Rosenthal On Pirates, Astros, Rangers

The acquisition of right-handers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom has proved integral to the Orioles' early season success. The same cannot be said for Jeremy Guthrie, sent to the Rockies by Baltimore in the same trade, as the right-hander has struggled in injury-limited action for Colorado. Let's check in with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports as he catches us up on news and rumors from around the league in his latest column:

  • The Pirates may be strong candidates to trade pitching for hitting the way the Mariners did when they traded Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero. While the Pirates' offense averages fewer than three runs per game their pitching staff has offered glimmers of hope. More specifically, the Pirates' bullpen leads the league in relief ERA with a plethora of quality relievers waiting for an opportunity at Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • Count Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow among the believers who think that the Astros may be buyers at the trade deadline given their plus-11 run differential heading into Memorial Day. “I do think so,” Luhnow said. “I don’t necessarily know if we’ll take on a whole bunch of salary. But we’ll look at every opportunity that comes our way, evaluate it in terms of short-term impact and medium and long-term impact. Look for Houston to attempt to trade Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee and Brett Myers if the team begins to mimic last year's 106-loss club.
  • The inability to move right-hander Koji Uehara during the offseason and later during Spring Training has paid huge dividends for the Rangers this season. After struggling in Arlington upon being acquired from the Orioles, Uehara has rebounded nicely in 2012 by posting a 1.04 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9.


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42 Comments on "Rosenthal On Pirates, Astros, Rangers"


formerdraftpick
3 years 2 months ago

The Pirates should trade away for Garrett Jones. Oh wait…they already have him on the bench and opt to play Yamaico Navarro in the outfield instead.

bmerlec07
3 years 2 months ago

That’s all garret jones is good for. A decent if not below average bat off the bench with an occasional start never against lefties, and I’m a die hard pirate fan that watches all the games just a realist. He can’t get on base at all anymore and would be absolutely worthless in a trade. Who knows though, we did get James McDonald and Andrew lambo for Dotel lol

Joey E
3 years 2 months ago

aren’t many GMs like Colletti around anymore. as a Dodger fan, Im loving this winning we’re doing but hating that it probably means Ned keeps his job longer. sigh

Havok9120
3 years 2 months ago

 Kenny Williams is your man for trades like that.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 2 months ago

I like Jones.  In a stacked line-up his power numbers would be closer to what it was when he first came on to the scene.

BrickTops
3 years 2 months ago

The Astros are playing .500 ball which is significantly better than anyone expected. They have some good young talent. Their pitching has the lowest ERA in this month.

Guest
3 years 2 months ago

for a guy with a 0.50 whip and 1.00 era koji sure does seem to enter very few games “where it matters”. seems to be a continued lack of trust with the guy after his homerun derby last year. guessing texas is grooming him as trade bait and by july he is gone?

3 years 2 months ago

Starting the season off yes, he was only used in games that were already won or lost. However, the month of May he was basically in during tied games. The reason he may not see as much time is because the Rangers already have 3 horses in Ogando (7th), Adams (8th), and Nathan (9th). Ogando is down right now so I fully expect Koji to be our 7th inning man until Ogando’s hand heals.

3 years 2 months ago

umm what prospects are they gonna deal from? taillon or cole…sure ken.

dylanp5030
3 years 2 months ago

Heredia, McPherson, Allie, or Kingham could all get decent returns one would think.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

If the Pirates trade one of their high upside young prospects, the person responsible for allowing it should be water boarded for a year non stop then thrown off the same cliff Spartans threw imperfect children who could not become soldiers.  Seriously. There is NO single player who could make them a playoff contender. None. Not one. Dealing any top prospect is totally inexcusable. Ken is ridiculous. The comparison is ridiculous. The mariners have other plus upside pitchers and King Felix. The pirates got McDonald…….and McDonald. The rest are 4-5 starters. You go all in when your really close, and the Pirates are not. 

dylanp5030
3 years 2 months ago

They won’t trade Cole or Taillon, but could trade another guy like Allie or McPherson for bats.

