Monday, June 29, 2009

An Archive of Futility

I went to the Pirate game on Wednesday night against the Indians. It's always nice to see a Pittsburgh team beat up on a Cleveland team.

Watching Cutch fly around the field last night made me think about how long it's been since the Pirates have actually had a legit prospect on their team. Sure Sanchez and Wilson had good years at the plate and are good defenders, but Cutch is at a whole nother level. It kinda makes you wonder though, why didn't we trade Nyjer Morgan and put Cutch in left field (or move McLouth over to left) if we were so desparate to get him in the lineup?

Thinking about could-have-beens, and in preparation for another brutal summer which will probably see the Pirates trade away Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche, Paul Maholm and maybe Zach Duke, here's a brief look back at who the Pirates have traded away.

We won't bore you with all the gritty details of the all-star cast that the Pirates had assembled in the early 90's that was then traded away. Therefore, we'll start with 1995, the year after the strike.

Released young knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Wakfield is second in the league in wins this season.

The Pirates did make two acquisions that year: they drafted Bronson Arroyo in the 3rd round, so they could trade him later.

The Pirates traded pitcher Denny Neagle to the Braves, acquring Jason Schmidt in the trade. We'll deal with Schmidt more later.

We also sent Third Baseman Charlie Hayes to the New York Yankees, who went on to catch the final out of the World Series in foul territory that year. In return, we got pitcher Chris Corn who never made it higher than AA.

Traded Dan Miceli to the Tigers for some joke who only had 2 At-Bats with the team. Miceli played for 10 more seasons in the league.

Traded Orlando Merced and others to the Blue Jays for Abraham Nunez and Craig Wilson.

Finally, the Pirates capped off their Dynasty Destruction by sending Jay Bell and Jeff King to Kansas City for a few jokes and Joe Randa. Jay Bell went on to score the World Series-winning run for Arizona.

They did sign a pitcher named Francisco Cordova who is still the last Pirate to throw a no-hitter (July 12, 1997). The Pirates draft was pretty promising this year as they picked Kris Benson (P), Tike Redman (OF), and Rob Mackowiak (IF).


Since we were actually in contention, there wasn't much wheeling and dealing during the season.
Joe Randa was selected by the Diamondbacks in the expansion draft, meaning we got virtually nothing from the King/Bell trade.

Drafted John Grabow.


Passed on pitchers Brad Lidge and CC Sabathia to select 1B Clint Johnston in the first round of the draft. Also passed on Aubrey Huff (6th round), Matt Holliday (7th round), Aaron Rowand (1st round), Adam Dunn (2nd round), and Juan Pierre (13th round) throughout the draft.

Traded Esteban Loaiza (who would go on to be a 2-time All Star, and lead the AL in strikeouts in 2003) to Texas for Warren Morris and Todd Van Poppel. Morris was released before the 2002 season, and Van Poppel was released to free agency at the end of the season.

Traded Jon Lieber to the Cubs. Lieber would go on to be an All-Star and NL Cy Young winner in 2001. In return we got a OF Brant Brown who hit .232 with 16 HR in one season with the Bucs.
In an actual good move, we traded pitcher Ricardo Rincon to the Indians for Brian Giles.


Little did we know this was the last time we would sniff 80 wins in a season. But this didn't stop the front office from moving players.

Traded All-Star and 3-time NL SB leader Tony Womack to the Diamondbacks. Womack went on to win the World Series with the Dbacks in 2001 and lose it with the Cardinals in 2004.

Traded Jose Guillen for Humberto Cota

Drafted Ryan Doumit


Traded perienially disappointing outfielder Al Martin to San Diego for John Vander Wal.

Traded Jason Christansen to St. Louis for Jack Wilson.

Trying to recreate 1991, the Pirates signed Derek Bell and Terry Mulholland after the 2000 season. Neither finished the 01 season with the team.

Drafted Sean Burnett, Jose Bautista, Nate McLouth, and Ian Snell.


