Pirates Acquire Marlon Byrd and John Buck for Dilson Herrera

Marlon Byrd Mets
The Pirates acquired Marlon Byrd


The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the New York Mets, according to Adam Rubin.

We heard earlier that an unknown team claimed Marlon Byrd, and obviously that team is the Pirates. Joel Sherman speculated today that the Pirates could also be interested in Buck, due to their need for catching. I’m surprised that Byrd made it past the Reds and to the Pirates. I’m also surprised Buck was added, since he doesn’t really have the pitch framing skills that the Pirates go for.

No word yet on the players going back to New York. Byrd is only under control through the remainder of the 2013 season. Buck is also a free agent at the end of the year, so both are just rentals. Buck is making $6 M this year, so he will be owed about $1 M for the rest of the season. Byrd is making $700 K this year, so he’ll only cost a little over $100 K.

UPDATE 2:08 PM: Jon Heyman reports it’s for a minor leaguer and a PTBNL, and that the Pirates are getting cash in the deal.

UPDATE 2:10 PM: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports the player is Dilson Herrera.

UPDATE 2:13 PM: Thoughts on the deal…

As I said this morning, the addition of Byrd will upgrade right field. It will also upgrade the bench with Jose Tabata moving out of the starting spot. That assumes Tabata continues to hit well. If Starling Marte can’t return sooner rather than later, then this adds a good replacement for him.

Buck is hitting for a .215/.285/.367 line in 368 at-bats this year, with 15 homers. He has power, but that’s pretty much it. At this point he’s another catcher for September, and maybe the guy they turn to in October. The Pirates can send Tony Sanchez down for ten days, and bring him back as the third catcher in September. They could also still bring up Kelly Shoppach and get creative with Sanchez or Martin elsewhere on the field.

Dilson Herrera was our number ten ranked prospect. He’s a Grade B hitter who has a great approach at the plate. He hasn’t had a dominant year at the plate this year in West Virginia, but he has held his own considering his young age. The Mets got a great return getting Herrera for one month of Byrd and Buck. The Pirates can afford to give that return, considering their system. They also don’t have any immediate middle infield needs (Herrera is only a second baseman), and they’ve got other options in the long-term like Alen Hanson and Jordy Mercer for the middle infield.

UPDATE 3:40 PM: James Santelli’s analysis…

Jose Tabata
Jose Tabata is not a playoff-worthy starter against left-handed pitching. Byrd is. (Photo credit: David Hague)

The Mets won this trade. I doubt the Pirates really care.

GM Neal Huntington is out of the business of winning deals. He is currently in the business of winning a World Championship. Byrd and Buck will help the Pirates do that.

Don’t misunderstand — Huntington should not have made what he calls an “insane” trade to upgrade the Major League roster, like acquiring Bud Norris for Tyler Glasnow or Alex Rios for a list that reads “PICK THREE PROSPECTS FROM HERE.” This trade falls more under the category of what Huntington would call “stupid.”

It’s a stupid trade. It’s stupid to deal a top-100ish middle infield prospect and what could be a pretty good PTBNL for one month and however many playoff games of Marlon Byrd and John Buck. It’s dumb, and it’s easy to see Herrera as good, speedy second baseman for the 2016-2022 Mets.

Oh well.

The Pirates needed to add offense at that corner, as they have the NL’s worst offense from right field this season. Not that Byrd is a magic bullet, but he is an absolute upgrade there.

Let’s look at a sample of outfielders and their wRC+ since the start of 2010. Remember 100 is league average:

  • Hunter Pence – 118
  • Alfonso Soriano – 110
  • Nate Schierholtz – 107
  • David DeJesus – 107
  • Garrett Jones – 105
  • Raul Ibanez – 105
  • Marlon Byrd – 104
  • Jason Kubel – 102
  • Jose Tabata – 101
  • Alex Rios – 99

So let’s not overstate what Byrd brings to the Bucs. Byrd will destroy left-handed pitching (Tabata has virtually no platoon split) and be a good defensive outfielder, but he will also frustrate you by striking out a lot and walking a little. But he’s a good hitter, he will crush an important home run at some point, and he is coming to Pittsburgh during a career year and career second half (2nd in NL total bases since the All-Star Break).