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

Not just Allie and McPherson…You have Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson, Rudy Owens, Michael Crotta, Nick Kingham, Luis Heredia, Duke Welker, Zack Von Rosenberg, Colton Cain, and a few more that are slipping my mind at 9 AM…but my point is that you have a slew of young TRADE-ABLE pitching talent. (Some major league ready, and some 1-2 years away…depending on what the other teams window is)  Remember, there is no rule that says a deal has to be 1 for 1.  We could easily package 2 of these guys and acquire a major league ready bat to help this team.  Also, keep in mind that guys like Locke, Owens, and Wilson are all MLB ready QUALITY 3-4 starters on most teams, and on some teams maybe even a 2 starter.  They other thing that makes them a bit more special is that they are MLB ready LEFTIES…

They have so much pitching it is lunacy to have not made a move yet.  Dejan Kovacevic, one of the most well respected Sports Writers in the country had a fantastic quote a few days ago…”The object of baseball is not to win trades, its to win games.”  And he is 100% correct.  The Pirates CANNOT continue to waste pitching like this by having a historically bad offense of this caliber.  Lose a trade, overpay, and bring in a bat that helps win game.  I can stand losing a trade involving a Justin Wilson or a Bryan Morris Type, just not with a Cain or a Taillion.  So like I was saying, lose a trade with some of the above mentioned trade-able pitchers and bring a bat in to help this team.

WorldsBiggesDBack
3 years 2 months ago

 Wonder if they would match up well with the Twins on a Willingham deal?

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

They certainly match up well with the Twins for Willingham, I think its just a matter of when the twins feel like they can safely become sellers without fan backlash.  But, hopefully, they come to that point sooner rather than later.  But Im a big believer that we could “WOW” them with a package of prospects without mortgaging the future to get him in here now.  His bat in this lineup would help greatly.  But only 1 move doesnt make this team a serious contender.  The team that I feel they matchup with the best is the White Sox for Paul Konerko.  Kenny Williams would absolutely eat some of that 14 mill a season for Konerko in order to get a better package of prospects.  I also can see getting Konerko without having to get rid of Taillion or Cole.  The reality is the Konerko will NOT be on that team the next time they have an oppertunity to contend.  They are in a rebuilding phase right now.  However, a package of a Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Alex Presley would be able to help them for 4-6 years to come.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

Willingham is on that fringe where he would def be a good acquisition. It wouldn’t take too much.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

I agree there is some talent in that pool of arms, but Heredia is super young, with crazy upside so he isn’t exactly someone the Pirates should be trading. The rest of those guys are very unproven so a couple of them isn’t going to net anything special. And right now Jeff Locke is not #2 quality anywhere. He isn’t even making waves on the Pirates. To put it in context even the Astros, Royals, Mets, and Rockies have better #2 options. The fact of the matter is one bat isn’t going to be a huge difference maker. The Pirates probably need 2 bats and a lot of luck. The pitching is bound to regress when Milwaukee inevitably comes around. Another important factor is that with the new wild card system its gonna take longer for teams to become sellers so quality help probably isn’t coming quick or cheap. Not to mention any major bat available that could potentially catapult the Pirates into the division lead is going to require at least one of Cole and Tallion, and they shouldn’t do it.

bigpat
3 years 2 months ago

 Pitching prospects should always be traded because they can flame out so easily. There is no need to have that many pitching prospects and no good hitters in the system, Cole and Taillon are the exceptions. I also think they should offer one of Presley or Tabata but it’s not like either would be sought after right now.

My dream scenario is having them trade a prospect package for a bat who will be here for a few years. That will make everyone happy, those who think we must get better now and those who think we need to get better in the future.

They should try to work something out with the Royals where they get a good hitting prospect, or someone like Butler or Gordon, though I’m not a Gordon fan. I wonder if they were to offer up one of Cole or Taillon for Hosmer or Moustakas if KC would accept. That is worth thinking about in fantasy land.

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

 I would give up Heredia, Allie, Presley, and probably 1-2 of the Pitching Prospects I mentioned before from AAA for Hosmer…He would be a monster in PNC Park…And I think Tabata would yield a pretty darn good return based on his team friendly contract.  Trust me, Bucco fans are not the only people that realized that every position played besides Cutch has regressed under Greg Ritchie as hitting coach.  Tabata still has value at 22 yrs old with that deal…no doubt.

dylanp5030
3 years 2 months ago

I actually thought they matched up well to the Padres for Rizzo earlier but it didn’t happen.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

Honestly that is one of the very few moves that would have made some sense, as far as their prospects exchanging hands. I still don’t think anything resembling a good pitching prospect should be moved (Cole, Tallion, Heredia). If San Diego was willing to deal him for one of the Pirates less ready but high upside position prospects that could have made sense. Bring in a young near ready bat to build around and give the Padres another good prospect at a position they could use. Seeing as that didn’t happen though I think they def need to hold strong for a season or two until the farm coughs up a couple gems.

