July 29, 2010

Pirates Quiet So Far At Trade Deadline

Unlike the frenzied trade deadline action of years past, the Pirates have been quiet so far with only two days remaining before Saturday's 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline.

While Pittsburgh clearly possesses veterans who have significant trade value in Paul Maholm, Octavio Dotel and others, management maintains that it is not shopping any players.

The Case for Keeping Dotel
That's different, of course, than not listening to offers. The Phillies and other teams are still interested in Dotel, who would immediately become the defending NL champs' best closing option.

However, as Dotel continues to perform well his $4.5 million option for 2011 looks like a better and better value. Since May 1 Dotel has a 2.35 ERA and he also hasn't walked a batter in his last 12 straight outings.

The 2011 Pirates will have a respectable lineup which is still league average at best. To attain any level of success next year it may make sense to simply retain the Meek/Hanrahan/Dotel trio which has been the team's main strength in 2010.

Furthermore, Dotel's option becomes a mutual option if he's traded meaning that he would be a two month rental for whoever gets him. If the Pirates are inclined to trade him at all, he would presumably have the same value at this time next season as he has now.

Pittsburgh's Most Valuable Trade Piece
There are rumors that the Dodgers want Paul Maholm, 6-8 with a 4.13 ERA, who would likely draw the biggest return of any player who is a possibility to be moved.

Looking at their career statistics, it's hard to see much difference between Maholm and former Angel Joe Saunders. Saunders, of course, was apparently enough to headline a package that got Dan Haren in return.

That being said, as a guy who doesn't strike out many batters and has never pitched for a winning team, Maholm is hardly the type of shiny name that would make a splash for a big market team. I could see him bringing in a top 100 prospect but probably not a top 50 name.

I continue to think Maholm will stay put simply because of his importance in 2011 and even 2010. Maholm averaged 200 innings in 2008-09 and should throw around 190 this year. Who takes those innings if he is gone? There's no one around of major league quality who isn't already be in the rotation. Taking a six/seven inning guy and replacing him with a gas can like Daniel McCutchen is a recipe for destroying any bullpen. MLB third/fourth starters are commanding $10 million free agent contracts now for a reason, and I doubt the Pirates want to trade Maholm only to give out a contract like that to someone who is probably a lesser pitcher.

Lopez Still Drawing Interest
Multiple sources say that Javier Lopez is still drawing interest. He made his 48th appearance last night which is tied for ninth in baseball. His 2.65 ERA is also lower than all but two of the guys with more appearances. Situational lefties aren't the highest paid or most well known guys out there but there's a lot to be said for a guy who can pitch nearly every day at a high level. I still think the Pirates will deal him for a solid prospect, but at this point he could be the only player moved in the next two days.

No comments:

Post a Comment