Also, don’t discount that Buck is a decent home-run hitter. He offers little else offensively, but there are worse options to have as your backup catcher. Buck also rates strong defensively, including very good pitch-blocking ability, which is important to keep Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole breaking balls from becoming wild pitches. He was probably included for the Mets to shed his salary, but he could battle with Tony Sanchez in September to be the backup playoff catcher.

This is not a blockbuster Giancarlo Stanton acquisition. The Pirates lost the trade. But they had to lose. There were no trades out there that Huntington could “win” and also improve the 2013 team heading into October.

Byrd fills a need, especially as a lefty-masher in right. Herrera was valuable but, as the team’s No. 10 prospect, expendable in a deep system.

You lost, Neal. Well done.

  • It’s ridiculous the way some of these repliers are over-reacting, as if Dilson Herrera is some kind of franchise super-prospect. (He’s not.) This is laughable.

    The one I’d be worried about is the player to be named later, as Neal has already stated that it is a pretty good player who will make you say “ouch” rather than “who?’. Not Herrera. I have absolutely no problem giving up Herrera for Byrd & Buck. That is steal if it was only Herrera for them.

    Having been a fan since 1969, I’ve been through many of these late season enhancements, and this is one of the better ones during my history.
    I’m happy to get both players, they will definitely both help this team.

    You have to give up good stuff to get good stuff, so I’ll live with whoever the PTBNL is. I like both players we got (especially Byrd, but Buck’s 60 RBI so far this year is no fluke either.) I still hope they get Morneau too.

  • I’m okay with the trade only because the Pirates seem to be doing well identifying International talent. Herrera does seem to be an overpayment for a rental but the potential for another infield option to emerge in the next few years is there.
    I wonder if the PTBNL is conditional on how well the Pirates do. If the Pirates win the division then Mets get Player A, if the Pirates get a Wild Card spot but lose the 1 game playoff then Mets get Player B or even perhaps if the Pirates win the WS then Mets get Player C. Not sure if GM’s do that or not.

    • Why does he have to be a rental? It would make sense to sign him to a 1 or 2 yr deal, assuming he shows something in September/October until Polanco is ready to assume the RF position.

      • Sure, that is a possiblity. The Pirates did try to sign Derrek Lee after the 2011 season.
        As of right now, Byrd is a rental. If he signs with the Pirates next year then he isn’t a rental anymore. Although I’m not sure if signing Byrd would make sense for the Pirates as Polanco will be in the Majors mid 2014.

        • Unless he tears up AAA, I’d leave Polanco in the minors next year (maybe a September call up). Why rush the kid?If he were called up next July lets say he would be just over a year removed from High A ball. Seems like a stretch to me.

  • Lee, it’s not meant as a personal slam. When it comes to players you are very fair weather-ish. You always have been. 90 percent of fans are. A player struggles for any stretch of time, you’re ready to cut bait and move them. Of course K-Dro sticks out but there have been more over the years. Thank god the front office has more patience.

    • Kerry…thanks for that….it sure read like a slam, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

      I’m on PG Plus 10 times more than I am on here and I have never been accused of being fair weathered about players.

      I guess I will have to watch out how I post here. If anything, I have been accused of being too pro-prospect.

      I will agree that I have never been a K-dro fan. I like his bombs, but I still feel he could be so much more. Not sure who else I have been down on. I was not in favor of moving our top guys for Pence or Rios or even Stanton.

      I have never been negative about Hererra….he is what he is. John D has talked him up a lot, but I never thought he’d be a star.

      I’ve been up and down on JT, Heredia and Cole’s ceilings, but I’ve never advocated trading them, have i?


  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    August 27, 2013 5:36 pm

    Without knowing who the PTBNL is, it is really difficult to really come to a final conclusion on this trade. If it is a B prospect or more, I will consider this trade a short-sighted and bad deal – but, those are the kind of trades that happen this time of year. The GM is kind of stuck in a “damned if you do or damned if you don’t” situation.