In possibly the worst trade in Pirates history, the Bucs traded Jason Schmidt and John Vander Wal to San Francisco for Armando Rios and Ryan Vogelsong. Rios hit .264 in one season with the Bucs. Vogelsong was the butt end of bullpen jokes for the next 4 years as he only once posted an ERA under 6.35. Schmidt went on to be a 3-time All-Star, finish in the Top 5 in Cy Young voting twice, lead the NL in ERA in 2003, and lead the NL in shutouts in 03 and 04.

Traded Jose Silva to the Reds for a minor leaguer.

Received Josh Fogg and Kip Wells in a trade from the ChiSox.



Passed on BJ Upton, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, and Matt Cain to select Bryan Bullington. Bullington cycled around the minor leagues before finally making his major league debut April 23, 2009 with Toronto.

Drafted Matt Capps and Nyjer Morgan.

Traded for Randall Simon from the Tigers, who would go on to become the infamous Sausage-wacker in Pirate lore.

Traded former #1 pick Chad Hermansen to Chicago.


Bronson Arroyo selected by the Red Sox off waivers. Arroyo would go on to win a World Series with Boston and make the All-Star game in 2006. Arroyo was also the Red Sox pitcher involved in the incident in the ALCS where A-Fraud batted the ball out of his hand and the umps originally scored it a hit.

Traded Kenny Lofton (we had him?) and Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs for some jokes.

Traded Jeff Suppan and others to the Red Sox for Freddy Sanchez.

In one of the better trades we made, sent Brian Giles to the Padres for Jason Bay and Oliver Perez. We definitely came out on top on this one.

Drafted Paul Maholm.


Traded Jason Kendall to Oakland for Mark Redman and others.

Signed Raul Mondesi, Jose Mesa, and Daryle Ward in the offseason. None of them are currently on the team.

Traded Kris Benson to the Mets for Ty Wigginton and Jose Bautista.


Traded Matt Lawton to the Cubs for some noname.

Traded Mark Redman for some minor leaguers.

Traded Dave Williams for Sean Casey.

Traded Rob Mackowiak for Damasto Marte.


Traded Sean Casey for Brian Rogers.

Traded Kip Wells for Jesse Chavez.

Traded Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez to the Mets for Xavier Nady.

Traded Craig Wilson to the Yankees for Shawn Chacon.


Traded Mike Gonzalez to Atlanta for Adam LaRoche to not hit with runners on base.

Released Shawn Chacon to free agency.

Traded Solomon Torres for two minor leaguers.


Am I still writing this? How do I have any heart left. The sad thing is, it gets worse.

12 games out of 1st place on July 26, traded Nady and Marte to the Yankees for 4 minor leaguers, including Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf, both of whom are now in our starting rotation. Pirates went 19-39 after this trade.

8 games under .500 on July 31, traded Jason Bay to Boston while Manny Ramirez went to LA and got Andy LaRoche, Brandon Moss, and some minor leaguers. Went 17-37 after this trade.
Traded Jose Bautista to Toronto for Robinzon Diaz. Went 10-25 after the trade.


June 3, 6 games back in the division, 4 games under .500. Traded Nate McLouth to Atlanta.

The McLouth trade might be the straw that broke the camel's back with the fans. The only thing keeping the fans from irate mob-mentality storm-the-clubhouse mode right now is the fact that Cutch has been so good thus far. If Cutch starts to slump and the Pirates fall 10 or more games below .500, watch out. Things might get ugly. Local papers started calling for the mangement's head after the McLouth trade, but McCutchen's play has shut them up-for now. If the Pirates are even anywhere near the semblance of in contention and Sanchez, Wilson, Duke, Maholm or LaRoche get traded away for minor leaguers, the media might go after the "Let-them-eat-cake" management French Revolution-style.

I realize that it is unrealistic to think that these players will play their entire career with the Pirates, but for as long as we've put up with this crap, they had better be traded for some major league or major leagure-ready talent.

No comments: