Thursday, July 30, 2009

A note to Pirates fans

The Pittsburgh Pirates trades Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez yesterday for prospects. Ian Snell was also thrown in with Wilson in a move with the Seattle. The Pirates received first baseman/catcher prospect Jeff Clement, weak hitting shortstop Ronny Cedeno and three pitching prospects. The Sanchez deal brought back the San Francisco Giants' best pitching prospects Tim Alderson.

Most Pirates fans and the media are very upset about these two deals. Wilson and Sanchez were the last "stars" on the Pirates' roster. These people need to settle down, because they were good moves.

Telling baseball fans to be patient has become an annual thing in Pittsburgh, but this time they are moving in the right direction.

The moves were not straight salary dumps that former general manager Dave Littlefield was known for. Clement is a former first round pick that can hit more than 20 home runs and pitching prospects Aaron Pribanic and Brett Lorin are only 22 years old and have looked good in A ball. Yes, it's only A ball, but at least they have promise. Even if they don't pan out, do you really think Wilson was going to be a key part in a winning team. The Pirates tried that for years and look where it got them.

Alderson is only 20 years old and already in AA where he has a 3.65 ERA in 18 starts. The Pirates also don't have to send any money along with Sanchez. They sent $3 million in the Wilson deal.

So the Pirates dealt two guys that's combined for 10 home runs this season for a guy that could hit double that and three pitchers that could be on the major league roster in the next two years. They were not bad deals.

I'll go back further. If you're still upset about the Nate McLouth and Nyjer Morgan deals, you need to get over it. These were not star players. They might have been the stars of the Pirates, along with Wilson, but no other team in baseball would think, "this is a core we want to build around."

McLouth brought back a pitcher that is doing well in the bigs in Charlie Morton, and two of the Braves better prospects.

In the Morgan deal, we gave up a light hitting 29-year-old speed guy for a 24-year-old with 20-20 potential. Lastings Milledge might have some issues, but he's young and his talent is real.

These deals could be steals, or they could blow up in the Pirates' faces. But at least it's the right idea. The Pirates need to blow it up (and they have) and build from the farm and draft. In the dark times under Littlefield, the team would partially blow the team up, but wanted people to keep coming to the ballpark. Their solution? Sign over the hill veterans that no one else wanted. Please see Joe Randa, Jeromy Burnitz and Matt Morris.

Also, the prospects we got back are expected to be good. They are not Bobby Hill, who in his four-year career slugged six homers.

I know it's hard Pirates fans, but be patient. The ballpark is great, Andrew McCutchen is really fast and Zach Duke is good again. There are still reasons to go.

The Gauntlet - Dropkick Murphys

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