Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look back at the Caminero Trade

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

A little over a year ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded reliever Arquimedes Caminero to the Seattle Mariners.  Let’s take a look at the deal one year later and the minor leaguers they got in return.

Last year on August 6th, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a waiver trade with the Seattle Mariners.  The Bucs sent hard throwing reliever Arquimedes Caminero to the Mariners for two players to be named later.  The deal was later completed on September 1st when the Mariners sent two prospects back to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Caminero had a 3.51 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he also had a high FIP of 4.76, something that really showed.  He seemed like he was constantly in trouble when he would pitch.  The fact the Bucs got two prospects for him was surprising.  What makes it even more surprising is that the Mariners sold his contract to the Yomiuri Giants of the NPL (Japan). So essentially, the Bucs got two prospects for a player that was sold out of the MLB months later.

Jake Brentz

The first prospect to look at is Jake Brentz.  Brentz ranks on Rum Bunter’s top 30 prospect list at number 28.  Brentz is a hard throwing reliever who reportedly can hit 100 miles per hour on the radar gun.  The righty started the year at High-A and he was promoted to Double-A at the end of June.  Brentz pitched in 19 games for Bradenton and threw 26 innings.  Brentz showed his power stuff by piling up 33 strikeouts for Bradenton.  He started off the year with a sub 2 ERA, but he had a few rough middle outings.  His ERA was 3.81 at High-A when he was promoted.

So far in Double-A, he has seen mixed results.  His ERA is over 6, however, he has not given up a run in his last four appearances.  His ERA is inflated by one specific game when he gave up 4 earned runs in a third of an inning.  The other issue for Brentz in Double-A is his control, which has has created a walk issue.  In his 11.1 innings of work, he has 12 walks to go along with 12 strikeouts.

Pedro Vasquez

The other prospect acquired was right-handed starting pitcher Pedro Vasquez.  Vasquez has found a lot more consistent success for the Pittsburgh Pirates Low-A affiliate this season.  The righty has made 23 starts for the West Virginia Power, although he has had two relief appearances as well.  On the year he has accumulated 133.2 innings, posting an ERA of 3.37.  Vasquez is a fly ball pitcher and does not get a ton of strikeouts.  He has only punched out 105 hitters so far this year, and has a low groundball percentage of 37 percent.  Still, he has a FIP of 3.61, suggesting he is getting the results he should.  At the end of the day, Vasquez has produced good results this year.

Next: Brault's Future as a Reliever

Looking back, the Pittsburgh Pirates received two prospects who have shown flashes of upsides this year in the minors.  Meanwhile, they gave up a hard throwing reliever who struggled to keep the ball in the ball park.  Even more so, Caminero would end up in Japan for the 2017 season.  The Pittsburgh Pirates did well for themselves getting two intriguing arms in the system.