Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Rewind: The Big Miss


As we approach another Major League Trade Deadline, the rumors are flying throughout the league especially about the best available offensive talent.  Teams in Philadelphia, San Diego, Arizona and elsewhere are putting out their best poker face.  Bastards…

The Pirates have always been active at the deadline under Neal Huntington, the guy runs the deadline like a TV Game Show.  We were digging around for the player from last year, that had he been acquired might have made a difference for the Bucs.  What we found is surprising and actually encouraging.  Nearly one year ago today, the Bucs were looking to add Jason Kubel in a move that didn’t garner a great deal of attention.

Kubel was with the Twins and due to injury and who knows what else, couldn’t get regular playing time.   He missed nearly two months of the season and this time last year was just coming back from a sprained foot.  Looking back, Kubel would have been a solid acquistion.   It’s really easy to see that now.    Of course, the Bucs ended up with Ryan Ludwick.  Yeh…we know.

So one year later, the Pirates are once again searching at the deadline.  Ludwick is putting up a 956 OPS this month for the red-hot NL Central leading Reds,  Meanwhile Pittsburgh is still searching…. Jose Tabata has done shit.  Alex Presley has hit poorly.  Josh Harrison and Drew Sutton have seen some action in right field, but it’s been a lot of Garrett Jones lately, well until Casey McGehee cooled off that is.  Now GFJ looks like he will see more time at first base as he gets his second straight start tonight in Houston while Presley starts in right.

It’s a weakness that hasn’t gone away, in fact this time last season, the Pirates right fielders weren’t getting it done—they were hitting .248 with 20 doubles, and ten bombs in 103 games.

If only the Twins and Bucs could have struck a deal back then.  Perhaps, the Bucs could have locked him up for 2012 and Kubel could have started to click like he has this season.  It’s been huge.

The 30-year old Kubel is the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise with seven homers in his last ten games.  He is driving in runs at a tremendous pace and his arm in the outfield has him among the leaders in assists.   The Snakes have him signed through 2013 with a mutual option in ’14.   Remember Gerado Parra the Arizona Gold Glover?  Yeh, neither do the Diamondbacks–since Kubel was signed this offseason, Parra is a fourth outfielder.

Kubel is on pace for nearly 40 bombs and over 110 RBI with Kirk Gibson’s Snakes.

So the Pirates had the right idea, it just didn’t work out.  The club has struggled in signing impact bats.  So we’re going to keep a close eye on what players the Bucs target the next couple days.  We think it gives good insight into their thinking about certain players.

And this time, let’s trust a deal gets done.