    I really like the addition of Byrd – and always thought he was the best option likely out there – time will tell if this pays off or not. I am not enthused about adding Buck, but to get Byrd may have been contingent on the inclusion of Buck. I would suspect that a guy like Morneau or Morales would have cost much more.

    I don’t like giving up any promising young players, and Herrera certainly is one. Only 19, yet playing everyday and showing great promise in his first full season of A. He could end up being a very good MLB player, or he may never play an inning in MLB – he is too far off to really project with any degree of certainty. We do have some other potentially good middle infielders (Hansen, JaCoby Jones, Montilla, etc), so losing Herrera is not a killer. Again, it all depends on who else we give up in this trade. I hope its not a B prospect or better…..

  • BallHeadWonder
    August 27, 2013 4:52 pm

    Hey Guys……We just won the Pennant!!! All of y’all been screaming about making an upgrade to Right Field. We make an upgrade and now y’all screaming about giving up a Low A ballplayer that is 4 years away from The Show!!! We can’t have it both ways!! Great job NH for pulling the trigger to get it done. You have made our Pirates a contender and I trust and know this is the right move for us!! Byrd will help us A WHOLE LOT!!! I will enjoy this Month long Rental. Let’s go win this thing!!

  • Pie gets DFAed and Sanchez gets sent down. McHenry to the 60 day DL.

    I’m a bit concerned about the PTBNL. Just the way Neal spoke about it, makes me nervous. But if it’s nobody significant (say, Snider), I’m happy with the trade.

    I just hope Byrd can keep it up. He’s been playing since December (winter ball) and is no spring chicken. He should be a good #5 hitter and protection for Pedro. He also makes opposing managers think a little bit longer when bringing in a lefty for that stretch with Pedro and GI Jones.

    • I think the Fort is already on the 60-day. It’ll most liely be Pie and Sanchez going down. Lambo wins the lottery by staying on the roster as of September 1, making him a potential add for the playoff roster.

  • I think they should send Pie and Lambo down and give Sanchez a chance to be on the roster thru the weekend. Then he will be eligible for the playoffs, Just in case.

  • One of the problems with posting on a public forum is that some people think they can diss a person because they don’t agree with their opinions.

    I hate to break it to you, but most things we post here ARE opinions. Just because someone doesn’t agree with YOURS does NOT make them an idiot or that their posts should be ignored. Plus, some people tend to be brave behind a keyboard.



  • Well, THIS sucks, but now I’m glad we got Byrd!

    “Michael Sanserino ‏@msanserino…
    Starling Marte will not need surgery, but it will be two weeks before he said he can start swinging again.”


  • CalipariFan506
    August 27, 2013 3:58 pm

    I’d prefer to just DFA Buck.

    • Buck is hitting .299 with RISP! The Pirates offensive woe’s are solved!
      Heh kidding. Still interesting, for a guy hitting .215, .299 with RISP is impressive even if it’s SSS (113 PA).

  • Don’t mind Lee. He tends to give up on players every time they slump. K-Dil had no chance with his Pirates. Depending on the second player, this brings in a much needed bat in Byrd regardless of Marte. Pie will be DFA and hopefully one of theIinjured pitchers moved to 60 day to make room on the 40 man. One of Lambo or Sanchez moved off the 25 man to make room.

    I would have preferred to give up less, but I’m sure Met fans would have preferred to get more. Overall I’m pleased.

    • Since when have I given up on players every time they slump?

      All I am saying is that Herrera is not an elite prospect.

      I’ve not seen you post here before, but be that as it may, I see no reason for your personal slam.


    • Btw, Kerry, I LIKED this trade.

      My points were: Dilson is not that big of a piece to give up.


  • I don’t get why anyone would correlate Byrd coming to Marte being done. They are in an extremely close race and a few days are so important…and most importantly, the offense needed a RF regardless of if Marte is playing or not. Having Byrd 3-4 weeks ago until now would have been huge in all those 12-14 inning games they played. Byrd makes them better now and when Marte gets back it makes the middle of the lineup a lot stronger and gives Pedro some protection. I like the idea of having Buck in there and hopefully him running into 4-5 HR down the stretch, while Martin rests also. Although I never got why Buck got 6 mil a year. He is just a guy and a similar player to Barajas when Barajas was decent.

