1B Sean Casey to the Detroit Tigers for RHP Brian Rogers
Not a bad trade, considering Casey's age (32), contract (I figure he's owed roughly three million dollars for the balance of the season), the fact that he'll be a free agent after the season and his history of injuries. Rogers probably isn't a blue chip prospect (he just turned 24 and he's still at Double-A), but he has good numbers. Still, Littlefield dealt from a team weakness (LH hitting) to improve what was already a team strength (RH relief pitching prospects).
RHP Roberto Hernandez and LHP Oliver Perez to the New York Mets for OF Xavier Nady
The more I look at this one, the less I like it. True, Hernandez was a forty-one year old one year rental, brought in to mentor closer hopeful Mike Gonzalez. And while I hated to see Perez go, I can't blame Littlefield for giving up on him. But Nady is a mediocre right-handed hitter with limited experience at 1B, the position he's going to play here. And I can't help getting the feeling that Littlefield did the same thing with Nady, whom he tried to get in 2003, that he did with Jeremy Burnitz; he got it into his head that he wanted the guy no matter what and just kept pursuing him until he finally got him. Never mind whether it was a good move or not.
There is one bit of irony in this trade; When the Pirates acquired Perez from San Diego for Brian Giles in '03, they also wanted Nady. But he was regarded as the Padres' top prospect and they wouldn't part with him. So the Pirates had to "settle" for Jason Bay.
RHP Kip Wells to the Texas Rangers for RHP Jesse Chavez
Let's see now; The Bucs have several good young RH relief pitching prospects and just acquired another one. They don't have much RH starting pitching. And with Perez banished to the minors before he was traded and Victor Santos moved to the bullpen, Wells was the only starter the Pirates had who had pitched on the major league level before last year, unless you count the three games Ian Snell got into in 2004. And after getting hammered in his first few starts after coming off the DL (where he'd been all season), he had pitched much better in his last three starts. So Littlefield traded him for Chavez, another RH relief pitcher, who just got promoted to Triple-A. *Sigh*
OF-1B-C Craig Wilson to the New York Yankees for RHP Shawn Chacon
This one really chaps my...butt. The Pirates trade Craig Wilson, who could have played 1B at least as well as Xavier Nady, for Chacon because they needed a veteran RH starter to replace Wells, who was traded for a RH relief pitcher, which gives the Bucs no less than four RH relief pitching prospects aged twenty-six years or younger. Not including twenty-three year old rookie Matt Capps, who's having a very good year. And Chacon's got an ERA of 7.00 after spending some time on the DL himself. *SIGH*
Anybody want to join me in starting a movement to bring major league baseball back to Pittsburgh?