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

 But thats exactly the point Leonard…the Pirates have no Gem position players coming up through the system.  Besides Marte and eventually Josh Bell, you have future utility players or career Quad A prospects.  Although pitching is the most important part of baseball, it is not the only part of baseball, you need to have position players in place, or at least in the pipeline that can provide sustainable offensive production.  I agree with you that Cole and Taillion are untouchable.  But, everyone else should be made available, to acquire MLB ready position players able to help this team now.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

I agree but the market for controllable young impact bats isn’t really booming. God forgive me for doing this ,but the Rays have shown building around lots of quality young pitching (Sucking for a long time but with a genius staff) can yield results. The Pirates should do what Tampa does. Raise lots of pitching and an occasional position player then fill in the blanks with solid unspectacular free agents (Pena, Keppinger, Scott, Molina) I mean look at the team right now. They got Zobrist, Upton, Jennings, Longoria….thats it. The rest are at best solid call ups, and some solid free agents. The Pirates fans have been patient a long time, but unfortunately nobody with a brain was rewarding it. Now that they appear to be emphasizing the draft and player development these past couple years its time to be patient some more. I would be right there with you if young high upside bats were valuable for trade but I can’t think of many that won’t require weaken their future. 

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

 And THAT is the exact line that we need to identify.  What can we acquire to help the team now without damaging the future.  We have both agreed on the following things:  We need offensive help, We cannot mortgage the future by trading Taillion or Cole, and we do not have any position players coming up through the system beyond Marte and Bell.—The biggest things we differ on is Heredia, and the quality of the other AAA and AA pitching that I feel we can safely move without mortgaging the future.

Hypothetically Leonard, if I told you that we could keep Cole, Taillion, Owens, Locke, and McPherson, BUT had to give up Welker, Kingham, Morris, Wilson, Allie and Heredia (Plus a few position player Minor Leaguers (Not Marte or Bell though) and could get 2 useful and productive bats in this lineup, would you take it?

I dont doubt that Heredia has potential to be awesome, BUT, Id much rather have Cole and Taillion, and we both realize you have to give something to get something.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

Its certainly a fair question, and I guess I would. Problem is what two productive bats are available that would be worth all that? If the Sox are competing you can cross off Youk. Trumbo is likely staying put. Is there anyone who really stands out???

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

I’m thinking Brad Lincoln value has to be rising. Also Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens, and Justin Wilson are all blocked at AAA. These guys are all ML ready it’s just in what role. I’n my opinion Lincoln and Locke are going to be starters. Lincoln looks like he figured it out and should be starting in Pittsburgh.

Also Gorky’s Hernandez isn’t up here to be a regular. I think the Pirates are hoping he gets hot and they can move him.

Anyways I go to the Twins and not just try to get Josh Willingham but go after Justin Morneau too. He has been injured and makes alot thru 2013. Give up young guys with MLB time Alex Presley/Gorky’s Hernandez and Matt Hague. Plus Jeff Locke and Rudy Owens who could start in Minnesota right now. Go ahead bash my post!!!

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

 No reason to bash your post.  The only things I would slightly disagree with is the Brad Lincoln building value thing.  He has built value to our organization only at this point.  I still dont believe he would fetch much in a trade, which is fine with me, cause I agree with you, he should be starting in Pittsburgh very soon.  And to acquire Morneau and Willingham, we would need to part with more than 2-3 bench players alongside with Locke and Owens.  Not sure Morneau is a fit though.  The twins most likely wont be willing to eat a portion of his contract with Mauer earning 22 Mill per season.  And I cant see the pirates paying anyone 14 Mill per season, even if it is for Morneau.  But Willingham is certainly a possibility to help this team.

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

Yea I dont know how others see value of Morneau but I would think that a guy making 28 million over the next 2 seasons wouldn’t cost us our top prospects coming off an injury. He will be a UFA after next season. I hear what you’re saying about money but man if Nutting wanted to send a message to his fan base those 2 guys would put us in the mix for the central.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 2 months ago

It would’ve been much easier for the Bucco’s to simply have signed Willingham when he was a FA.  

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

Yes! Or Pena, Keppinger, Damon, Cespedes, ect. 

ElGaupo77
3 years 2 months ago

People don’t want to play/live in Pittsburgh.  History of losing and bad baseball weather.   Just the way it is.  

