Back on June 24th, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned that the Pirates inquired as to the availability of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. At that point the required bounty was thought to be a frontline starting pitcher like Mark Buehrle.
Today, Kovacevic clarifies: the Braves want an impact-caliber young pitcher. That makes sense. The Pirates have a couple of those: Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell. They’d have to give one up to get Salty. Such a trade would be excellent for Atlanta but wouldn’t really seem to move the Pirates forward.
While shaky in terms of confirmation, we do have one report that indicates the Pirates could trade Snell this month. Snell is 25, healthy, and a long ways from free agency. He’s been the eighth best pitcher in the National League this year according to VORP. Better than Roy Oswalt, Brandon Webb, Carlos Zambrano, or Cole Hamels. It’s been quite a breakout season for Snell, and he’s improved his efficiency greatly. He averaged 5.81 innings per start in ’06 and increased that all the way to 6.76 per start this year.