    • Well Buck’s hit 4 HRs in the 3 months while getting pretty significant playing time. That’s a pretty huge “hopefully” that he would match that in one month of limited time. If he contibute’s anything, it’s a bonus. Byrd is the only one worth anything in this trade.

  • I don’t think Herrera was much to give up for a couple of people that could help the Pirates get to the playoffs. I think on the depth chart he might have been rated higher than Cunningham, but Cunningham would wind up ahead of him in the long run because of his power, I don’t care much about Cunningham’s other faults at this time, power trumps everything. Mercer never seemed to impress people, but he is a major league player and a good one. This Pirates regime will always trade small pop-corn hitting infielders before they use them at the major league level.

  • Another factor to consider. This means Lambo and Tony Sanchez will be undoubtedly be sent down. This trade is for Herrera plus what Sanchez and and Lambo would contribute for the rest of the year. If the player to be named has any value it get even more lopsided. NH panicked. The only way this trade even makes a modicum of sense is if Marte cannot play for the rest of the year.

    • or a crazy thought… maybe we just upgraded our RF position. I’d rather have the veteran who is having a great year play over Lambo (whom I do like, but rather have the prove commodity). The bench gets stronger when Marte gets back pushing Tabs to the 4th OF hole. Buck might be able to run into a hr off the bench, but I’d rather see Sanchez stay up. This is valuable big league experience for him

    • I don’t know how we can make it without Lambos 150 average and Sanchez’s 220 average. This trade actually allows those guys to play everyday and get playoff experience. Might make them better in the future.

  • CalipariFan506
    August 27, 2013 3:36 pm

    I think if you wait until he is 21 and in AA you know what you have. Even if that is much much better trade bait. JMHO.

    • CalipariFan506
      August 27, 2013 3:38 pm

      Or maybe he is at peak value now. I don’t know. Just would have much rather traded Dickerson who I think has peaked value about a month ago.

    • True, but at that point you may find out you have nothing, for your team or as trade bait.

      This is all a re-hash of the Wandy trade. Everyone complained the Bucs gave up too much for him, but essentially they gave up 3 nobodies (yeah I know Grossman was supposedly a prosect, but he has very limited upside, sounds familiar, yes?) for a nice piece to the puzzle.

      Everyone also complained when they didn’t get a RF at the deadline this year. They just added the best RF available and everyone still complains that they gave up too much. Why is everyone just like my wife?

  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington said PTBNL in Byrd-Buck deal could be a “pretty good piece.”

    Wouldn’t say if MLBer is possibility.


  • Great move! I project Herrera as a utility inf. if he even makes it. I had him as our 22nd prospect right now. We needed a bat and RF so we got what we need. I could care less about the Buck part.

  • So……have you heard about the word? I like the move, mainly because I wasn’t big on Herrera. Its a needed upgrade to RF that improves the bench as well. I’m still very curious to hear who the PTBNL is though because that may change my opinion.

  • Interesting note on Byrd… he’s a much better away hitter than home. So if Clint can convince him every game is now an away game, Byrd could be an absolute terror.

  • Btw, Dilson Herrera was only rated number 20 in Baseball America’s Prospect Book. It said he has ‘holes in his swing’ and projects as an average infielder at 2b. Brock Holt was # 22, btw.

    Tim had him at # 12 (now # 10), so he likes him more than Jim Callis.

    Still, nothing great, imho


  • This is horrible. A total overpay for renting a known PED user who is miraculously having a career year and an over the hill catcher. Personally I hope Byrd has a career ending injury on his way to the airport because I do not want to see that cheat in a Buc uniform.

  • A lot of unknowns, cash, PTNL, but on straight valuations the Pirates overpaid, (Grade B hitter = 5.5 million, and middle infielders with offense are worth more). However they traded from position where depth exists (according to Tim), and addressed a glaring need. Arguments about future value of Herrera are not informative in evaluating the trade, a more interesting question is what would this trade looked like a month ago. And Marte out for the season, with a metacarpal- phalangeal sprain, I hope not? But again a lot of unknowns.

