The Pittsburgh Pirates deal at the deadline

July 31, 2009

Having already dealt CF Nate McLouth, 1B Adam LaRoche, OF Nyjer Morgan and numerous other players through June and early July, the Pirates have continued their activity this week:

July 29: SS Jack Wilson, RHP Ian Snell and cash to Seattle Mariners for 1B Jeff Clement, SS Ronny Cedeno and prospects. Wilson brings excellent defense to the surprising Mariners, while Snell has had some success as a big-league starter. Key to the deal for the Bucs are Single A pitching prospects Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock, who could act as seat-fillers to make home games a little less sad to TV viewers.

July 30: 2B Freddy Sanchez to San Francisco Giants for P Tim Alderson. One-time batting champion Sanchez helps stabilize the Giants' infield defense and adds a "professional hitter" to a lineup of free-swingers. The 6'6" Alderson might never pan out but should be able to reach things on high shelves, including that bag of pretzels in the general manager's office.

July 30: LHP Tom Gorzelanny and LHP John Grabow to Chicago Cubs for RHP Kevin Hart and RHP Jose Ascanio. Getting left-handed bullpen help is never a bad idea in a pennant race, and so the Cubs were willing to part with Hart, who was effective filling in for the injured Ted Lilly. The prospects Hart will be traded for in July 2010 could figure prominently into the Pirates' future plans, possibly as toss-ins for a 2013 deal.

July 31: C Ryan Doumit, Captain Jolly Roger and the Pirate Parrot to Bill Stoneman's Used Cars for a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo with 139,000 miles. Doumit and the two costumed mascots should help boost sales at Stoneman's lot, which has been hurt by the economic downturn. The Rodeo has enough miles to get general manager Neal Huntington to Florida, where he plans to stare at the ocean and "you know, think stuff through for a few days."

July 31: The 1960 World Series championship and the memories of Willie Stargell to the New York Yankees for half a bag of mildew-covered baseballs. The Yankees get their coveted 27th World Series Championship, reversing one of their most notorious postseason defeats, plus another plaque in the Hall of Fame. The half-bag of mildew-covered balls has been given a $25 million, 4-year contract and is slotted to play right field, pending a physical.

July 31: The Primanti Brothers sandwich concession and the right to kick every Pirates season-ticket holder one time squarely in the groin to the Cincinnati Reds for any juicy gossip. The Reds get a fine complement to Skyline Chili, while the Pirates will finally know what all the other teams are saying about them.

July 31: PNC Park to the Mt. Lebanon School District for the home phone number of this one middle school kid who we hear throws pretty hard. A win-win. The Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils get the most beautiful stadium in baseball for 2010, while the Bucs will play in the cozier high-school setting, and can nurture a relationship with an allegedly hard-throwing youngster, who could easily be flipped for elementary school students if his salary demands are too high.

July 31: $23.2 million in small, unmarked bills and the entire roster of the AA Altoona Curve to the Texas Rangers for a bag of magic beans. Planted in the pitcher's mound at PNC Park, the beans could produce a mighty stalk climbing to a castle in the clouds, where there lives a giant with a goose who lays golden eggs! The Pirates will then see if that giant has any interest in taking the contract of LHP Zach Duke off their hands.

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