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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Braves - Acquired McLouth
Atlanta Braves - Acquired CF Nate McLouth from the Pittsburgh Pirates for P Charlie Morton, OF Gorkys Hernandez, and P Jeff Locke.
I think Huntington misunderstood. People were calling for McLouth to be moved to left field, not to another city. This strikes me as a mistake on the part of the Pirates. With McLouth not a free agent until 2011 and already locked up at $5 million per, the team really needed to get a real impact prospect. Now, Jason Heyward was almost certainly off-limits here and probably Tommy Hanson, too, but couldn’t the Pirates have gotten at least a little higher in the Braves prospect pecking order? When you’re giving up a solid, cheap player and the other team isn’t giving up someone they’re likely to miss, you’re not getting fair value.
Morton’s pretty much a 5th starter, unlikely to really develop too much beyond that. Locke has a solid fastball and probably has the highest upside of any of the players going to Pittsburgh, but he’s also an A-ball pitcher and having trouble with walks this year. Hernandez has developed more than a lot of toolsy players of the type, but his power is still disappointing and his skills haven’t developed enough that you can overlook that.
The benefits for the Braves are pretty obvious. They acquire a player who instantly becomes their best outfielder, and give up none of their prized prospects. Yes, McLouth can’t stay in center long-term, but even at 10 runs below average (and he’s been a bit better this year), he’s still a solid contributor. The Braves still have Heyward and Schafer’s career is hardly over.
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