  • ThisIsTheYear
    August 27, 2013 3:09 pm

    One thing this trade is not, is terrible. Was it necessary is the next question. Hererra is very far from a guarantee to be a decent major leaguer, and while I kept expecting it to happen, Byrd has not slowed down yet. Im still not sure it was necessary to give up Hererra though.

  • CalipariFan506
    August 27, 2013 3:07 pm

    I only like this move if Marte is going to potentially be out for the season. Other than that it’s a grasp IMO.

    • I think Byrd offers protection for Alvarez AND he helps our lineup vs lefties.

      You sound like Herrera is the next Joe Morgan or something. He’s not.


      • Probably not but he was the best hitting prospect @ WV

        I like the trade for both teams

        Other piece? One of the pitchers on the 40-man roster? McPherson, Irwin, Oliver, Stolmy?

    • Why, do you have something against having 3 OFs that can all hit in a lineup together?

    • The Pirates are playing to get to the World Series as they should be. Either you way overvalued the players they had playing RF or you don’t seem to care if they win or lose this year. I get not wanting to trade future players for the present but this guy has back up infielder all over him. He is to small we have a top 10 prospect in front of him as well as a home town hero. Behind him we have some solid players. Sooner or later you either trade these types of guys or they get moved in the rule 5 for nothing. I love the trade and if it gets the Bucs the division it will guarantee a massive financial return ( 3-10 home games) which can lead to better players in the future.

  • This is a great move. Byrd is solid and gives us an abov average player with good power in the weak part of our lineup (rf). Neal Huntington should be GM of the year. Herrera is a good prospect but I think he would be average in the MLB if he makes it. Can’t stress, a great day to be a buccos fan.

  • I don’t mind giving up Herrera. He is not as good as Polanco or Bell.

    Have to over pay somewhat at this stage to make a deal.

    Herera has a chance to be a regular infielder at major league level and he has a chance to be an Abe Nunez too (Abe was supposed to be one of those great field, very fast and potentially decent bat short stops from San Pedro Demarcos) and turned into a no hit, not great speed utility infielder. The Bucs have minor league depth and this was move to use it to help the major league team.

    Decent risk in going for Division now. To me this moves says that NH wants to go for Division and not settle for wild card.

  • So, if as Tim alludes, Herrera still had some promise, was it too much for a one month rental? He WAS our 2 rated infielder.

    I think he had a disappointing year (my opinion only), so I have no problem with it.


  • At his 2013 rate, we can expect to get 5 homers from Byrd (assuming neutral park effects). Assuming we would have gotten 1-2 out of whoever would have been out there, and we traded a top 15 prospect for 3-4 dingers. A team can go poor in a hurry at that exchange rate.

    This helps a lot against lefties but seems only a small upgrade against righties, even without Marte. Herrera is a good bit to give up for a lot of help in the few (10?) games left against lefty starters. But it will play well with many fans, and that can’t be underestimated.

    • Personally, I wasn’t high on Herrera. I don’t think the Bucs were either.

      Again, jmho.


    • Byrd’s .783 OPS vs. RHP puts him essentially tied with Walker (.795)for 3rd place on the Bucs, behind only Cutch and Pedro. That alone seems like a pretty good upgrade. His OPS vs. LHP is awesome and makes the Buccos legitimate lefty killers with Cutch, Marte, Mercer, Gabby and Byrd all near or over 1.000 OPS vs. LHP.

      Yes, statistically 1 upgraded player probably only adds 1 win over the rest of the season. But in the real world (i.e. non-stats world), clutch hits and more runs scored could mean a ton to the entire team. And if that 1 extra win comes in the NLDS or WS, that would be pretty big.

