Pirates Notes: Trades, Penn, Chulk, Russell

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the highlights from Pirates GM Neal Huntington's weekly media address. Let's take a look:

  • Huntington says that the Pirates have moved beyond "prospect gathering" mode. If a "good baseball trade" presents itself, Huntington will make it, but according to the general manager there are several players that he's not motivated to move.
  • Huntington says he's trying to move forward with their group of young talent. He cites the Brewers' rise from second-to-last to second place in the middle of the decade thanks to the likes of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Hart (and don't forget Yovani Gallardo) in saying it takes a solid core to turn an organization around.
  • The club is pleased with the changes made to its scouting, signing, player development, and evaluation processes, but obviously was hoping for a better record than their 31-59 mark to date.
  • On Hayden Penn likely leaving the organization to pitch in Japan, Huntington said part of him wanted to say no and keep him in the Pittsburgh organization, but it was ultimately too hard to stand in Penn's way.
  • Vinnie Chulk is another pitcher within the Pirates organization who may be transitioning to Japanese ball.
  • Huntington shoots down rumors that manager John Russell's job may be tied to the club's performance on their current 10-game homestand: "When you hide behind imaginary sources that aren't going to go on the record, you can say anything you want," he told Kovacevic.
  • Huntington says Russell shouldn't be used as a scapegoat, because ultimately, responsibility for the club's performance falls on his own shoulders.

19 Responses to Pirates Notes: Trades, Penn, Chulk, Russell Leave a Reply

  1. I wouldn’t put too much faith in what Huntington says. He told the team “You are the core that we are going to move forward with and build around” last year, then traded Nate Mclouth a month later.

    That said, the young core they have now does seem somewhat promising. But they really need to add a decent starting pitcher or two if they want to go anywhere. Since we know they’ll never go out and actually pay one through free agency, they’d have to swing a trade somewhere.

    Something like the Delmon Young-for-Garza trade the Rays made a few years back would be exactly what this team needs to take the next step forward.

    • yeah dude super promising, they for sure have a solid young core, what’s their record again?? (31-59 2 games away from the worst record in baseball) try they need to add 24 new guys (McCutchen is the only positive)

      • The Rays lost 96 games the year before they went to the World Series. The Tigers had the worst record in baseball the year before they went to the World Series. You clearly haven’t watched any Pirates games or have no clue how to spot talent. They have 5 every day players who are rookies or in the early years of their careers that look like future All-Stars.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          McCutchen, Tabata, and Alvarez is certainly the makings of a nice core. Lincoln has been alright, but thus far he doesn’t seem like he’s going to be the type of pitcher who will really help turn the franchise around. He might be a Maholm- or Duke-type starter, but the club needs some pitching.

          Walker’s iffy with me, as he was all but given up on before this call-up, but he’s been decent enough for a middle infielder so far.

          Overall, the Pirates have some pieces to be excited about, but they need pitching terribly.

          • The pitching is fine at times, Karstens needs to build up a bit more stamina and not be done after 4 innings, the same thing with Ohlendorf, Maholm and Duke are pitching just fine, half the time its the batting that lets them down. Jones needs to stop swinging at almost everything, especially those low and outside pitches.

            In other words, i think the bullpen needs a bit of work and the starting pitchers need to be conditioned a bit better so they don’t get winded as fast

      • bigpat 5 years ago

        They got a future all star 3B in Alvarez, solid looking 2B in Walker, good hitting catcher who can’t field though, and a top prospect and former prospect flanking McCutchen. Such a terrible core of the players, if only they were as good as the amazing core group the Royals or Orioles have.

        They do need to focus on keeping these guys around and starting to supplement them with established talent, regardless of their record. The hitters might not be studs but most of them look ok with room to improve. Alvarez crushes the ball every time he makes contact. They need to trade for a pitcher like Nolasco then maybe sign a free agent. Gotta take some risks and try to make the MAJOR LEAGUE product better.

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      I would like for the Pirates to make a trade for a good starting pitcher, but they really don’t have anyone to trade that would get them anything that good. They could trade Doumit, but I don’t think that he’ll get them anything better than what they already have. But I do hope they will trade Doumit, he needs to go.

    • bigpat 5 years ago

      If Andy LaRoche had any trade value, that would be nice. I’d love for them to flip a prospect to the A’s for Mazarro or Gio, but I don’t really see it happening.

  2. HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

    Obviously Huntington hasn’t noticed that the Brewers don’t trade every single player they develop that shows potential immeadiately.

    • Here is a good spot to list all of your evidence that Huntington immediately trades every player of his that shows potential. I doubt you’ll need much room.

      • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

        Nady (pre-injury)
        Marte (at the time of trade)
        Freddy Sanchez.

        I’m not saying that it’s a lot, but they don’t hold on to players.

        • aap212 5 years ago

          Nady was selling high, Marte is a middle reliever (the last thing a rebuilding team should focus on), Sanchez isn’t a building block caliber player, and Bay only had a year and a half left til free agency. There was no way to build around those guys. Huntington is BUILDING a team, not patching around the lousy team he inherited. Starting from scratch was the way to go.

          • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

            I’m not arguing with you, but how long have they been doing the same thing? It seems like they’re always starting from scratch. You can’t debate the fact that they’re one of the saddest franchises in professional sports.

          • aap212 5 years ago

            Of course not, but I like the direction they’re going in and have faith in the guy at the wheel. And I’m not a Pirates fan, so I don’t have faith for any irrational reason. This time looks different.

          • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

            I’m not a Pirates fan either, just a baseball fan in general. I seriously do hope they can get things together- baseball needs a shake up in terms of the so called “cellar teams” being able to be competetive and knock some of the big market teams off. Good conversation with you- your comments are always smart and informative.

        • Not one of those guys were traded when they first started showing potential. Each of them had multiple seasons of success before they were traded.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      Because Nate McLouth, Jason Bay, and Nate McLouth are going to be the core of the next good Pirates team? He’s talking about BUILDING a core, not coasting on the best pieces of a perennially bad team he inherited. He’s talking about building around Alvarez, McCutchen, Sanchez, etc.

      • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

        And how much longer do they need to build a core? Another decade plus? It’s the same tired story over and over. I also obviously wasn’t aware that they had two players named Nate McLouth. It isn’t an insult to the man, he can only work with what he has.

        • aap212 5 years ago

          I meant to say Nady the second time. Mea culpa.

          Huntington has completely changed the way the Pirates allocate resources to acquiring amateur talent, and changed the way they draft. That began a whopping two years ago. You need to give him more time than this for that to come to fruition.

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