A busy week for Pirates GM Niel Huntington got kick started earlier today when the Bucs shipped Jack Wilson, Ian Snell and cash to the Seattle Mariners for Jeff Clement, Ronnie Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock. My first thought was Thank God. Anyone that knows me knows I was not a big Wilson backer. I loved his glove, but he is a an average major league player at best. With Snell, it was probably good to get rid of the baggage that comes along with him. He always has had the stuff, but he could never bring it out on a consistent basis. My second thought was "It looks like we got a lot for two average ball players."
The prize of the deal is Clement. He was the third overall pick in the 2005 draft and was rated the #1 overall prospect in the Seattle system after the 2006 and 2008 seasons. he is a catcher by trade, but has been seeing time at first base over the last two seasons. He has a nice bat and can hit for some power. In 92 games this season at AAA Tacoma, Clement hit .288 with 33 doubles, 14 homers and 68 RBI's. He has seen time with the Mariners and in a short stint hit .237 with 11 doubles, 7 homers and 26 RBI's. He has been assigned to AAA Indianapolis.
Cedeno will replace Wilson on the active roster and he is a similar player. A very solid glove guy with an below average bat and very little power. Sounds like Wilson. Cedeno is a solid professional though and will do all the little things a team needs. Pirates fans would remember him as a member of the Cubs, where it seemed the only team he could hit against was the Pirates.
Now a look at the 3 pitchers. Aaron Pribanic is a 22 year old right hander with a good fastball that hits the 93-95 mph range. He is said to have plus breaking stuff and throws a ton of ground balls. At A Clinton, he was 7-6 with a 3.21 ERA and has allowed only 1 homer all season, pitching in a hitters ball park. He represented the league in the All-Star game. He has been assigned to A West Virginia
Brett Lorin is also a 22 year old right hander. He is considered a strike out pitcher, currently with 87k to 22bb. His fastball is in the 90-92mph range, but is said to have a lot of life to it. he has an above average curve ball and also represented Clinton in the A All-Star game. He has also been assigned to West Virginia
Nathan Adcock is a 21 year old right hander who currently has a 3.31 era. Baseball America rated his curve ball as the best in the Seattle organization. He has been assigned to A Lynchburg.
It is a lot to get for a couple average at best major league players. that's why I am a fan of including cash in the deal. The return is worth it. The Bucs appear to be paying all but 400k of each players salary the rest of the season.
A couple comments on the deal include MLB's Jonathan Mayo, who says the Bucs got a "good haul" in the return and from Kevin Goldstein from baseball Prospectius who says "it's the best deal the Bucs have made in some time."
It won't be a popular move in Pittsburgh, as Wilson was one of the more popular players in this city over the last decade, but these kind of moves need to be made if this team will ever compete. You got a left handed power bat, a above average shortstop and 3 pitchers who are projected as MLB starters for Wilson and Snell. Wilson has missed over 175 games the last 4 seasons due to injury. That's over 1 full season. His production with the bat was really only there for one season and he could be a free agent at the end of the season if the Mariners don't pick up his option. it's another case of buying high and selling low. I'm all for that.
The only argument I'm hearing to the trade is that Jack is such a nice guy. I could care less how nice he is. Also remember that he was given an offer to stay. the offer was low, but it exceeded the production he has given and he rejected it. My philosophy has always been that nice guys don't win championships, talent does and Huntington is doing a fantastic job of adding talent to every level of the organization.
A fine job in my mind Huntington. Your not done yet though. You have more work to do. Make this a deadline that can help shape this team for the future. The Jack Wilson era is over and I couldn't be happier. While I will miss his glove, i won't miss him being a total baby and brat about everything. No longer do the Bucs have to cater to jack Wilson, and I bet the clubhouse will be a better place for it.
Keep doing it I say. Get rid of the losing culture entirely and turn the team over to the young guys. It's going to be a busy week for Huntington. I hear Freddy is next. maybe as early as tonight, following the game.