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

Not gonna bash it but if Morneau hits like he has the past week all the way until July someone will top your proposed offer for sure. He is looking like Morneau classic.

arthur3
3 years 2 months ago

For the first time in many years, the Pirates will be dealing from a position of pitching strength. They have what many teams desperately (or soon to be desperately) need. The have a surplus of of both quality starting and relief pitching on all levels. Maybe not enough credit is coming Huntingdon’s way; maybe the best approach is to wait this out. The demand for pitching is almost certain to increase, and the price for the “bat” that they seek is almost certain to come down closer to the All-Star break. The Pirates are close to .500 with great pitching, I’d say let’s wait this thing out. Who knows, maybe a Derrek Lee (or a hitter like him) will drop in.

Leonard Washington
3 years 2 months ago

The demand for pitching is always going to be strong. Looking at the Pirates 40 man roster though I am finding very little “quality” MLB proven pitching depth. Where is it? I mean im looking at the roster and the only real enticing pitching chips I am seeing are Burnett (Suprisingly), Bedard, McDonald, Grilli, Hanrahan, Lincoln, and perhaps Resop & Watson. The leagues batting .300 against Morton & Cruz. Everybody else seems to be good in AAA but without any success in the Show. And all the guys I named as enticing chips arn’t gonna be traded if the Pirates are actually trying to contend. So your basically left with some AAA guys that you can’t ask all that much for, and great prospects you should def not trade. 

ironkett
3 years 2 months ago

I tend to disagree with people who say the Pirates need more than one bat to contend.  Yes, I believe they have many holes on offense, but I think that a well placed bat in the lineup has a ripple effect that some people might not be considering.  A good example would be when the Pirates moved Alvarez up in the lineup when he got hot to protect McCutchen.  McCutchen exploded after that move and in many ways still is.  Alvarez, admitedly, has done little since that move but him protecting Cutch has been great for the team.  Now think if they got someone to bat fifth to protect Alvarez (who currently has no protection).  Say, for example, that it is someone like Willingham.  A middle of the order of Cutch, Alvarez, Willingham, and Jones sounds just fine to me.  I think a move likes that helps Alvarez and potentially also Jones which means trading for one players actually improves more positions than just one. 

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

 There is no doubt that 1 bat can change the makeup and production of an entire lineup, but 1 player does not help improve a very lackluster bench. However, adding 2 bats puts 2 current starters on the bench and sends 2 AAA performers back to where they belong.  And also, nobody can argue that 2 bats would improve the lineup more than just 1 bat.  I would gladly take just one, but in my mind, they are 2 away from truely being a contender.  Ill even go as far as saying they 2 bats need to be at first base and at corner outfield.

mgsports
3 years 2 months ago

Tony Sanchez?

DempseyK
3 years 2 months ago

 Tony Sanchez has regressed in every way since returning from the broken bone in his face.  His defense has gotten very poor, and he is not hitting anywhere near what he did in the previous 2 yrs in the minors.  Everyone had high hopes for him, but now he is more of a project than anyone expected.

connfyoozed
3 years 2 months ago

Josh Willingham batting 5th would do wonders for that lineup, and he should be able to be had for a B prospect or 2 (i.e. not Heredia, Cole or Taillon).  Also, Lincoln should maybe be thought of as a potential closer candidate to replace Hanrahan as much as a starter candidate.  Let’s face it, having a relatively young and dominant closer on this team is a bit of a luxury when you have all of those prospective arms behind him.  There are contending teams out there who need help at the back of the bullpen, and if the Bucs could get a solid MLB-ready bat or 2 for the Hammer, his value will never be higher and I say go for it.

3 years 2 months ago

They should see what the Jays want for one of their young catchers.  Or what Boston would give for Hanrahan.  The Marlins are looking for bullpen help.  Gaby Sanchez would look good at 1st for the Buccos.  I would also call the Angels to see if taking Vernon Wells and his albatross contract off their hands (which they would welcome since they shelled out tons for Pujols and Wilson) would help the Pirates get Trumbo. 
I think Tabata, Walker, McCutchen, Alvarez, Wells, Trumbo, Barmes, Arrencibia would be rather decent.  A bench of Jones, Hernandez, Harrison, Barajas, Hague would be strong as well. 
Send Hanrahan and Presley to the Jays for Arrencibia (they can then bring up D’Arnuad). 
Send Jeff Locke, Kevin Corriea, Victor Black, & take on most of Vernon Wells contract for Wells and Trumbo. 

mcc42
3 years 2 months ago

How about sending Hanrahan to Boston (who needs bullpen help) for a top prospect then sending that prospect along with one of the starting pitchers they will lose at the end of the year (Burnett) to LAA for Trumbo?

Would this be enough to get Trumbo? 

3 years 2 months ago

He pitched the other day when it was 95, and pitched great. I think he’ll be fine.