This is GM Neal Huntington’s 10th trade deadline with the Pittsburgh Pirates. From the good, the bad and the ugly, let’s recap the previous nine as this year’s deadline looms closer.
Today, we’ll take a look at the deals Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington made in 2009.
The optimism of a new front office and manager were gone going into the 2009 season. The mission of the year was clear: salvage anything possible and complete the tear down of the old regime. Huntington made seven notable trades during the season, so he certainly kept busy.
June 3: Traded OF Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves for RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Jeff Locke and OF Gorkys Hernandez
June 3rd is not a traditional start date to trade deadline deals, but the Pirates got an overpay for those extra two months of control.
McLouth had a career year in 2008, winning the Gold Glove in center and earning an All-Star nod. He wasn’t quite matching those numbers early in 2009, but he was doing well enough to still be desired by the Braves. It ended up being the right call to sell high. McLouth was worth only 0.1 fWAR in his three seasons with Atlanta.
Hart for Gorzelanny was a fairly even swap in terms of stuff.
The Pirates were willing to trade him because Andrew McCutchen was tearing up AAA. Clearing a spot for the future MVP and franchise savior may be the best part of this trade.
Locke was an A ball pitcher a top 10 prospect with the Braves. Morton got his feet wet in the majors in 2008 and was showing promise. There are a lot of deals to discuss, so for the sake of brevity, I’m going to assume you know these two.
While both pitchers were mainstays in the rotation for years, the real prize at the time was Hernandez, who was ranked as the 62nd best prospect by Baseball America. He hit a wall offensively after the trade and never lived up to his promise. He still spent some time with the Bucs and is currently playing for the Giants.
This is often regarded as one of Huntington’s best deals for prospects, and it’s easy to see why. Morton and Locke were often targets of criticism, but they both turned out to be good middle-back of the rotation arms for a stretch.
June 30: Traded UTL Eric Hinske and cash to the New York Yankees for OF Eric Fryer and RHP Casey Erickson
It’s classic play for struggling teams: sign a veteran backup and then trade him at the deadline to a contender. That is exactly what happened here.
Neither Erickson nor Fryer were considered top prospects, but that’s hardly surprising in a deal for a utilityman. Erickson developed control problems in A+ in 2010- his last year in professional ball. Fryer went behind the plate has spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, including three with Pittsburgh.
The real winner in this deal was Hinske, who got to play in his third straight World Series (with three different teams, interestingly enough) and get a ring.