I’ve talked a few times the last few days about how the July 31st trade deadline doesn’t represent the final opportunity to add talent for the 2011 season. I focused on the waiver trading period the other day, but what about waivers themselves? That’s a way that the Pirates have plugged holes on their team in the past, and it could be an option this year if the right players become available. As an example of how teams can add talent via waivers, let’s take a look at two moves that happened one year ago today.
A year ago today the Pirates were in a much different situation than they are currently in now. Their season was over with two months remaining. Not “over” as in “they’re on a losing streak, and dropped to a game below .500, and now everyone is jumping off the bandwagon” over. I mean “over” as in “they are 37-69, and just traded away almost every good member of their bullpen” over. Yet the Pirates made two waiver claims to give their bullpen a boost, even though there was no hope for the remainder of the season.
One year ago today, the Pirates claimed Chris Resop from the Atlanta Braves, and Chan Ho Park from the New York Yankees. The addition of Resop made a lot of sense. He was a guy having a great season in AAA, who had yet to translate his success over to the majors. If he could make that successful jump, the Pirates would have him under control for four more years. Park was a bit of a different story. He was making $1.2 M, and was only under control for the remainder of the 2010 season. The Pirates added him for the final two months of a lost season.
Both players ended up giving the bullpen a major boost. Park had a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings with the Pirates, along with a 7.3 K/9 and a 2.2 BB/9. He got off to a rough start in his first week, then settled down with a 1.93 ERA in his final 23.1 innings, with a 19:6 K/BB ratio. Meanwhile, Resop posted some impressive numbers, with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings, along with an 11.4 K/9 and a 4.7 BB/9 ratio.
Park ended up going to free agency, and heading back to Japan this season. Resop, on the other hand, remained with the Pirates, where fans were hoping he would cut down on his control issues, and have an “Evan Meek 2010” type breakout season. So far this year he’s put up a 3.38 ERA in 50.2 innings, with a 10.7 K/9 and a 3.6 BB/9 ratio. The Pirates still have him under control for three more years beyond the 2011 season.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.