The Pirates just traded Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves for some somewhat shiny minor leaguers. This is an insanely good deal if you're a Braves fan. McLouth is signed at $5.25m/year through 2011 with a $10M+ club option for 2012. That's well below market for an above-average outfielder. Charlie Morton was the fourth best pitching prospect in the Braves organization, behind Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, and the ever-frustrating Jo-Jo Reyes. Considering Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami are signed to long-term deals, Morton never had shot at a place in the rotation. Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, the centerpiece of the trade, has shown very little power in AA and likely won't play a full season in the majors until 2011, if then. Jeff Locke showed some promise in the low-minors, but his walk rate has skyrockted so far this year. Adam Jones and Chris Tillman for Eric Bedard this ain't. Well done.
In the ATL, this news is being overshadowed by the Braves decision to release Tom Glavine, whose velocity had dropped into Jamie Moyer territory. That can work for Jamie Moyer, but Glavine actually needed his fastball to stay in the high 80s in order to miss enough bats to be effective. With John Smoltz in Boston for at least 2 years, we've likely seen the last of the worst-to-first team wearing the Braves' uniform, though Chipper Jones remains from the World Series winning team of 1995.
I'm kind of impressed that they held onto remnants of the 1991 team for so long.
A few thoughts from a former Pittsburgher:
a) This trade ensures that the Bucs will finish 2009 with their 17th consecutive sub-.500 record.
b) It also pretty much guarantees that the streak will reach 18, 19, 20, ...
c) Kevin McClatchy may not own the club any more, but his penny-wise, pound-foolish approach continues.
d) McLouth isn't a star by any means, but he's a multi-tool player who's only 27 years old.
I still intend to take in a game at PNC Park the weekend before Netroots Nation, if only to increment my MLB-stadium lifelist to 42.
In the Pirates defense, it means Andrew McCutchen has an everyday job now.
Pittsburgh Pirates should be always competitive enough to keep pace with the others. I really like them; they’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB. Just read about them here:
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