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View Full Version : Pirates shuffle outfield in pair of deals...again


SteelCityKing
06-30-2009, 05:49 PM
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates, swapping outfielders at a rapid rate for the second successive season, sent starting left fielder Nyjer Morgan to the Washington Nationals in a four-player deal involving outfielder Lastings Milledge and also shipped backup Eric Hinske to the Yankees on Tuesday.

The Pirates, who have pushed to restock a thin farm system by making numerous trades over the last year, get Milledge and reliever Joel Hanrahan from the Nationals for the fleet Morgan and left-hander Sean Burnett, a former first-round draft pick.

Earlier, they sent 2002 AL Rookie of the Year Hinske to the Yankees for minor league right-hander Casey Erickson and outfielder Eric Fryer.

Just as they did last season by dealing Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, the Pirates have traded two of their three starting outfielders before Aug. 1. They sent former NL All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth to the Braves on June 4 for pitcher Charlie Morton and two other prospects.

Though rumored for several days, the Nationals trade is somewhat surprising because the Pirates dealt Morgan -- who turns 28 on Thursday -- less than halfway through a promising first season as a starter. He is hitting .277 with 2 homers and 27 RBIs, only four fewer than No. 3 hitter Freddy Sanchez, and has 18 steals, although he has been thrown out 10 times.

Milledge, a former top Mets prospect, has played in only seven games with Washington while part of the season rehabilitating a broken right ring finger that required surgery in May. He is expected to join Triple-A Indianapolis before being called up by Pittsburgh later this month.

Milledge, 23, has more power than Morgan -- he has 25 homers in 897 career at-bats -- but has bothered frequently by injury problems that include a broken right hand, sore foot and groin strain. He hit .268 with 14 homers, 61 RBIs and 24 doubles in 138 games last season, earning him a spot on the cover of the Nationals' media guide this season.

Still, Milledge was a major disappointment to the Nationals, who dealt two starters -- catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church -- to acquire Milledge from the Mets in November 2007.

The right-handed Hanrahan, 27, is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in 34 games -- he was demoted from the closer's job -- and has a 5.30 ERA in 115 career games. Burnett, the Pirates' top pick in 2000, is 1-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 38 games and has pitched in 96 games the last two seasons.

The 31-year-old Hinske hit .255 in 106 at-bats this season with nine doubles, one homer and 11 RBIs, playing right field, first base and third base. He was 8 for 24 as a pinch hitter and has been disappointed by a lack of playing time.

Through June 29 last year, he had 13 home runs en route to a 20-home run season with the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays. He won the rookie award with Toronto in 2002, when he hit .279 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs, and was a member of Boston's World Series championship team in 2007.

"He's a pro. He's been through the trenches in the AL East," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "There's a lot of benefits to him. He knows his role."

The 23-year-old Erickson was 3-3 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts and 18 relief appearances at Class A Charleston this season. Fryer, also 23, hit .250 with 11 doubles, two homers, 24 RBIs and 11 steals for Class A Tampa after leading the South Atlantic League with a .335 average last year for West Virginia. He was obtained by the Yankees in February for left-hander Chase Wright.

To fill Hinske's roster spot, Pittsburgh purchased the contract of 28-year-old outfielder Garrett Jones from Triple-A Indianapolis, where he hit .307 with 18 doubles, 12 homers, 48 RBIs and 14 steals.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

SteelCityKing
06-30-2009, 05:53 PM
WTF!?

how can we continue to have faith in a team that doesn't even have any faith in their players and fans anymore?

how is this a good deal? the last place Nats losing two of their players for two stars on the rise!? how is that fair and what the f**k are the managers thinking on this one?

i liked Nyjer Morgan...a lot. Hinske was iffy, but he has potential. i just don't get why the Pirates organization keeps swapping players and not realizing they are slowly but surely losing fans...sad to say, like me.

this is almost as bad as McClouth being shipped off. =(

pittsburghp8baller
06-30-2009, 06:21 PM
WTF!?

how can we continue to have faith in a team that doesn't even have any faith in their players and fans anymore?

how is this a good deal? the last place Nats losing two of their players for two stars on the rise!? how is that fair and what the f**k are the managers thinking on this one?

i liked Nyjer Morgan...a lot. Hinske was iffy, but he has potential. i just don't get why the Pirates organization keeps swapping players and not realizing they are slowly but surely losing fans...sad to say, like me.

this is almost as bad as McClouth being shipped off. =(

your putting to much faith in our players, Morgan is only a starter on a handful of teams, the Pirates and the Nationals among them. And i dont see how a 32 year old bench player still has 'potential'?

