A defining day for the Pirates organization
I don’t know how you can call it anything but a defining day for the organization.
I was in the process of turning my computer on after having just arrived at AT&T Park on Wednesday morning when the first press release came through. Jack Wilson, Ian Snell gone. That was only the beginning of what is now a more than 12-hour day.
For those overwhelmed with all the content, here it is laid out hopefully in an orderly fashion:
- Here is a look at the goodbyes from Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, both of whom were sincerely sad to be leaving the organization. As you will read, both contacted the Pirates on Tuesday with counteroffers because both wanted to stay. On a personal note, I’m going to miss watching the two play defense. It had become one of my favorite parts of the job.
- Here is a look at all the prospects the Pirates received in return on Wednesday. I’ll point out that my colleague and Draft guru Jonathan Mayo was extremely high on RHP Tim Alderson, who the Pirates received straight up for Sanchez. It may not be of solace to you all who are emotionally torn to see two fan favorites go, but a member of the Giants media corps just came up to me and told me he had already begun receiving all sorts of emails from San Francisco fans who believe the Giants gave up too much for Sanchez in parting ways with Alderson. Take that for what it’s worth, but remember, many years ago both Sanchez and Wilson were “prospects” in Trade Deadline deals.
- Here are some final thoughts from Snell, who was dealt to Seattle along with Wilson. I got Snell on the phone while he was sitting in the Norfolk airport. He was flying back to Indianapolis on Wednesday to gather his stuff and then heading to join his new team on Thursday. It wouldn’t shock me at all if Snell finds his way and becomes a solid Major League starter again. And I sincerely hope he does. However, no matter how successful he might become, I don’t think he ever would have again in Pittsburgh if for nothing more than he had mentally already left this team.
- And here is the today’s game recap on a game that I will admit I did not see any of. I wish I was exaggerating when I say I didn’t see Duke throw a single pitch. From the look of the box score, though, he must have been darn good. Huge thanks to the Giants MLB.com intern, Andrew, for stepping in and taking care of Wednesday’s gamestory so I could devote all my time to trade-related items.
Some other items to wrap up the day…
- Ronny Cedeno will get the majority of the playing time at short, while Delwyn Young will make most of the starts at second the rest of the season
- Lastings Milledge is expected to join the team in Pittsburgh on Friday, though that roster move has not been officially announced as of yet.
- No cash was included in the deal that sent Sanchez to the Giants
- The deal also wasn’t made official until after Sanchez underwent another examination by the San Francisco medical staff. He sat out the entire series because of inflammation in his left knee
- Sanchez, a three-time All-Star, ended his career with the Pirates going 0-for-20
- Ironically enough, the Pirates had their team photo day just before leaving for this road trip. Might have been wise to have waited until after the July 31 deadline in retrospect.
- Wilson joined the Mariners in time for their game in Seattle on Wednesday night, but he did not play in the game.
- In addition to sending Wilson and Snell to Seattle, the Pirates also covered all but $400,000 remaining on the contracts of each player for the rest of the season. If my math is right, that is something around $3 million in total.
- GM Neal Huntington emphasized during his second press conference on Wednesday that Wednesday’s trades were not salary dumps but good baseball trades considering the contract status of both players.
- Manager John Russell said that he plans to address the team after Friday’s 4 p.m. Trade Deadline. He said he also expects Huntington to address the team.
So the big remaining question… Will there be any more deals in the next 40 hours and counting? Huntington wouldn’t commit either way, saying: “We continue to have ongoing dialogue. We’re not looking to make any more trades. We weren’t looking to make these trades. We don’t need to make other trades. But if the right baseball opportunity presents itself, it’s certainly something we take a look at. Again, if it’s strong enough, we move forward.”
If there is anything else on the horizon, it would likely involve John Grabow. The Pirates also could very well get swamped with offers late on him after Orioles lefty reliever George Sherill is snatched up by someone.
One other quick personal note (since I know Wilson reads this blog because he has called me “By Gosh” all season): I wanted to thank you, Jack and Freddy, for your professionalism in all my time covering the organization. For those who didn’t have the pleasure of getting of getting both personally, the Pirates are losing two standup people and competitors.
Actually, one other note as well to the faithful readers of the blog. I will actually be completely out-of-pocket for the next three days. I am taking a red-eye tonight to St. Louis to be in a wedding of some good friends of mine. The wedding (fittingly) is Friday afternoon, so maybe in a way I’m lucky all this went down today instead of then. Anyways, you’ll be covered on the main pirates.com site if anything happens, but the blog and twitter will be on a short hiatus. I apologize for the timing, but obviously my friends didn’t consult the baseball calendar when planning their wedding. I’ll be back on the blog on Monday.
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB