Wednesday, July 29, 2009

PURGE CONTINUES AS WILSON, SNELL DEALT TO SEATTLE FOR FIVE PLAYERS PLUS BAG 'O BEANS



ABOVE: "Jumpin'" Jack Wison will take his act to the home of Starbucks Coffee and football crybabies.

The most amazing purge of players in Pittsburgh Pirates history continued today unabated as Neil Huntington continues to burn down the "old" Pirates team. Jack Wilson, their longest-tenured and most popular player was traded to Seattle today along with Indianapolis Indian and former Pirate pitcher Ian Snell. Seattle's G.M., Jack Zduriencik said in a press release:"This was an opportunity for us to acquire a veteran shortstop, a former All-Star player with leadership qualities and above average defensive skills. As we move forward over the next few years it is nice to know that we have solidified the shortstop position. We also acquired Ian Snell, a talented pitcher with Major League experience who now has an opportunity to re-start his career after a very successful re-assignment in Indianapolis."

Seattle is expected to retain Wilson for next season at $8.4 million, something the Pirates were definitely not prepared to do.

In return, yer Buccos git:

JEFF CLEMENT-- Clement was rated by "Baseball America" as Seattle's top rated prospect. He is a catcher and first baseman. Clement is no ordinary catcher either. He played his college ball at USC and won the "Johnny Bench Award" as the outstanding college catcher in the country in 2005. He left school after his junior year and finished with 46 home runs in his career, second only to famous juicer, Mark McGwire. He was Seattle's number one draft choice in 2005 and the third overall choice in that draft year. Clement was playing at triple-A Tacoma this year and is batting .288 with 33 doubles, 14 homers and 68 rbi.

Said Pirates wheeler-dealer and General Manager, Neal Huntington, "Our scouts have consistently projected Clement to be an everyday major league contributor with power to hit 20 plus home runs."

Clement's first assignment will be at Indianapolis. Steve Pearce and Ryan Doumit are currently out purchasing rearview mirrors.

RONNY CEDENO--Cedeno, a shortstop, was originally drafted by the Cubs and was traded to Seattle earlier this season. He is having a bad year at the plate and is currently mired in an 0-26 slump. In 59 games this year he is batting .167 (he currently weighs 180) but his career batting average is .238 over five seasons. Cedeno will report to Pittsburgh, presumably to audition for the Jack Wilson job at about $7.5 million less than they would have paid Wilson. Think of it this way: They would have needed to sell around three million Cokes and at least a million hot dogs to accomplish what G.M. Neal Huntington did today. Owner Bob Nutting was heard exclaming to Huntington in the Pirate offices today, "Ya done good today boy."

ABOVE: Ronny Cedeno won't scare many people at the plate, but neither did Jack Wilson. The good thing though is that he can't possibly do any worse than he is right now. He's not hitting his weight, heck he's not even at the Mendoza line. Batting .167, he's a prime candidate for a change of scenery, kinda like Adam LaRoche was, only in reverse.

AARON PRIBANIC--Pribanic is a right-handed pitcher playing for Clinton, Iowa in "A" ball. He is a former Nebraska Cornhusker who stands 6'4" 200 pounds. During his minor league career so far, he is 8-8 with a 3.83 e.r.a.. Pribanic was recently named to the Midwest "A" all star team.
ABOVE: Aaron Pribanic gets an old-fashioned butt chewing on the mound from his pitching coach at Nebraska, Eric Newman. Whatever he said must have worked as Pribanic made the all star team at "A" Clinton this year.

BRETT LORIN--Another big pitcher, Lorin is 6'6" and a teammate of Aaron Pribanic. His career numbers are 6-6 and a 3.00 e.r.a. Lorin was also named an all star this season.

ABOVE: "A" all star Brett Lorin will bring his sizable frame (6' 7") to the Pirates farm system.

NATHAN ADCOCK--Adcock stands at 6'5", weighs 195 and was a fifth round choice in 2006 playing this year for High Desert, Cal.. Adcock, a righty, is 10-25 in his minor league career with a 4.46 e.r.a..

As usual, the Pirates will be castigated by their fans for trading away a fan favorite, Jack Wilson, but in fairness to Wilson, even though he was handsomely compensated to do it, you have to be happy for him that now he'll have a chance to compete for the post season in Seattle. Who knows how long that will take here. Wilson was a good soldier, always played hard, is one of the top double play producing shortstops in history and always represented the Pirates well in the community and with his charitable work. Although everyone would have liked to have seen more bat production based on his salary, no one would ever question the work ethic that he brought to the park every day.

Jack Wilson was the consummate professional and if for no other reason, he set a great example for the younger players. But he wasn't getting any younger and his option year will cost Seattle $8.4 million next season. The Pirates are better served to continue acquiring players by the bushel basket load as they are now and letting the talent determine who will be on the major league roster. There is going to be some kind of competition and a lot of positions up for grabs next spring. For the first time in ages, there will be a plethora of young talent trying to make the move to the major league roster. It should be the most interesting training camp in at least 20 years.

ABOVE: Former Pirates head case, pitcher Ian Snell. Everyone predicted that he'd be shipped out by the trading deadline. At least he helped the Pirates by pitching well in Indianapolis.

Since Ian Snell was still considered a part of the Pirates 40 man roster while in Indy, the team can now make another move. Could it be time for "(B)Lastings" Milledge to begin showing what he can do in left field? Could be.

Stay tuned Pirates fans.

Once again this is a trade that will take years to evaluate because so many parts of it won't even impact the major league roster this year or who knows, maybe even never. But again, Huntington practiced addition by subtraction. The Bucs are now unburdened by Wilson's very heavy contract and have more leverage to perhaps sign wunderkind shortstop, 16-year-old Miguel Sano. Look for Freddy Sanchez to be traded very soon...probably to San Francisco. In fact, who knows, since the Pirates are on the west coast now and Sanchez is currently idled by a sore knee, he may have already played his last game as a Pirate.

ABOVE: Freddy Sanchez, his story portrayed in the popular movie by wacky actor, Tom Green, may be the next player fingered by Neal Huntington to ,"Get out of Dodge".