Nate McLouth is just the latest good Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder to be traded from the team for two bags of balls.
Think about 2008. Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, two of the better players on the Pirates, were traded within weeks of each other: Nady to the New York Yankees and Bay to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox sent Craig Hansen, a reliever who could never figure it out for the Red Sox, and the expendable Brandon Moss to the Pirates, while shipping off Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Weeks earlier, the Pirates had traded Xavier Nady and Domaso Marte to the Yankees for Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and prospect Dan McCutchern.
Karstens and Ohlendorf have proved to be terrible acquisitions for the Pirates. Moss wouldn't be a starter for any other team except for the Pirates, and Hansen still really hasn't figured it out, even with a change of scenery.
The Pirates traded McLouth to the Atlanta Braves to get Gorkys Hernandez, Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton. Have you heard of any of those guys?
Morton and Hernandez have been up and down in the Atlanta minor league system, and Locke is still waiting for his cup of coffee. McLouth was a Gold Glover last season, and an All-Star. What has Gorkys Hernandez done? What has Jeff Locke done? What has Charlie Morton done?
Unless one of them turns out to be an excellent prospect like Evan Longoria or Dustin Pedroia or Tim Lincecum, this has been a major loss for the Pirates. The Pirates have been building for the future since 1992, and they will still be building for the future in 2022.