98. Agree….agree…agree. I’m done with what shoulda coulda woulda happened. We have the team we have so let’s move on. I’m glad today is a day game. Very little chatter about last night’s gem….base running blunders aside.

    Bottom line: I’m “all in”.

  102. radio wave says:

    I’m indifferent about the trades.
    Didn’t give up much, didn’t get much.
    Over the winter I thought the McGehee acquisition was the best move. Trade deadline, gone. I guess we should be getting used to that.
    I’m amazed anyone took Hernandez.
    Qualls was good when he was young, but now??
    Nice to be buyers not sellers.
    McDonald really needs to come through Saturday, otherwise it could be a long second half for him.

  103. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Day games mean I have to rely on the blog and ESPN gamecast. Does anybody use anything that’s better than the ESPN gamecast version?

    Plus, I’ll be away from my desk most of the day, so that doesn’t help.

  104. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gameday is much better, IMO Ryan.

  105. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The problem with the trade thing is, NH won’t and shouldn’t come out and say what was asked from the other teams. I do like how he handles his business. You don’t hear alot from him in the media about trades. I mean, NONE of these trades were rumored at all. NONE of these guys were on anyone’s radar, I don’t even think Wandy was mentioned as a rumor.

    I like that. Reminds me of the other teams in the Burgh.

  106. DemonDachshund says:

    @cmat –

    I did not say they have given up on 2012. Even if the FO did (which I’m not saying they did) I don’t see the team giving up, and that’s what really matters.

    I said the FO gave up on making a serious push for 2012 yesterday and focused on making moves that they hope will make the team better in 2013. They determined that the price to truly go for it was too high, so they chose not to do it. They HOPE the moves work out and they get there this year, but I don’t think that was the focus of yesterday’s trades.

  107. Bizrow says:

    TC – if Nutting ISN’T involved somehow on these blogs, well, then he truly is just sitting in his bunker on Federal St counting his nickles. I’ve read a few articles that admit this is a fairly cheap way to put things in “management’s perspective” and I have been told by someone I trust very much that there are “double posters” out there.

    Just sayin

  108. Bizrow says:

    Ok, the 2012 trade perspective. Who improved their 2012 club more?

    Dodgers? Braves? GMen? or us?

    And yes, we will have to see how things work out, but on the surface, of these 3 clubs we will be battling for a wild card spot if we can’t catch Cincy, IMO, we rank 4th

    And no, I haven’t read Dejan’s article, I save that for the first thing I do when I get home from work every day.

  109. pants-n-at says:

    I think some of the “sellers” in the future will come down on their asking price for 60 day rentals due to the loss of compensation picks for lost FAs. Being this is the first year with this change AND the added wild card made things a little different. Perhaps moving the trade deadline to mid August would help clear things up in the future too.

  110. JRay3 says:

    I found this on espn site about winners and losers at the trade deadline:

    Logan Burdine (@logan_burdine), Blake Street Bulletin: I’m tempted to give this to the Astros just because they were able to execute their plan perfectly. They dumped some aging, overpaid players who were bad fits going forward and restocked their farm system. However, the winner among MLB’s “buyers” was probably the Pirates. By adding Wandy Rodriguez and Gaby Sanchez, Pittsburgh filled in some important holes and did so without having to mortgage its bright future.

    So as mentioned above you can find pundits with varying opinion.

    Great chance to get a series win today.and head to Cincy with some momentum…Let’s Go Bucs!

  111. JHadar says:

    You can debate forever about what didn’t get done, what might have got done, and even what should have been done.

    What did get done made the Bucs a little better now, and while I’m disappointed they didn’t pull off a slam dunk “this guy will fix everything” trade, I’m not at all opposed to “We’ve got a lot of young guys, let’s see what they’re made of.” Here’s why: McCutchen could well have the same effect on these kids as Clemente had on his teammates.

