Top 5 Best Trades in Pittsburgh Pirates History
By Steve Kubitz
- June 3, 2009 — Pirates receive Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernandez from the Braves for Nate McLouth.
At the time of this trade it was vehemently hated by a large chunk of the fan base. Nate McLouth was coming off of an All Star/Gold Glove season and was very popular with the fans. It really seemed like this was the Pirates just giving up on another good player, but two things have lead to this trade becoming a huge win for Huntington and the Pirates. One, Andrew McCutchen was called up directly after the trade and with him in waiting, Nate McLouth was hugely expendable. Two, while Gorkys Hernandez has been mostly a non-factor in this trade, Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton are still major contributors to the Pirates today.
Charlie Morton has been something of an enigma to many Pirates fans. While he’s been a remarkably solid starting pitcher, ask a random fan their thoughts on him and they’ll tell you he stinks. The beginning of his Pirates career was absolutely dreadful, but when healthy he’s been a very reliable mid to back end of the rotation starter for the Pirates. In his time with the Pirates he’s gone 38-57 with a 4.34ERA with a 4.04FIP and has been a ground ball machine.
Jeff Locke is another pitcher that divides Pirates fans. Some like him, others really hate him and wish he wasn’t on the team. However, much like Charlie Morton he has been a major contributor to the Pirates making the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. In his time with the Pirates, Locke has gone 23-25 with a 4.00ERA and a 4.18FIP. He also surprised many by making the All Star Team in 2013. While the results have been inconsistent at times, Locke has been a league average fifth starter in his time with the Pirates.
Nate McLouth was a very stellar player with the Pirates from 2005 until 2009. He slashed .256/.334/.451/.785/106OPS+ and accumulated 5.1WAR, but since his trade away from the Pirates he has been a huge disappointment for most of his career. Atlanta traded him to be their starting center fielder and the results were not pretty. In his time with Atlanta he slashed .229/.335/.364/.699/89OPS+ and accumulated a -0.9WAR. While he was able to bounce back in Baltimore, there’s no question that the Pirates got the better end of this deal based on getting league average production from Locke and Morton.
You’ve seen two very long term trades work out for the Pirates, but sometimes a rental can be just as important, which brings us to number three…
Next: Number 3