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12-03-2012, 12:31 AM
Big McLargehuge
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Originally Posted by DJ Spinoza View Post
Some rumors surfacing about a possible deal with Seattle involving Jones and Hanrahan. I'd say it's certainly ok to think about selling Jones at high value, but they better get something actually useful in return. For that reason, packaging Hanrahan with him might not make as much sense. The proposed deal had Jaso as an attractive piece, but now with Martin signed, it wouldn't make sense (speculation is that the rumor is from earlier last week).

I'm a believer in Jones at this point, even though he may not reach last year's heights again. If the Pirates are going to actually improve, they have to know when the right time to move established players is, and then be able to replace their MLB production quickly.
Seattle would be a very interesting trade partner, as they have plenty of pitching but almost no offense.

Jaso? I highly doubt the Pirates are going after a 29 year-old catcher after signing Martin. The Smoak/Jaso/Noesi for Jones/Hanrahan seems more like wishful thinking on the behalf of a Seattle writer than an actual trade proposal (Smoak is very interesting...but the clock is starting to tick on him. As Tim Williams said, he was basically at the point where Pedro Alvarez was last year...but unlike Alvarez he took a step sideways instead of forward last year. He's not in the Jeff Clement-Mariners 1st Baseman Power Prospect Bust mold because he can actually hit for power in the Majors (and he's not entirely worthless with the glove...he commited 4 errors in 131 games at first base last year; Jones committed 5 in 65 starts)...he just hasn't figured out how to hit anything but fly balls. Jaso isn't better than Martin so there's absolutely no point in pursuing him...especially with a very capable back-up in McKenry and Sanchez in AAA. Noesi got the **** beaten out of him last year and isn't any better than the (younger) prospects we have competing for a rotation say nothing of the fringe reclamation projects added recently (Mazzaro & Stewart).

Basically it seems like a Seattle writer trying to fill real weaknesses in the Mariners' roster for busting prospects that don't fit the Pirates' needs at all. This belongs on the Trade Rumors and Free Agent Talk section it's so bad...

Smoak does interest me, and I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up in Pittsburgh by the end of this week...but Jaso and Noesi are nothing that we don't already have plenty of.

Trading Jones may well happen this week, and it would be a strike while the iron is hot situation. The problem with trading him is that we'd need to replace him...but his value isn't going to get any higher than it is right now. He's cheap, he's controllable (Jones is an anomaly in that he won't be eligible for free agency until 2016...when he's 35), he's proven that he can put up consistent numbers (over a season year-to-year at least, if not day-to-day or month-to-month)...he won't garner greatness via trade because he's likely reached his ceiling, which is basically an average first baseman, but he does have decent value, and if the right trade comes along then we should pull the trigger.

For the record, Smoak was B-A's #13 ranked prospect heading into the 2010 season (his last eligible for ranking). For comparison's sake, Jeff Clement was the #42 ranked prospect in his last year eligible for that. And to be fair, Smoak kept his starting position (deservedly so or not) all through last year. Before being traded to Pittsburgh Clement had spent the entire season in AAA. Clement was a reclamation project with 243 Major League at bats when he was acquired, Smoak is still a good prospect/project with 1,258 MLB at bats under his belt. The best the Pirates are going to do via trade is a buy low situation, and Smoak may well just be that option. A change of scenery may do him well, and getting away from the batter's hell that is Safeco may do wonders for him (though technically he'd be doing that by staying in Seattle too...they're bringing the walls in considerably; though mostly in left field). Something to chew on - in 66 games in both situations (19 more at bats on the road) Smoak hit only 4 home runs at Safeco...but 15 on the road (Jones went 13/14 with 27 more at bats on the road). His OPS was almost .200 points higher on the road than at home.

The more research I do the more I like Smoak as a buy low/reclamation project. It's just hard to go into a season with two reclamation projects at first, especially two guys that are better against lefties than righties. At least with Jones/Sanchez there's the clear righty/lefty platoon. Regardless of Smoak's upside, it's going to have to be a different group of players coming back with him. Jaso has value, especially in this catcher market, he just represents no value to the Pirates right now. Noesi seems like the kind of guy that's going to amass 10 teams before people figure out he's just not any good. He's the standard Yankees foreign import prospect who gets ungodly overrated over the simple fact that he's a Yankees foreign import. I doubt he's even on the Pirates radar outside of a toss-in situation just because of the competition there already is internally for the final rotation spot. If the Pirates trade for a pitcher, it'll be for a veteran known commodity. We've got enough wildcards as it is.

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Last edited by Big McLargehuge: 12-03-2012 at 01:25 AM.
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