      Sure I hate seeing Dilson traded, but his upside wasn’t huge and he may never make it at all. And we still have Jarek Cunningham as a future 2B! (OK that was a joke)

  • I have no problem giving up Dilson for Byrd- hoping the PTBL is nothing significant

  • I don’t see any value in Buck- but with byrd’s year, he could help quite a bit right now when we need it the most. I would keep Buck as a 3rd catcher and leave shoppach in AAA. I wouldn’t send down Sanchez as I feel he adds more value to a postseason roster than buck or shoppach. Put Buck on waivers and send him to AAA until September 1 if noone takes him then call him up

    • As a Met fan who has watched Buck for this entire season, I think you may be underestimating him. The bottom line with Buck (and many other fringe starting catchers) is that he should NOT have been an everyday starter. His hitting suffers in a big way. But if you limit him to a couple games each week, he is a very, very strong 2nd catcher. Will hit for power and has been clutch, despite his average. Just too worn down playing every day. Defensively, he has been extremely good, as has his handling of the pitching staff and clubhouse presence.

      Now its possible that you don’t see that down the stretch, but if played on a limited basis, don’t be surprised if you do, and you like him.

      Byrd has been great so far this year, but as a Met fan, I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall. So far it has not, and I hope he keeps it up all year for you guys. Has been a great clubhouse guy as well.

      I’m happy with the trade. Herrerra and a decent PTBNL was good value for what we traded, knowing full well that most prospects do not pan out. It’s all a numbers game. The more you have, the more likely to get lucky.

  • My initial reaction was I didn’t like giving up Herrera. I would’ve thought the Mets could use guys like Curry and/or some of the relievers and others in the 15-25 prospect range. Even Hague would give them some protection for Ike Davis. Or d’Arnaud could be with his brother. Pirates have some flotsam on the 40-man to move before the Rule 5 draft.

    But, Neal is showing he’s going for it with Byrd. And one really can’t complain too much about that. It changes the nature of the batting order and gives Cutch and even Pedro a bit more protection (for those who buy into that concept, which I do).

    Honestly, I’d rather have had Ike Davis than Buck, although Buck is having his best year with 30% CS. Still would’ve been preferable if Kelly Shoppach found what’s left of his swing, but looks like he’s all but done now. Maybe Bucs will flip Buck for something.

    Other thought is that Twins must be kicking themselves. If they could’ve got Herrera for Morneau and passed, they are morons.

  • Cato the Elder
    August 27, 2013 2:40 pm

    Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.

  • I’m a fickle Pirates fan for sure, but I don’t understand all this negativity over a guy who is at best 3-4 YEARS away and currently hitting .265 with 110SO.

    We improved the team for TODAY and the stretch run. Unless Byrd becomes another Ludwick, he will help this team NOW.

    Dilson Herrara…..please…..be happy the Pirates are in this position to begin with and not the team trading their stars for players like Herrara.

    Just be Happy, Happy, Happy and enjoy the ride.

  • CalipariFan506
    August 27, 2013 2:39 pm

    Yes, this trade makes me feel like we may have seen the end of Marte in 2013.

    • Why??? Unless you know something I don’t, Marte will be back Monday. They didn’t even want to put him on the DL, he should be fine. This move was about us having scrubs in RF all year and needing some punch in a lineup that needs it.

  • Its a second base prospect who we won’t see for years likely will have other guys to replace. Good trade for both sides

  • Herrera is a good prospect, but he’s not irreplacable. I’d agree that this pretty much a must-do for the Pirates. I’m surpirsed the Reds let Byrd pass.

    • You know what? He’s not irreplaceable. If this guy turns out to be a star when he comes up in 2016 then ok it’s a bad trade. But for now I’m OK with the trade. And if Byrd starts hitting and gets that single that we can never seem to get in extras then I’ll take it.

    • Simple, and well-stated. Very reasonable trade.

  • At first, most of you complained that the Pirates didn’t get an impact bat at the trade deadline. Now they trade for a guy with 21HR, 70RBI, and .285 AVG along with a power bench bat and you complain that the Pirates gave up too much. Herrera was always going to be blocked by Hanson and he is still young and unproven. The Pirates didn’t jeopardize the teams future and also made the current team better. The Future Is Now!!

    • BostonsCommon
      August 27, 2013 2:35 pm

      Herrera was always going to be blocked by his physical limitations. There just aren’t many impact players in MLB that small. Unless NH just traded away Dustin Pedroia, the Pirates will not miss him.

