July 2009 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Pirates Send Grabow, Gorzelanny To Cubs For Three Players
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that they have acquired right-handed pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and infielder Josh Harrison from the Chicago Cubs organization in exchange for left-handed pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington. The 26-year-old Hart went 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA (27.2ip/8er) in eight games (four starts) this year with the Cubs. As a starter, he was charged with two earned runs or fewer in three of his four starts and won his final outing this afternoon after allowing three earned runs in 6.0 innings of work against the Astros at Wrigley Field. Hart, who will immediately join the Pirates, entered the season rated by Baseball America as the Cubs? sixth-best prospect. He began the year with Triple-A Iowa of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 3-3 with three saves and a 3.10 ERA (52.1ip/18er) and 57 strikeouts in 22 games (six starts). Hart made each of his first 16 appearances with Iowa in relief before going 3-0 with a 1.41 ERA (32.0ip/5er) and .157 batting average against in six starts. In 146 career games (100 starts) in the minor leagues, Hart struck out 575 batters and allowed just 224 walks in 604.1 innings pitched. ?We are pleased to add Kevin to our organization,? said Huntington. ?He is a right-handed pitcher with the size, pitch arsenal and make-up to be a solid major league starting pitcher or late inning reliever. He pitches as a starter with a live fastball in the low 90s and has been in the mid-to-upper 90s as a reliever. He also has the ability to complement his fastball with a quality curveball, solid slider and changeup.? The 6-foot-4 righthander was originally selected by Baltimore in the 11th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft before being acquired by Chicago on December 6, 2006. During his first season in the Cubs minor league system in 2007, Hart was named the organization?s Pitcher-of-the-Year after going 10-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 17 games (10 starts) before making his Major League debut in September. During his first stint in the big leagues as a September call-up that year, he posted a 0.82 ERA (11.0ip/1er) in eight relief appearances. Ascanio split the 2009 campaign between Chicago and Iowa. He went 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA (15.1ip/6er) and 18 strikeouts in 14 relief appearances with the Cubs while averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He posted a 2.38 ERA (11.1ip/3er) and 13 strikeouts in his last 12 relief appearances before being optioned back to Iowa on June 30. The 24-year-old Ascanio was charged with a total of just three earned runs in his first eight starts (33.2ip) in two separate stints with the I-Cubs. He also did not surrender a home run in his first 11 starts with Iowa before doing so for the first time in his last outing on Monday night at Albuquerque. In 2007, Ascanio was ranked by Baseball America with the ?Best Fastball? among Southern League pitchers while also being named to the league?s mid-season All-Star team. He posted a 2-2 record and 2.54 ERA (78.0ip/22er) in 44 games (one start) before being directly promoted from Double-A to the big leagues with Atlanta, where he made 13 relief appearances. ?Ascanio is a right-handed pitcher with a solid pitch arsenal,? said Huntington. ?He possesses above average velocity on his four-seam fastball, a major league caliber slider and changeup, as a well as a solid sinker. He has the traits to pitch as a starter or out of the pen at the Major League level.? Harrison hit a combined .327 (122-for-373) with 20 doubles, eight triples, five home runs, 42 RBI, 61 runs scored and 26 stolen bases in 97 games with Single-A Peoria and Single-A Daytona. The 22-year-old Harrison began the season with Peoria, where he hit .337 (102-for-303) with 17 doubles, seven triples, four home runs, 33 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 79 games. He hit .373 (25-for-67) in 19 games in April, which was the second-highest batting average in the Midwest League and .342 (41-for-120) in May, which ranked 10th among all Midwest League hitters. He also was named to the Midwest League mid-season All-Star team before being promoted to Daytona on July 8. Since joining Daytona, Harrison posted seven multi-hit games in his 18 contests while being named the Florida State League?s Player-of-the-Week this past week after going 11-for-26 (.423 average) with seven stolen bases. Harrison was selected by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Cincinnati. During his first professional season, he was named to the Northwest League post-season All-Star team after hitting .351 (40-for-114) with 11 doubles, two triples, one home run, 25 RBI, 27 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in just 33 games with Boise. ?Harrison is an intriguing athletic player with a quality combination of makeup, hitting ability and speed,? said Huntington. ?While he has the athletic ability to play multiple positions, we are interested in developing him as a second baseman.? Ascanio will be assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League while Harrison will join Single-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League.
Cubs Acquire Grabow, Gorzelanny From Pittsburgh
The Chicago Cubs have improved their pitching by acquiring left-handed pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny for right-handed pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and infielder Josh Harrison from the Chicago Cubs organization in exchange for. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.
Cubs In Talks For John Grabow
The Cubs are holding trade talks with the Pirates about lefty reliever John Grabow, according to sources. Pittsburgh dealt away Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez on Wednesday.
