Man, Neal Huntington has put in more work during the trade deadline than Fronk Coonelly does at happy hour. Just when we thought the Gaby Sanchez deal was the last the Pirates would make, Neal squeezed in one last trade, this time with his trade buddies, the Yankees. The last time Neal and the Yanks made a deal at the deadline, the Buccos stole Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen and Jose Tabata…and Ross Ohlendorf for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. And let’s not forget how Neal saved AJ Burnett’s career from the Empire in February.
This time around, the Yankees were looking for some help at third base since A-Rod broke his hand (someone should send Felix Hernandez a fruit basket), and after acquiring Gaby, the Buccos could part with Casey McGehee in exchange for reliever Chad Qualls, who the Yankees just acquired from the Phillies at the beginning of July.
It was fun while it lasted for McGehee but he spent about a month of the season hitting below the Mendoza Line and if it weren’t for a monster June, he’d still be struggling to stay over .200, so for the Bucs to get anything for him is a solid move. McGehee’s 6 for his last 49 with 1 homer. With Pedro and Jones looking legit right now, and with Gaby available to fill in at first, the Buccos’ corner infield is set.
Qualls was pretty much in the same boat as McGehee; he just wasn’t doing anything so he got dealt. Qualls was a pretty solid right-handed reliever when he first entered the league and he put up great numbers in ’08 and ’09 but since then he’s just lost it. The Bucs are his sixth team since 2010 and his third this year…but if the Phillies and Yankees both wanted him, there’s got to be something there. He’s got a 4.89 ERA with a 1.58 WHIP this year with 21 K’s in 38.2 innings, and he’s blown 5 saves. With Correia in the pen and Hughes, Grilli and Hammer owning the last three innings, this is nothing more than a depth move for some experience in the pen. Either Daniel McCutchen is heading back to Indy already or Jordy Mercer is – depends on how many pitchers the Buccos decide to go with.
This deal was reported after the 4 p.m. deadline so there’s no way Huntington was able to do anything else. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the roster that the Pirates are going to try to ride into a pennant race:
C – Barajas
1B – Jones
2B – Walker
SS - Barmes
3B – Alvarez
LF – Marte
CF - McCutchen
RF – Snider
BENCH - C McKenry, 1B Sanchez, SS Mercer, OF Presley, UTIL Harrison
ROTATION - Burnett, McDonald, Rodriguez, Karstens, Bedrad
BULLPEN - Correia, Resop, Watson, Qualls, Hughes, Grilli, Hanrahan