      • I more or less agree; Herrera is a bat-first, if not a bat-only, middle infielder, and if Hanson ends up getting moved off short, then Herrera is seriously blocked. I know that the Pirates probably don’t “win” this trade, at least in the sense that Herrera’s future accomplishments will likely outweigh Byrd’s and Buck’s (at least in Pittsburgh) combined. That said, teams like the Pirates are, under MLB’s current economic system, always going to have limited opportunities to contend. Sometimes you have to decide that this year is the year, and act accordingly.

        • Well we know Byrd (and almost certainly Buck too) is going to play MLB for the Pirates. The same can’t be said for Herrera.

  • No matter what you think about Herrera as the trade piece, Jones and the Marte injury left Huntington no choice but to make this move. Also lets stop thinking exclusively about making the playoffs and more about winning a playoff game or series. At that point one player can make a major difference.

  • I agree, Herrera is a lot to give up. My guess is that Marte’s injury is significant. Byrd (and Buck too) is another low OBP high K guy.

    I don’t like it, but my guess is that it’s the best they could do, and they felt like they had to. At least it wasn’t one of their top prospects.

    • Oh wow. Herrera? Um…….can we delete my first response? This trade is very un-Neal like. But if he thinks the future is Mercer and Hanson with Walker holding down the fort for a while……..No. I still don’t like it.

      • BostonsCommon
        August 27, 2013 2:32 pm

        “But if he thinks the future is Mercer and Hanson”….

        You were on the right track with this thought. This is all about player evaluations. If NH doesn’t see a 5’10”, 150 lb second basemen as part of the future Pirates roster, then there’s no reason to hang onto to him. Maybe NH really doesn’t see a lot of value in Herrera, or maybe the Mets are over valuing him.

        Personally, I don’t even know if Hanson has what it takes to get to the big leagues and stick as a 2B, let alone a SS, and he’s miles ahead of Herrera. I’m fine with this deal, as Herrera has little future in this organization IMO.

  • CalipariFan506
    August 27, 2013 2:11 pm

    Giving up Herrera makes this trade terrible unless we at least win the NL IMO. Not going to be worth it for anything less than that. Terrible, horrible trade.

    • So we trade a Low A secondbaseman who is hitting .265 and tha’s a big deal? Come on. Byrd becomes the 2nd best offensive player on our team. The Pirates need some help now. I hope they’re still in on Morneau.

      • I agree with you. I am happy. Not sure how some here cannot see the limitations this team had offensively. Byrd really improves this line up in so many ways. I would like to see him bat clean up against LHs and 5th against RH. This will dramatically improve our line up. Buck gives the team a viable back up with some good pop and allows Sanchez to get regular ABs and some play off experience at AAA.

        As for Herrera, I hope he does great, then more teams will come at us in the future with even better opportunities. I love the trade!

        • It’s not that some here can’t see the limitations of the offense. We are perfectly aware that the offense is being held back. The difference between those who don’t like the trade and those that do is one side thinks Byrd will make a difference to the outcome, the other side doesn’t think it will make a difference despite Byrd being a clear upgrade in RF.
          The question then is, if it won’t make a difference to the outcome this year, why make the trade?
          On the flip side, Herrera isn’t a huge loss (although a bit much for a rental). The Pirates have been doing well signing International talent.

    • People complain when NH does nothing. So, NH finally does something “dumb” and uses his prospect cache to get a hitter who is instantly our second best batter by any measure (135 wRC+) and people still complain.

      We all know Byrd is no long term guy, but he just needs to keep this 2013 magic rolling for 2 more months and this is very nice. People wanted inferior hitters for the last month, now we get that coveted upgrade and people balk at the price tag.

    • They traded a guy in low A ball hitting 0.265 who struck out 27% of time this year. He is only 19 and maybe he develops into a major league player 4 years down the road, but thats a big maybe.

  • andddd with herrera in, now i dont like the trade

    • with the exception being that martes injury is worse than we thought…if thats the case then im ok with overspending a bit to make a trade for an outfielder

  • forced to take on bucks salary to acquire byrd…interesting. id almost rather dfa buck at this point…since april he has been abismal.

