Pirates/Indians purposed deal
I know I'm the only Buccos fan here, but it may also be of interest to Tribe fans...here's the new deal being talked about:
Winter Meetings: Pirates, Indians discuss five-player deal involving Bay
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- That Jason Bay deal, all of a sudden, is alive.
In a surprising twist, the Pirates and Cleveland Indians revived talks at the Opryland Hotel late last night and developed a framework for a five-player trade, Bay and catcher Ronny Paulino going to Cleveland for outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, catcher Kelly Shoppach and either starter Cliff Lee or a minor-league pitching prospect.
The deal is not done. The sides are expected to continue talking late this morning.
Most of yesterday, it seemed as if the Pirates and Indians were finished -- at least for the time being -- on the Bay front. But it is possible that Cleveland felt pressured to make a bold move when its American League Central Division rival, the Detroit Tigers, made the blockbuster acquisition of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins earlier in the day.
Gutierrez, 24, is a right-handed hitter capable of playing center and right field who batted .266 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs in 271 at-bats last season. The team employing him would own his rights until 2012.
Shoppach, 27, is a right-handed hitter with some pop -- .261 average, seven home runs in just 161 at-bats -- and he is trapped in Cleveland behind Victor Martinez. His rights would be retained for four years.
Lee, 29, would add another left-hander to a rotation that already has three. He won 14, 18 and 14 games in 2004-06 but dipped to 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA last season and was demoted to Class AAA at one point. He is guaranteed $10.5 million the next two seasons.
More details to come this morning.
Total sell low move on Bay, bad choice by the Pirates to move him after this past season.
But if they feel like this is just the beginning of the downturn that isn't a bad couple of guys to get back. I know Shoppach fairly well from his days as a Sox prospect. He catches and calls a pretty good game, has a nice arm, and he's a very good fastball hitter so I could see his offense playing well in the NL. He also teamed with Freddy Sanchez a few seasons in the minors so he'd have a friendly face on the team from day one (I can't imagine Sanchez being anything but a friendly face to anyone though).
I think Lee's stuff would also play well in the NL. I could see him winning 14+ games there.
Gutierrez is a question mark but also offers higher upside. He needs to prove himself some defensively and show some consistency at the plate, but for a growing team like the Pirates he wouldn't be a bad addition to have around.
All around I think it could help the Pirates out quite a bit, mostly because it should give them two positional players who are actually offensive pluses. Bay is a great player but when your lineup is basically Bay, Sanchez, and a bunch of rotating parts you aren't going to get much done. Its not a bad call to move him while he still brings a decent return, probably solidify two of the hardest filled positions (C and CF) with at least league average producers, and add a quality starter. It'd also put them in a good position to hang onto Sanchez and maybe have some money to play with in the future.
Its really too bad they did such early damage to Zack Dukes' career. When will teams learn that you can't take a guy straight out of the minors and expect 200+ innings in his first ML season? Pitchers need to be developed gradually, adding more innings each season and they should never throw over 200 until after they're 25. Let them fully mature physically and mechanically before you ask them to carry you.
Just a couple of things here though:
Bay was being shopped based on his 2006 numbers.....2007 was not kind to Bay to say the least and it also brought him into question with the organization. "A beginning of a downturn" is quite possible with him but the main reason why he's being shopped is his salary (surprise, surprise).
I like what the possible return was....especially Shoppach since Paulino is wayyy overrated (He sucks).
The lineup is actually Bay, Sanchez, LaRouche and a bunch of rotating parts :)
The Duke thing was due to tinkering of mechanics only.....same thing that happened to Oliver Perez when he was there. It's hard seeing new pitching coach Jim Andrews making the same kind of mistakes with a young staff that basically ruined those guys but these are the Pirates......snakebitten is a way of life @ PNC Park.
If the deal was really being assessed as equal to Bay's '06 value I could see something like Shoppach, Lee, and Andy Marte (3B prospect, killed AAA for three seasons now but has struggled with each spot of ML action, was a top 10 prospect two years back) being the return.
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