With yesterday's minor acquisition of reliever Sean Gallagher from the San Diego Padres, I got asked many times today, "Why would the Pirates acquire a reliever when their bullpen is so good?"
Quite simply, the answer is that the bullpen won't be as good for long because potentially as many as three Pirates relievers could be on the move before the July 31st trading deadline. Gallagher then becomes a healthy arm that John Russell can use for the rest of the reason.
Here are the best candidates for General manager Neil Huntington to deal by this seasons trading deadline.
Church signed a one-year, $1.5 mil deal in the off-season. While he has underachieved big time as a Pirate, some contender will look to acquire an extra left handed bat off of the bench.
Doumit should be priority one to deal, but the Pirates love him way too much. He is in the second year of a three year, $11.5 mil deal that includes a club option for 2012. The Pirates must realize that this guy can't not handle a major league pitching staff and send him packing. He has done nothing in his six seasons as a Pirate that warrants him being a part of the future.
The time has likely passed to get a decent return on Doumit, but some American League team might be able to use him as a DH, so there is a chance he can be dealt.
He will likely be in demand. He signed a one year, $1.5 mil deal this past off-season, so money won't be an issue here. Several teams could use a reliable reliever that has pitched for contenders in the past. The bad part about dealing guys such as Donnelly is that they typically don't fetch much in return.
Dotel has had a solid season, but with all-star Evan Meek sitting as the closer in waiting, Dotel is a good bet to get dealt. His contract isn't much of an issue. Dotel signed a one year, $3.25 mil deal with a club option for next season at $4.5 mil that certainly won't be picked up by any team. More than a handful of teams would love to acquire a power arm to use down the stretch run.
Other guys to keep an eye on include Zach Duke, Paul Maholm and Andy Laroche. One of the pitchers, hopefully Duke will be dealt, but the guy most likely to be traded is.............
Carrasco has value to teams as he can eat innings and pitch in any role a contender will need. He signed a minor league deal in the off-season, so another team won't be assuming salary. However, while I feel Carrasco is a sure bet to go, it's another case where you shouldn't expect the Pirates to get much in return for him.