Grading The Deal: Giants Overpay For Freddy Sanchez
In case I needed to be reminded, Brian Sabean is still the general manager of the San Francisco Giants and he traded Tim Alderson to the Pirates for Freddy Sanchez. The Giants have been unquestionably horrible at second base offensively and his .776 OPS for 2009 will be an upgrade over the collective 28th ranked .604. But I don't see the logic in propping up this club's flimsy chance of being a true contender with a light hitting 31-year-old. Sanchez is ranked 12th in OPS amongst second basemen, ahead of Dan Uggla's .764, but the Giants have a far greater need for a slugger than another high average, low OBP, low pop hitter. Sanchez has just six homers and none since June 21st. Sanchez has also been battling a bum knee throughout the month of July, a month where he is hitting .193/.220/.246 (.466 OPS). His best season came in 2006 when he had an .851 OPS and had a batting average of .344. With Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and eventually Madison Bumgarner, Alderson was a spare part in the Giants' long term rotation plans. His numbers project out to a fourth or fifth starter, especially given how quickly his strikeout rates have dipped as he advanced through each level. Alderson had a 3.46 ERA in 13 Double-A starts, posting a modest 5.7 K/9 rate. Bumgarner, for comparison sake, has a 1.90 ERA in nearly the same number of Double-A innings, though his K-rate of 6.6 isn't significantly better. We are not going to see Alderson become a Cy Young contender in the vein of Francisco Liriano-circa 2006, but he could have been packaged for more in return than Freddy Sanchez. Grade for Giants: D+ The Pirates probably get better value in this deal than they did collectively in the moves they made last year when they dumped Jason Bay and Xavier Nady. There was little need for the Pirates to retain a player like Sanchez (or Jack Wilson, who they also traded on Wednesday) as long as they did, but the return was as good as it ever would have been in the past. Grade for Pirates: B+
Giants Get Freddy Sanchez From Pirates For Alderson
The Pirates today announced that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Tim Alderson from the Giants organization in exchange for second baseman Freddy Sanchez. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington. The 6-foot-6 Alderson entered the season rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Giants minor league system, which was rated fifth-best among all Major League clubs. Alderson was also ranked as the ninth-best right-handed starter in all of baseball. ?We are pleased to bring in a pitcher as highly regarded as Alderson into our system,? said Huntington. ?Tim has the size, frame, athleticism and an advanced feel for pitching at his age to become a high quality Major League starting pitcher. His has solid arsenal of pitches with plus command that has allowed him to move through the Giants? deep system at an accelerated pace.?
Mariners Trade For Jack Wilson, Snell
The Mariners have acquired shortstop Jack Wilson and right-handed pitcher Ian Snell in exchange for first baseman Jeff Clement, shortstop Ronny Cedeno and right-handed pitchers Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock. The announcement was made in a press release by Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh's general manager. Clement was the third overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft and was rated by Baseball America as the organization?s number one prospect for both 2006 and 2008. Wilson has an OPS of .691 this season and has seemingly been on the trading block forever. Snell has struggled over the past two seasons, but has a 0.96 ERA in six Triple-A starts in 2009.
Giants Could Get Sanchez From Pirates
The Giants could soon acquire second baseman Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates, according to the Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington and San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean are believed to have had extensive discussions about a deal. Sanchez is dealing with a left knee injury, which could cloud the process, but other teams, such as the Twins, are interested in his services as well. The Pirates offered both Sanchez and shortstop Jack Wilson contract extensions earlier this month, but both infielders rejected.
Pirates To Wait On Extensions For Wilson, Sanchez Until After Deadline
The Pirates are putting off talks on contract extensions with Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez until after the trade deadline. Pittsburgh will entertain offers for the pair of infielders leading up to Friday's trade deadline and if no deals are made, they'll revisit extension talks. Wilson and Sanchez were both offered extension two weeks ago, but both rejected the offers. "Positions can always change, and the passing of the deadline on Friday certainly could change a side's position, but the agents for both Jack and Freddy were very clear with us that both the years and the dollars in our offers were not nearly sufficient," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said.
Yankees Send Scout To Watch Ian Snell
Ian Snell (2-2) allowed two runs on nine hits in five innings for Triple-A Indianapolis, which lost 2-1 against Buffalo. The New York Yankees, who are in the market for a starting pitcher, had a scout at the game. Snell, who has indicated he does not want to return to the Pirates, has a 0.96 ERA and 51 strikeouts in six starts for Indy.
Yankees Interested In Pirates' Snell
Looking for depth in both their starting rotation and bullpen, the Yankees appear interested in Pittsburgh's Ian Snell. New York scouted Snell, who could potentially replace Chien-Ming Wang in the rotation, on Sunday. Pirates general manager Ned Huntington said recently that he doesn't plan to give Snell away for nothing. "Teams are still hoping to bottom fish and we're still not ready to just give the guy away," Huntington said. "At this point, his four or five strong outings haven't increased his value [externally]. We're not talented enough and deep enough as an organization to just give away a player that has Major League ability, as challenging as it can be sometimes."
Boston Acquires Adam LaRoche
The Pirates have traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox.
Milledge Is Lighting Up Triple-A
Lastings Milledge is hitting .448 in eight games for Indianapolis, but no timetable for his return to the majors is known.
Pirates Cut Off Talks With Sanchez, Wilson
The Pirates have cut off talks with Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson after the duo didn't respond to multiyear offers.
Pirates Offer Extensions To Wilson, Sanchez
The Pirates have approached infielders Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez about staying with the club for the foreseeable future.
Pirates Aren't Rushing To Deal Sanchez
The Pirates aren't in active talks to deal Freddy Sanchez, according to a team official.
NL's Hoffman, Duke Replace Broxton, Cain
Trevor Hoffman and Zack Duke have replaced Jonathan Broxton and Matt Cain on the National League All-Star team.
Pirates Agree To Terms With Two Rookies
The Pittsburgh Pirates today agreed to terms with two non-drafted free agents.
Pirates 'Pushing Hard' To Deal Sanchez
The Pirates are "pushing hard" to trade All-Star second baseman Freddy Sanchez.
Pirates' Milledge: 'I Think I Can Do Better'
Pirates outfielder Lastings Milledge believes that he can do better than he has thus far in his career.
Giants Eye Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche
The Pirates and Giants have had trade talks regarding Pittsburgh infielders Freddy Sanchez and Adam LaRoche.
Pirates Again Question Timing Of Trades
The Pirates questioned the timing of two more trades on Tuesday.
Pirates Solider On Despite Thinned Roster
The Pirates defeated the Cubs 3-0 on Tuesday night just a few hours after trading away a few more of their players.