In honor of the 18th annual Pittsburgh Pirates fire sale (or as some call it, the MLB trade deadline), I've decided to take a closer look at who may soon be former Pirates...
Paul Maholm: Paul’s making $5 million this year, which equates to nearly 1/6th of the Pirates entire payroll. Given the Pirates past nature of contract dumping, Maholm will be high on the list. It’s unfortunate. He’s a bit of a fan favorite, and at least offers some kind of stabilizing force in the rotation. Dodgers have shown interest, and other teams will likely follow suit before Saturday’s deadline. I’d expect him to be gone shortly.
Zach Duke: Haven’t heard about anyone knocking down the door to make a deal for Duke. No doubt that Duke hasn’t turned out quite like the organization had hoped.
Ross Ohlendorf: Too much raw talent. He’ll stay.
Jeff Karstens: Inconsistent, yet still serviceable. Just the type of pitcher the Pirates love. He’ll be here.
One of the few bright spots for the Buccos, the bullpen has been sensational at times…which means it should be ripe for the picking for big-money organizations.
Evan Meek: The star of the bullpen. Meek has developed into an excellent reliever, and I would have to believe the Pirates would someday give him the opportunity to start. How that will play out? Who knows. But rest assured, the Pirates asking price on Evan Meek will be scoffed at by his potential suitors, which is fine by me. Meek stays a Bucco, no doubt.
Octavio Dotel: With the exception of some early season struggles, Dotel has been a solid closer for the Pirates (on the rare occasions they’ve had save opportunities). Dotel is actively being shopped, and remains the most likely Pirates reliever to end up on another team by next week. Dotel is making $3.5 million. He’s in his mid-thirties, so he doesn’t truly fit into the Pirates future anyhow.
D.J. Carrasco: The second most likely pitcher to be sent packing. Carrasco, who has been a steady cog in the ‘pen since coming to Pittsburgh, is considered one of the better options in a relatively weak reliever market.
Joel Hanrahan: They better not. That’s all I’m going to say.
Javier Lopez: Pretty valuable guy. Could go either way, but I think he’ll stick around.
Ryan Doumit: Probably the most intriguing of the trade possibilities. I don’t think many Pirate fans want to see Doumit gone (myself included), but given the fact that he’s very injury prone, and is due a sizable raise – by Pirates standards - in 2010. Offensively minded catchers are a rare breed, and Doumit is one of them, which makes him look awfully interesting to contending teams looking for a power bat behind the plate. He won’t dazzle you with his defense, but he’s serviceable. I would think some team may make an offer for Doumit that the Pirates can’t refuse
Garrett Jones: Nope, he’s cheap and the asking price is too high for other teams. Jones won’t be jumping ship.
Neil Walker: Fat chance.
Andy LaRoche: Damnit. I don’t want to see LaRoche go. At all. I don’t think the Pirates want to either, he’s an excellent locker room guy, and great insurance if Pedro Alvarez decides to go into Derek Bell mode for some reason. Please stay, Andy.
Andrew McCutchen: If the Pirates were to trade McCutchen, an angry mob would storm across the street from Finnegan’s Wake and Mullen’s to burn PNC Park to the ground. They would then Google Map the homes of Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntingdon and Bob Nutting, and through tear-soaked eyes and wretched beer breath, would proceed to throw Molotov Cocktails through the windows, killing all inside.
Delwyn Young: When was the last time we had a bench player who was this valuable? He continues to wear the black and gold.
Bobby Crosby: We pay him over a million and he sucks, why keep him? He stays.
Ronny Cedeno: We just don’t have anyone else, he’ll stick around.
Lastings Milledge: Oh, Lastings. Why can’t you quite live up to that potential? Sometimes you look like Willie Mays, sometimes you look like Chad Hermansen. Just pick one and play like them. Stop toying with my emotions.
Pedro Alvarez: See Andrew McCutchen.
Ryan Church: Who cares?
Jose Tabata: Unless his estranged wife kidnaps him too, he remains in Pittsburgh.
If the Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen, you know where to find me this weekend.