There was no Hunter Pence or Justin Upton type move by the Pirates on July 31. Rather, GM Neal Huntington opted to go with a series of smaller moves that the organization believes will not only help them this year, but in the future as well. NH ended up pulling the trigger on three trades before the 4:00 PM deadline. I'll present the trades in chronological order after the jump.
TRADE 1: Pirates trade RHP Brad Lincoln to Toronto for OF Travis Snider
Anytime you can trade a reliever for an everyday position player, its generally a good move. I personally love this trade. Lincoln was selected 4th overall in the 2006 Draft, who never materialized into the starter he was projected to be. He had his most success in the bullpen, and was a guy who gave Clint Hurdle a lot of versatility in the bullpen. Travis Snider was also a 2006 1st round pick, who was rushed to the major leagues at only the age of 20. He's bounced from AAA and the Majors since, while battling injuries during that time. His line is .247/.308/.428 over his career in the Majors. Hopefully a change of scenery will help Snider become the All-Star caliber player he was projected to be coming out of high school.
TRADE 2: Pirates trade OF Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance 1st round pick to Miami for 1B Gaby Sanchez and minor league pitcher Kyle Kaminska
This is a trade I'm totally okay with. Gorkys never has been much of a hitter at all, hitting .083 in limited at-bats at the Major League level. The competitive balance pick was good to have as trade bait. Sanchez has spent most of this year in AAA, but his career numbers in the Majors are .260./.334./422. In fact, he combined for 38 home runs and 163 RBIs in 2010-2011, not too bad. It looks like he'll platoon with Garrett Jones at 1st base from now on.
TRADE 3: Pirates Trade 1B/3B Casey McGehee to Yankees for RHP Chad Qualls
I understand why this trade was made. With the addition of Sanchez, there would have been no playing time for McGehee. It's just that, Chad Qualls kinda, isn't very good. Qualls had already been DFA'd by the Phillies this year, and was going to be DFA'd again by the Yankees to make room for Joba Chamberlain. Qualls had a 6.14 ERA with the Yankees this year. So I guess getting Qualls is better than nothing, right?
After all the dust settled, the Pirates made no major moves, yet made a few smaller ones without having to give up any prospects in return. Will these moves help the Pirates reach the postseason? It remains to be seen.