Pirates and Yankees swap McGehee for Qualls

The final trade the Pirates made this afternoon was sending Casey McGehee and cash to the Yankees for reliever Chad Qualls. McGehee was going to be the odd man out with the acquisition of Sanchez, so it makes sense that they wanted to get anything they could in return. Qualls, however, is pretty bad.

Chad Qualls has been around since 2004, and with the exception of three or four good years, has been hit hard. In 2010, he posted a 7.32 ERA between two different teams. So far in 2012, he appeared in 35 games for the Phillies in which he posted a 4.60 ERA. He was DFA’d, and got picked up by the Yankees. In eight games with New York, he has a 6.14 ERA.

This is definitely the worst trade that Neal Huntington has made this deadline, although it’s not completely horrible. Who knows, maybe Qualls figures it out and can be productive in the Pirates’ pen. McGehee was either going to be DFA’d or traded, so maybe Qualls is better than nothing. The cash that the Pirates are sending to the Yankees is said to be $250,000, and it will come out of the money owed to Pittsburgh in the Burnett deal.

Go Bucs

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Pirates acquire Gaby Sanchez, D-Cutch called up

It’s been a pretty crazy day around baseball.  Lots of moves made, and the Pirates have been very active.

First off, the Pirates made their corresponding moves to the Travis Snider trade.  Drew Sutton was designated for assignment (a move that most people had been expecting for a few weeks) and Daniel McCutchen was recalled from Triple-A to fill Brad Lincoln‘s spot.  Bryan Morris is probably more deserving than McCutchen, but D-Cutch has some experience and can also be used as a long reliever.

The second major move today was trading for Gaby Sanchez.  The Bucs sent OF Gorkys Hernandez and their the 33rd pick in the 2013 draft to the Marlins for RHP Kyle Kaminista and the 1B.  To sum up Gorkys: he won’t be missed.  He’s not much more than a late inning defensive replacement who can run well.  There just isn’t room for him with Cutch, Marte, Snider, Presley, and Tabata.  The draft pick is from the competitive balance lottery (part of the new CBA), which is after the first round, and after the free agent compensation picks.  Kaminista is a pitching prospect who is currently in Double-A.  He has an ERA of 5.11.  Sanchez is obviously the main piece of the trade.  Here’s a breakdown of his numbers: 

Sanchez, 28, made his debut in 2008, and didn’t complete a full season until 2010.  His 2010 and 2011 numbers are both very impressive, and nearly identical.  In 2011, he was the lone Marlins player in the ASG.  But since then, there hasn’t been much heard about him.  After playing in 55 games and hitting .202 in 2012, he was demoted back to Triple-A, where he’s currently hitting .302.  Sanchez has an OBP of .404 against LHP since 2009.  As far as contract info goes, Sanchez will be a free agent after 2016, and his eligible for arbitration in 2013.

This is a pretty good acquisition for the Bucs.  There simply wasn’t room for Gorkys, and Sanchez will help sure-up the bench.  What does this mean for the immediate future?  Sanchez will be on the 25-man roster, where he’ll most likely platoon with Garrett Jones at first base.  Casey McGehee will most likely be used as a corner infield utility guy, unless he’s moved within the last few minutes of the trade deadline.

Check out Sanchez clotheslining Nyjer Morgan in a fight two years ago.

Update: McGehee has been traded, more to come on that.

Go Bucs

Pirates acquire Travis Snider from Toronto

The Pirates traded pitcher Brad Lincoln to the Blue Jays for OF Travis Snider tonight.

Lincoln has had a great year, really finding his spot in the bullpen.  There’s no doubt he’s been great, but bullpens are fairly easy to piece together.  We obviously wish him the best up North.

Snider is 24 years old, and made his debut in 2008, when he was 20.  Travis was drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft, just 12 picks after Lincoln was drafted.  He hit .301 in 73 at-bats in 2008, but his numbers have dropped off since.  He spent the most time in the bigs in 2010, when he played in 82 games.  He posted a .255 batting average, with 14 home runs and 32 RBI – both career high’s.  The main concern with Snider is that he’s been so inconsistent.  In the minors, he’s absolutely raked.  He hit .325 in 61 games at Triple-A this year, and hasn’t hit lower than .275 in the minors.  The only problem is that he hasn’t quite been able to figure it out in the majors.

If you’re looking for a definitive answer as to whether the Pirates won or lost this trade: they won it.  There’s no doubt.  Snider is under control through 2016, and is only 24.  Best case, Snider reaches his full potential and hits 25-30 HR with 80-90 RBI a year.  Worst case, he’s a bust and doesn’t do much to help the team.  To give a realistic prediction: he’ll probably max out at 25 homers a year, and will hit in the fifth or sixth spot in the lineup.  Hitting with the short RF at PNC Park will certainly help, and there’s really no way he can do much worse than the OF production (other than Cutch) that the Pirates have gotten this year.

As for the immediate impact this will have on the Pirates, Snider will start in RF, and probably won’t produce right away.  This is a process, we won’t see his full potential for another year or so.  That would solidify an outfield of Marte-McCutchen-Snider, which isn’t bad at all.  Jones and McGehee will most likely platoon at first.

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Blown out at Wrigley

The Bucs headed to the North side of Chicago for the first time this year, and things got pretty ugly.  A 14-4 loss really hurts, but the team needs to forget about it fast.

The first three innings weren’t all that bad.  Starlin Castro drove in a run in the first, but Starling Marte tied it with a base knock in the third.  Erik Bedard got into some trouble early, but overall his stuff looked good and he limited the damage to just one run.  Michael McKenry gave the Pirates the lead on a fielder’s choice, but Darwin Barney went waaaaay deep into the seats for a three-run bomb.  After four innings, it was 4-2 Cubs.

In the fifth, things really fell apart.  Antony Rizzo hit another three-run homer to make it 7-2, and the game was really over by then.  Bedard couldn’t make it through the inning, and Chris Resop was the first out of the pen.  Two more runs were charged to Bedard, and Resop gave up four on his own.  Tony Watson gave up a run in two innings, and Jared Hughes threw a scoreless inning.  Justin Germano was dominating the Bucs, holding them to just four hits.

Clint Barmes and McKenry drove in runs later, getting the Pirates to four runs.  Chicago ended up with fourteen runs, and really everything went there way.  They got every bounce, and even got a lucky hit on a ball that hit first base.

Not much to say about this game.  It was pretty ugly.  Marte ended up with three hits, so there’s that.  A.J. tomorrow.

Pirates (58-44) – Cubs (43-58)

Win: Germano (1-1)
Loss: Bedard (5-12)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Game Recap: Pirates @ Astros 7/29/12

- James McDonald walks seven in five innings, gives up five runs.
- Neil Walker and Garrett Jones each drive in two runs.
- Starling Marte collects two more hits.
- Lucas Harrell goes 5.2 innings, giving up two runs.
- Marwin Gonzalez drives in three, Astros win 9-5.

Pirates (58-43) – Astros (35-68)

Win: Harrell (8-7)
Loss: McDonald (10-5)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs