1. A leftist move
The trade the Pirates made with the Orioles seemed to make little sense, at least on the surface.
On Tuesday night, the Pirates dealt away Travis Snider, who figured to be their default option in right field in the event right fielder Gregory Polanco shows in spring training that he is in need of more developmental time at Class AAA Indianapolis.
In return, the Pirates received two minor league left-handed pitchers who have yet to pitch above the Class A level -- Jake Tarpley and Steven Brault (who will be the player to be named).
Neither pitcher was ranked among the top 10 prospects in a nondescript Orioles farm system by Baseball America. The key, though, is that Tarpley and Brault both throw with their left hands.
The biggest weakness in the Pirates farm system is left-handed pitching. The only lefty who can stake a legitimate claim to being a prospect is Cody Dickson, who also hasn’t pitched above Class A.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington always talks about balancing the present with the future, and that is exactly what he did in this trade. It will be a successful deal, though, only if the Pirates get paid off later for a move that could burn them now.
2. A home for Kang?
The first two names mentioned as possible options in right field behind Polanco are Andrew Lambo and Jose Tabata. Don’t believe it.
Lambo fell out of favor with manager Clint Hurdle last spring when he failed to win the starting first baseman’s job that was all but handed to him. Tabata is still in the organization only because he is owed a little more than $8.8 million over the next two seasons.
Instead, if Polanco falters in the spring, it will open the door for Korean rookie infielder Jung Ho Kang to become the regular third baseman, with Josh Harrison moving to right field.
3. Good guy gone
Though the lines constantly become more blurred, media members are supposed to be objective and not root. However, sometimes it is hard not to pull for certain individuals to do well.
Snider falls in that group. He became a personal favorite during his two-plus years with the Pirates because of his friendly demeanor and good humor.
More about Pirates Baseball
- ARTICLE: Stewart and Pirates agree to one-year deal
- ARTICLE: Pirates moving ahead with Kang's unprecedented contract
- ARTICLE: Pirates win bid to negotiate with Korean baseball star
- ARTICLE: Huntington doesn't expect major moves for Pirates rest of the way
More about Travis Snider
- ARTICLE: Orioles acquire OF Travis Snider in trade with Pirates
- ARTICLE: Pirates Insider: Letting Snider lead off paid off against Lincecum
- ARTICLE: Snider defends his actions during Brewers brawl
- ARTICLE: Pirates Insider: Bullpen comes up big again