July 5, 2009
The Pittsburgh Pirates are up to the same old tricks in the front office. Again!
Neil Huntington has already traded away three players thought to be part of the "core" of the team's future, including the supposed cornerstone Nate McLouth.
He has also released Craig Monroe who was not hustling and traded away Eric Hinske to the Yankees for two Single-A prospects. I feel that Huntington first off did not ask high enough for Hinske, and they probably could of received at least one prospect close to being Major League ready that carried a little "pop." But I feel this was a good move because Hinske was a one and done player anyhow.
I am still left scratching my head about releasing Craig Monroe. Why would you put yourself in a position that could add good power to your relatively powerless line-up. I know spring training doesn't mean much, but the guy was among the league leaders in home runs and you just let him go for not hustling in one game.
What is this high school baseball I mean why would a guy with the skill he does even want to play for a team like the Pirates when they don't give him a chance. Don't be surprised to see him flourish when picked back up by a contender.
Now back to the three supposed core guys: Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett. If you were to ask any Pirates fan at any point leading up to the shocking trade of Nate McLouth they would probably say there is no chance any of them leave.
The most likely scenario, and quite possibly the only scenario thought of if Andrew McCutchen was brought up was that "Nate the Great" would move to Right McCutchen would patrole Center, and Nyjer would play Left.
So for Nate the Pirates received Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez and Jeff Locke, with Morton being the only one above the Double-A level being on the Pirates active roster. While I realize that McLouth is not yet proven as a good all-around player, Neil Huntington should have at least tried for a better selection of Major League ready players.
As for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett, they were traded to the Washington for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan. This move easily considered much better then what was given in return for McLouth. This move is also very criticized for trading away a quiet positive influence in Morgan, and in return get a distraction as documented in Milledge. Also lost was the relatively reliable Sean Burnett, and in return got the very sporadic Joel Hanrahan who brought with him a 7.71 ERA.
While these trades may pan out to be better then one would expect for the Pirates, I would not be so sure that Huntington will be around to see because it seems as if he has yet another "five-year plan", although will not admit to it.
My thought to leave you all with for now, is that as of the first year and a half or so that Neil Huntington has been General Manager it looks like all other General Managers specifically the Yankees and Red Sox are devouring any offer he has sent them that will make them better and the Pirates worse off.
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