Friday, August 5, 2016

The Liriano Deal

Shortly after I posted my last article about the Pirates deadline deals the news broke about the last minute salary dump trade of Francisco Liriano to the Blue Jays for pitcher Drew Hutchison.  The Jays agree to take on the full liability if Liriano's contract for 2016 and 2017, about $17 million worth of liability, and, oh yeah, the Pirates also sent along two of their Top Ten prospects to Toronto, OF Harold Ramirez and C Reese McGuire.  This news is now four days old and I should have written of it earlier, but for some real life issues that came up and kept me way from the keyboard for a few days.

So, what do we make of this?

My friend, Fred Shugars has often taken the position that "prospects are over-valued", and that a team shouldn't hesitate to deal prospects for proven vets if it can make a difference for a team in a pennant race.  Okay, that is a valid argument that I may or may not agree with, depending on the circumstances, but is that what the Pirates did in this case?  It doesn't appear so.  The Pirates gave up, as I said, two top ten prospects for a middling pitcher (30-21, 4.92 ERA in 76 games over parts of four seasons) who they immediately sent to Indianapolis so they can maintain additional, are you ready for it, "years of control."  Yep, that phrase that has been so maddening to Pirates fans in the Huntington Era have reared their heads once again.

When you give up a starting pitcher, albeit one that has been extremely ineffective and two of your top ten prospects, in exchange for a pitcher who cannot even supplant Jeff Locke from the roster, let alone the starting rotation, then, friends, you have a trade that, while it might be good for the bottom line business of running the Pirates, it probably has not been good for the actual playing of games for the Pirates.

To be fair, we won't know for absolute certainty as to the quality of this trade until at least late 2017 or even 2018.  Only then will we know what kind of major league players Ramirez and McGuire - and Hutchison - turn out being.  

All in all, it has been a frustrating week to be a Pirates fan.

No comments:

Post a Comment