Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 8/1/12

Last year's trade deadline all of a sudden looks tame. Neal Huntington went nuts over the past day acquiring pieces to potentially improve the Pittsburgh Pirates. The key word in that statement in potentially. It is no secret what the front office was trying to do. They weren't renting players like they did last year for an ultimately futile run. They made deals over the past week in looking towards the future and they did it by acquiring players who are big risks but could give huge rewards.

I've already made my feelings known on the Wandy Rodriguez and Travis Snider deals. Before the deadline, the Pirates also acquired Gaby Sanchez and Kyle Kaminska in return for Gorkys Hernandez and the competitive balance draft pick. Sanchez is different from Snider in the sense that he has done it in the major leagues before. Each of the past two seasons, he had hit 19 home runs for the then Florida Marlins. However, the move to Miami also brought a move in Sanchez's production. He has spent a decent amount of time in AAA after hitting just .202 with three home runs so far this year. PNC Park isn't exactly friendly to right handed power hitters but Sanchez is a guy with good gap power that could become a doubles machine. I've always been a big Sanchez fan boy so initially I love this deal but I also realize it is risky in terms of the Pirates success this season.

The other guy, Kaminska, likely isn't much of a prospect but I don't know enough about him to really gauge that. He is 23 years old and was drafted in the 25th round of the 2007 draft. He was in AA for most of this year but did spend a little time in AAA. His ERA is high but he strikes out a decent amount of guys. In any case, he's not the guy to focus on.

In return, the Marlins received Hernandez who spent some time with the big club this year and is considered the best defensive outfielder in the Pirates' system. Ultimately, no tears are going to be shed that he is gone. He is fantastic in the outfield but doesn't present much value as a bat. If he ever did figure it out from the plate, he could potentially be a good lead off hitter but that's stretching it and there was just no room in the outfield, especially after the Snider trade.

The Pirates also acquired reliever Chad Qualls from the New York Yankees in return for Casey McGehee. There is no point in looking too deep into this deal. The Pirates were likely going to waive McGehee after the other deals so the thought process was to get something for him. Qualls is pretty awful. You don't need to see his numbers. Just trust me on that one. Basically, there is really no reason to get too worked up in either direction about this deal.

Daniel McCutchen was also recalled from AAA to take Brad Lincoln's spot on the roster. Kind of a surprising move. It was assumed that Bryan Morris would finally get an opportunity so this looks like a move based solely on major league experience.

All in all, the trade deadline was a success. Why do I say this? Big splash moves just weren't out there. There were a ton more of these little moves being made around the league than the big moves. Big names had high price tags this year because there were a lot more buyers than sellers. And even with what the Pirates did, they did infinitely more to improve their team than the Cincinnati Reds or St. Louis Cardinals did, the two teams that they're fighting for the division for. All the Cardinals did was acquire Edward Mujica and all the Reds did was acquire Jonathan Broxton. I'll take the collection of players the Pirates got in comparison to that all day.


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