After 20 consecutive miserable seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the people of Pittsburgh, it appears things are finally starting to change in their favor. After years of trading away talent like Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, Freddy Sanchez and Aramis Ramirez, the Pirates are finally in a position to upgrade their own team via trades rather than selling off established players for prospects.
The non-waiver trade deadline passed this season with little movement. The Chicago Cubs traded Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for a few high-end prospects, including third baseman Mike Olt. The Houston Astros shipped Bud Norris to the Baltimore Orioles for L.J. Hoes and a pitching prospect. Ricky Nolasco was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a couple pitching prospects. That pretty much sums up the non-waiver trade deadline.
Unlike most seasons, the waiver-trade deadline was seemingly more interesting this year and more active as well. The Rangers acquired Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox for an average prospect, the Seattle Mariners traded Michael Morse to the Orioles, and the Pirates made two significant trades to upgrade their team.
Earlier this week, the Pirates were able to acquire outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the New York Mets in exchange for second base prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later that turned out to be Vic Black, a pitching prospect. On Saturday, the Pirates traded outfielder Alex Presley and relief pitcher Duke Welker to the Minnesota Twins for first baseman, former MVP, Justin Morneau.
The point is the Pirates were able to sit back and wait before making moves. They felt no pressure from the fans and media to make a big splash, but when the time was right, they jumped in and made some moves. They could have been like the Rangers and traded two or three huge prospects away, but they didn’t. They traded away a few prospects that weren’t in their own farm system’s top ten ranked prospects. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington deserves a ton of credit for the way he handled the 2013 Pirates.