The only hate that we had to give up Sean Burnett in the deal. That leaves John Grabow as our only left handed relief pitcher and he has been far from his usually shutdown self.

Hanrahan doesnt have good numbers but i think a change of team will be good for him. He now isnt going to be required to get the big outs that the Nationals wanted him to get.

Sure it may look like on paper we have been getting screwed, but like any other sport baseball is played on the field not on paper. We got two solid baseball players in this trade

BehindSteelCurtain
06-30-2009, 06:22 PM
WTF!?

how can we continue to have faith in a team that doesn't even have any faith in their players and fans anymore?

how is this a good deal? the last place Nats losing two of their players for two stars on the rise!? how is that fair and what the f**k are the managers thinking on this one?

i liked Nyjer Morgan...a lot. Hinske was iffy, but he has potential. i just don't get why the Pirates organization keeps swapping players and not realizing they are slowly but surely losing fans...sad to say, like me.

this is almost as bad as McClouth being shipped off. =(

hahaha Hinske and Morgan...potential? lol Morgan wouldnt even start on a good team. Hinske is 32. If you ask me, Pirates just won the Morgan trade. Milledge will be a stud.

T.Richardson
06-30-2009, 06:36 PM
WTF!?

how can we continue to have faith in a team that doesn't even have any faith in their players and fans anymore?

how is this a good deal? the last place Nats losing two of their players for two stars on the rise!? how is that fair and what the f**k are the managers thinking on this one?

i liked Nyjer Morgan...a lot. Hinske was iffy, but he has potential. i just don't get why the Pirates organization keeps swapping players and not realizing they are slowly but surely losing fans...sad to say, like me.

this is almost as bad as McClouth being shipped off. =(

I disagree. Hinske, while a good player was not productive, and was not playing, and not to mention he is 32 years old.

Nyjer Morgan is pretty good, but all he has is speed. He is a "slap" hitter, and was 29, Millidge is 24 and has more power, and with some speed (last year with 24 stolen bases) . Millidge was a steal at the price the Nats gave up for. I just hope he cleans up his act a bit, and can play up to his potential.

I like the trades.

BehindSteelCurtain
06-30-2009, 06:54 PM
I disagree. Hinske, while a good player was not productive, and was not playing, and not to mention he is 32 years old.

Nyjer Morgan is pretty good, but all he has is speed. He is a "slap" hitter, and was 29, Millidge is 24 and has more power, and with some speed (last year with 24 stolen bases) . Millidge was a steal at the price the Nats gave up for. I just hope he cleans up his act a bit, and can play up to his potential.

I like the trades.

Milledge was a top prospect with the Mets.

Mets- traded away bc of maturity issues
Nats- injuries
Bucs- ??????

Third times a charm?

BehindSteelCurtain
06-30-2009, 06:56 PM
I like this trade bc there was no risk involved.

The worst that can happen is Milledge sucks.
Losing Nyjer isnt that big of a deal.
But it was a risk worth taking bc Milledge could be a very good player.

SunshineMan21
06-30-2009, 06:56 PM
WTF!?

how can we continue to have faith in a team that doesn't even have any faith in their players and fans anymore?

how is this a good deal? the last place Nats losing two of their players for two stars on the rise!? how is that fair and what the f**k are the managers thinking on this one?

i liked Nyjer Morgan...a lot. Hinske was iffy, but he has potential. i just don't get why the Pirates organization keeps swapping players and not realizing they are slowly but surely losing fans...sad to say, like me.

this is almost as bad as McClouth being shipped off. =(

Morgan and Burnett were marginal major leaguers, not "stars on the rise." Hanrahan may fall into a similar category, but Milledge is a high-caliber talent.

This is a steal--there's a reason the Nats are in last place and trading prospects like Milledge for fourth outfielders is it.