    Remember that? The guys that watched the Great One play everyday began to see how he did it. The result was the Lumber Company — first ball, fast ball line drive hitters with the attitude you can’t hit if you don’t swing. Matty Mota, Matty Alou, Manny Sanguillen, Al Oliver, and on into the ’70’s. Your hitting coach can tell you all about your stance and your grip and swing plane — but seeing it done right time and time again has a greater effect. (And don’t you wish those teams of the late sixties had some pitching?)

    With Marte and Snider in the outfield, you almost start thinking about teaching Presley to play shortstop. Let’s see what Tabata’s really made out of while we’re at it too. There are some guys he needs to beat out. If they don’t bring up Clement, he’s going to be coming to spring training hungry.

    And someone up there said that Presley was Pedro’s equal if you discount the power. Kind of like saying that a Prius gets better gas mileage than a Porsche.

    But I digress — we’re talking about the trades. Pardon the analogy, there’s rebuilding, remodeling, fixing, and patching. I thought we were somewhere between fixing and patching — and there was no shortstop. A little more than we absolutely needed, but it’s still pretty much the same team and there’s not a lot wrong with that.

  112. Jandy says:

    Unrelated..but RIP Gore Vidal

  113. JRay3 says:

    Today’s Bucs lineup:

    Marte 7 Harrison 4 McCutchen 8 Sanchez 3 Snider 9 McKenry 2 Alvarez 5 Barmes 6 Karstens 1

  114. Florida Pirate says:

    watched game last night. Think its the first buc game I’ve seen on TV in like five years. So, impressions.

    – Don’t know what it is about that Snider, but he really looks like a gamer. I hope he works out. Maybe a change in scenery, etc.

    – Okay don’t attack me. I don’t get Marte. Again, take this as someone that just saw him and hasn’t been reading his press for six months. He looks raw man, real raw. Almost ran into Cutch, dumb play getting caught on flyball, looks horribly off balance at the plate

    That is all. Oh yeah, that McGeeeeeheeee was a nice dude, but wow, one of the worst bat swingers on the team. Looked fooled on every single pitch.

    Finally…Alvarez….I guess its a HR or nothing with that dude. Again, a guy that looks fooled and indifferent at the plate

    But, love the Bucs!

  115. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Nice find on the Burdine post.


    I didn’t know Vidal Sassoon was sick.

  116. Bucco_Jax says:


    If that’s accurate, I see they are looking to get a look at the new guys right away. Have to imagine Qualls will be one of the first names up in the pen if the need should arise. Hopefully it will be with a huge lead, this guy worries me, as we already have a ‘firestarter’ or two in the pen. Resop and Correia

  117. Jandy says:

    OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0<

  118. Jandy says:

    Florida Pirate, you had to see Marte his first game when he was called up. You’d have been singing his praises.

  119. Florida Pirate says:

    @jandy, yeah I know…that’s pretty exciting. I’m just saying, objectively, if you nothing about nothing and saw him for the first time and this was the time, you’d be shaking your head. Just thinking aloud…that’s what blogs are for, ha.

  120. Florida Pirate says:

    Like someone said, “baseball doesn’t make any sense”

  121. JohninOshkosh says:


    Somewhere, someplace Gore Vidal is haunting a Chick fil A.

    His last words, oddly, “Who the hell is Travis Snider?’

  122. cmat0829 says:

    The Braves aquisitions are better than the Pirates? You seriously think Maholm/Reed Johnson is better than Wandy/Snider/Sanchez?

    I’d give you a wash, if you were a Braves homer or a Pirates basher…. but is “give Paul the ball” really who the Braves want to trust big starts in August/September with? he’s never done it and dont forget how he gets lit up like a Christmas tree when he forgets to pitch inside and is afraid of the bat. Wish him well, but I’d rather trust Wandy than Paul,

  123. Naterosboro says:

    “Finally…Alvarez….I guess its a HR or nothing with that dude. Again, a guy that looks fooled and indifferent at the plate”

    Did you miss his 1st 2 ABs on the night? 2B down the left field line and then (should’ve been RBI 2B to CF) 1B deep to CF that G.Jones errord on the basepaths? Basically, I totally disagree with your assessment that Alvarez looks “fooled and indifferent” at the plate. I think he just doesn’t make enough contact for our liking.

