Monday, March 2, 2015

Travis Snider Trade.

Travis Snider was traded to the Orioles for a pair of lefty pitching prospects.  I was immediately upset with this trade and here is why.

One thing the Pirates farm system is known for is depth including their pitching.  Adding two pitchers who won't be even to AAA for years seemed pointless when they could probably get similar from the Draft.  Especially when both of the guys have concerns from control to off the field.

After last years performance Travis Snider is a starter on many teams.  In fact he will probably be starting in Baltimore.  With out Travis there is no backup to Polanco should he fail to produce at the MLB level until mid summer when the Pirates consider bringing up new minor league players.

So my big problem.. why such low return for such a good player?  Turns out, it may not be such a low return and I need to #STFD.

The Pirates pitching depth is pretty good, however there are few lefties in the mix.  Adding two that have decent upside regardless of the concerns is not a horrible thing.  We know the Pirates have been great in recent years with taking problems and warping them in to advantages with a few exceptions of course.  If they can take the worst starting pitcher in the MLB and turn him into a an above average player (Edison) they should be able to mold tools in younger players as well.

Travis Snider did have good numbers last year.  Saved many bases with his defensive awareness gunning it to second keeping runners at first.  Not the best range but made up for it with his awareness and good arm.    The problem is that he only did it one year, expecting Travis to come out hit .300 and 35 HRs is a long shot but to see him come out .260 with 20 HRS will probably happen with the at bats.  I don't think we've see his total potential yet and is definitely a player that needs more at bats.

Travis was not going to see those at bats in Pittsburgh unless Polanco falls apart and Pittsburgh had one too many left handed bats.  Clearly Travis was going to be blocked from playing and was a Trade canidate.

The move gives two players with good upside in 4-5 years in a needed position (lefty pitchers) frees up right field for Polanco to get all the time he needs to adjust to MLB pitching and saves a few bucks ( I think around 1.5M? ).    It isn't a horrible trade off but it all comes down to Polanco as long as he isn't BAD then it is not a horrible trade and anything the pitchers do is bonus.  But if Polanco falls apart then this is going to be a long summer.

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