X-Terminator
06-30-2009, 07:06 PM
Now predictably, the, ahem, "geniuses" over on the Pirates website are all up in arms about the trade. It's like I said before - Pirates fans overvalue marginal talent just because "they're good guys" or because they're playing decently. But if you look at it from a pure baseball standpoint, this is a good trade for the Pirates. They dealt a 29-year old outfielder who has maxed out on his potential in Morgan and a serviceable left-handed reliever in Burnett for a 24-year old 5-tool player with potential in Milledge and a reliever with a good arm and upside in Hanrahan. I understand that Milledge has had character issues and he has been hurt this season, but if they can get this guy to play and act like a professional, and up to his potential, this will be an absolute steal of a trade for the Pirates, even if Hanrahan doesn't pan out like they hope. Morgan was going to lose his job within the next 2 years to younger and more talented players. Why not trade him now when his value is as high as it's going to get? Let's face it, on a good team he is a 4th outfielder, if he even makes it to the majors. Last year at this time, not one of those "geniuses" over there would have thought Morgan would ever be a decent major league player, and now they act like he's Jason Bay.

SunshineMan21
07-01-2009, 09:14 PM
Now predictably, the, ahem, "geniuses" over on the Pirates website are all up in arms about the trade. It's like I said before - Pirates fans overvalue marginal talent just because "they're good guys" or because they're playing decently. But if you look at it from a pure baseball standpoint, this is a good trade for the Pirates. They dealt a 29-year old outfielder who has maxed out on his potential in Morgan and a serviceable left-handed reliever in Burnett for a 24-year old 5-tool player with potential in Milledge and a reliever with a good arm and upside in Hanrahan. I understand that Milledge has had character issues and he has been hurt this season, but if they can get this guy to play and act like a professional, and up to his potential, this will be an absolute steal of a trade for the Pirates, even if Hanrahan doesn't pan out like they hope. Morgan was going to lose his job within the next 2 years to younger and more talented players. Why not trade him now when his value is as high as it's going to get? Let's face it, on a good team he is a 4th outfielder, if he even makes it to the majors. Last year at this time, not one of those "geniuses" over there would have thought Morgan would ever be a decent major league player, and now they act like he's Jason Bay.

Excellent post. We Pirates fans have been through so much that people have a tendency to criticize before thinking.

Huntington is not Littlefield. Just because Littlefield was an idiot doesn't mean Huntington was an idiot. Just because Littlefield traded veterans for nothing does not mean Huntington is trading veterans for nothing, unless you think that Charlie Morton, Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Gorkys Hernandez, Lastings Milledge, Joel Hanrahan, Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, Jason Jaramillo, etc . . . are "nothing."

We had possibly the worst farm system in the majors when Huntington took over--now we have an elite prospect (Andrew McCutchen) reaching the majors, with another prospect in the system (Alvarez) who is ranked in the top five prospects in the majors.

We actually have young, talented pitchers (Maholm, Duke, Morton, Ohlendorf--though I'm not a fan)--not Ryan Vogelsongs and John Van Benschotens.

For the first time since 1997, it seems like there is hope.

pittsburghp8baller
07-01-2009, 09:33 PM
Excellent post. We Pirates fans have been through so much that people have a tendency to criticize before thinking.

Huntington is not Littlefield. Just because Littlefield was an idiot doesn't mean Huntington was an idiot. Just because Littlefield traded veterans for nothing does not mean Huntington is trading veterans for nothing, unless you think that Charlie Morton, Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Gorkys Hernandez, Lastings Milledge, Joel Hanrahan, Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, Jason Jaramillo, etc . . . are "nothing."

We had possibly the worst farm system in the majors when Huntington took over--now we have an elite prospect (Andrew McCutchen) reaching the majors, with another prospect in the system (Alvarez) who is ranked in the top five prospects in the majors.

We actually have young, talented pitchers (Maholm, Duke, Morton, Ohlendorf--though I'm not a fan)--not Ryan Vogelsongs and John Van Benschotens.

For the first time since 1997, it seems like there is hope.

HAHA!!! Ryan Vogelsong, i havent heard that name in a while.

btw, GREAT POST!!