Window Shopping: Pirates

A team that is sitting in last place, nine games below .500 and in a division headed by the Cardinals, Cubs, and Brewers, would presumably be sellers. Indeed, the fire sale began a few weeks ago for the Pirates, who dealt away Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan, Sean Burnett, and Eric Hinske over the past few weeks. But there isn’t much left in the cupboard, so the store in Pittsburgh will be closing shortly.

After 16 consecutive losing seasons, the Pirates were poised to change their course of history in 2009. But instead, it looks like they’re going to make it 17.

Unlike previous years, though, the Bucs are losing with youth — very few aged veterans are on the current roster. Which is good in terms of development, but bad in terms of bringing in more youth. Let’s look at their mostly barren cupboard.

Jack Wilson

The 31-year-old shortstop seems to be where Mike Bordick was at age 34 — formerly a slick fielder with a bit of pop, now a good fielder who has lost a step and nearly all of his pop. Word on the street is that Pittsburgh wants much more than Wilson is worth, and at this point I don’t see the Mets giving away anything of value for a very average shortstop.

Freddy Sanchez

He might be traded, but it won’t be to the Mets. They don’t need another bloop-hitting second baseman on the wrong side of 30.

Ramon Vazquez

This 32-year-old utilityman could draw interest from a pennant-contender looking for versatility to add to the bench. The Mets shouldn’t be interested, as they already have Vazquez — but his name is Alex Cora.

John Grabow, Tyler Yates

These are the only two pitchers the Pirates have over the age of 30. Grabow is intriguing as a LOOGY, Yates is on the DL (yet again). Since Grabow will be a free agent at the end of the year, he’ll almost certainly be dealt. But would the Mets be willing to part with a mid-range prospect for a rental? Not while sitting in fourth place. If the Mets were still in second, and on a roll instead of a downslide, I could see how acquiring Grabow could make sense. Not now.

Bottom Line

Ain’t much left in Pittsburgh, and what is left, likely doesn’t interest the Mets. Though, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a silly, non-impactful deal like Shawn Bowman for John Grabow occur, for no reason other than for the sake of making a trade. Gotta keep up appearances.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude July 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm
    Rumor has it the Pirates are also looking for takers on Adam LaRoche. I’m not his biggest fan, and doubt he’d mesh well with the Mets after his war of words in the tabloids with Carlos Beltran earlier this season. I’d pass.
  2. mic July 9, 2009 at 8:08 pm
    Joe: waiting on ‘Mets window shopping’

    For Sale:

    -Alex Cora
    -Luis Castillo
    -Carlos delgado
    -Billy Wagner
    -Ryan Church
    _J. Reed
    -Sean Green:
    -Fernando tatis

  3. joejanish July 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm
    c’mon, Mic … the Mets would not DARE say they were throwing in the towel. There are too many tickets and Shake Shack burgers to sell !!!