  • CalipariFan506
    August 27, 2013 2:08 pm

    Can’t wait until we see this move makes no real difference one way or the other so people maybe finally quit thinking in season improvements can make or break a team.

    • usually that is the case….at best, adds one win, but that could be the difference?



    • Win value is not linear or static. One win in the range between 88 and 93 is pretty huge in value, particularly with the new playoff system. Avoiding the play-in game is so critical to a team’s chances.

      • BostonsCommon
        August 27, 2013 3:32 pm

        I was kind of thing in these terms, right or wrong. I mean if he somehow directly plays a factor in the Pirates winning the division, or winning a playoff game, then the trade was worth it. Plain and simple.

        So long as Herrera doesn’t turn into Pedroia.

    • People won’t quit thinking in season improvements can make or break a team.
      Looking into the crystal ball here is what I see:
      Without adding Byrd or anyone else, the Pirates finish with 91 wins, but miss winning the division by 3 games. They win the wildcard playoff game to face the Atlanta Braves in the first round, then lose in 4 games. It was fun to see PNC in October. Some fans cry that NH didn’t do anything to improve the team and missed out on the chance to win the WS.
      After adding Byrd and whoever else, the Pirates finish with 92 wins, but miss winning the division by 2 games. They win the wildcard playoff game to face the Atlanta braves in the first round, then lose in 4 games. It was fun to see PNC in October. Some fans cry that NH didn’t do enough to improve the team and missed out on the chance to win the WS.
      You know what players would be enough for the Pirates to win the WS this year? Chris Davis, Carlos Gomez and Yu Darvish. Of course the Pirates can’t and never could get these players. This is why prospects are more important than getting Byrd, Morneau, Rios, Garza or any other above average player on the market. The Pirates have to hope that Polanco, Taillon, Glasnow, Kingham, Hanson, etc. play at the level of Davis, Gomez and Darvish type players. Plug a 6 WAR player in RF, a 5 WAR player at 1B and another top of the rotation starter via prospects developed with in the Pirates farm system and you got a WS championship caliber team.
      There isn’t any other way to do it. If someone can name a small market team that’s done it differently, I’m all ears.

      • Hey Jeremy,

        How many teams in the NL have 4 position players with a WAR rating of close to 5 or more? Okay, that was rhetorical. The answer is ZERO. How many have 2 position players with 5+/- or higher WAR ratings? Two – St. Louis (Matt Carpenter, who is a big question mark if he ever repeats this level of success, and Molina, who in his first 7 years in the league was never higher than a 2.9) and Pitt (Marte has a 4.9 right now to go with McCutchen). Colorado is close with 2 players just below 5 WAR in Cargo and Tulowitzki. Arizon is close with Parra at 408 to go with Goldschmidt.

        Last year, in the NL there were a total of 13 players with a WAR of 5 or above. Atlanta actually had 3 of those – Heyward, Bourn and Prado. Heyward probably bounces back and is legit, but doubtful either Prado (who was around a 5 WAR once in his career at 4.9) and Bourne (once at 5.3 and once at 4.7) will do it again. No other team had 2.

        In 2011, a whopping 9 players in the NL had a WAR of 5 or higher. No team had more than 1 player.

        In 2010, 14 players in the NL had a WAR of 5 or higher (with one more at 4.9). St. Louis and Colorado had two legit guys each in Pujols and Holliday, and Tulowitzki and Cargo, respectivlely. SF had two ridiculous ones in Huff and Torres. No other team had more than 1 (though Atlanta was close with Prado’s 4.9 to go with Heyward.

        In 2009 . . . well, you get the idea.

        Guess the point is that having 4 position players with 5+ WAR is pretty much a pipe dream. Far more so than a mid-season acquisition helping a team win the pennant (think Sutcliffe in 84 for the Cubs)

    • turfmonster12
      August 27, 2013 11:10 pm

      Cal, people think that in season improvements improve the team. That’s what we wanted to see. Sorry that the year 2016 may be adversely affected if this can-miss prospect doesn’t miss.

  • SCORE!!!!!! If for no other reason then it strengthens our bench. We can send down Sanchez and call him up Sept 1st. And I can’t imagine we gave up that much for a couple rentals. Very happy about this.