    Pedro has certainly been “feast & famine” this season, but that’s what he is I believe. He’s going to hit .225-.250 and hit you 25(low end)-40(high end) HRs. He’s our Carlos Pena.

    I’ll take it.

  124. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I think the Braves did well. They got what THEY needed. Reed Johnson is a nice piece, but not going to put them over the top.

    PM has been pitching very well as of late, but we’ve all seen this before. So for the Braves, they did well.

    That would not have worked out as well if it were for the Pirates.

    The Dodgers are a team that went “all in” without a doubt. They have the money now to do that. The Pirates, or any other similiar market could not afford the people that they added. Maybe one or two, but not all.

    We saw what happened with the Marlins, hopefully the Dodgers can’t buy themselves a championship either.

    BTW, they lost last night and are now 1 game behind the Giants………wifey’s team.

  125. Jandy says:

    Oh and Lucky, Sassoon bit the dust in May…just sayin’ ;)

  126. Jandy says:

    OshKoshB’Gosh, lol..let’s hope he doesn’t haunt Travis Snider!

  127. pattonbb says:

    Sorry if this comes off as being snide or snarkey, that is never my intent, but isn’t the phrase “all-in” getting a little played out? I mean, what does ‘all-in” really mean? Isn’t every team “all-in”? Are there teams out there that don’t try to win every game? I’m not trying to knock anyone who uses the phrase.

    Went to a New Orleans Zephryrs game last night. Saw a few of the Saints signing autographs. Heard them say “We’re all in this year baby”, or something to that effect a dozen times. Just think it’s getting watered down. Maybe I’m just a little grumpy. It was a long night.

    No Walker today? That should rile up some of the faithful.

  128. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Pedro is on the verge of a 40 HR season. Not saying it will happen this year, but in the years coming up, he will do it.

    Those doubles will soon turn to HR’s. Dude can mash……..I’m not concerned about his batting average at this point.

    He’s solid on defense, which is much improved from last year and even the early parts of this year.

    Turning out to be what was expected of him when he was drafted.

  129. Bill Born says:

    Watching Yankees vs Baltimore-
    Casey McGehee is playing first and without facial hair.

  130. Jandy says:

    lol Poor McGehee

  131. Boise Bucco says:

    I hope that one day baseball can arrive at a point that football has achieved, where promoting within is seen as smart (i.e., Steelers/Colts) and signing big-name free-agents gets lambasted daily (i.e., Redskins/Jets).

    I don’t care about how much it costs, it’s not my money, but at the same time, I see how it affects what the Bucs can afford to do. That said, I’m really glad the Bucs didn’t trade for Victorino. Seriously, what is he doing this year that you couldn’t get anywhere else?

    And Gaby Sanchez is going to end up being a steal…

  132. Dave says:

    Geez Dejan it’s hard to please you. Pirates give up Lincoln, Grossman, Owens, and Cain at the deadline and recieve Rodriguez, Snider, and Sanchez. Snider and Sanchez can be with the team for a good amount of time, are young, cheap, and have a lot of potential. They might not help the team win the division now but should/could help the team win in the future. When building a team I don’t want to see our GM blow his minor league system because AJ Burnett is pitching lights out this year. I want to see the team built into a solid core that’s going to compete for a few consecutive seasons. The trades they made yesterday should help the team do that. The great thing about the trades made is that we didn’t surrender ANY of our top prospects in any trade and we have control of these guys for at least 2 years after this.

  133. albatross says:

    “Watching Yankees vs Baltimore-
    Casey McGehee is … without facial hair.”

    One of the many reasons the Yankees suck.

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