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Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

It Takes Two to Tango: Summary of Neal Huntington’s Trade Partners

Opening day of the 2014 season is only three weeks away, but Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington still might need to make some roster moves before the team breaks from spring training. The Bucs have a roster crunch in the bullpen. Only seven relievers will make the club and Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, and Justin Wilson are locks. Of the candidates vying for the three remaining spots, Vin Mazzaro, Jeanmar Gomez, Bryan Morris, and Stolmy Pimentel are out of options. One of these pitchers are not going to be in the organization on March 30th. They are big league quality pitchers and another team will surely claim them if they were to be DFA’d. Huntington will certainly be entertaining trade offers for a reliever to avoid outright losing one without getting someting in return. The Pirates are also still kicking the tires on a left-handed hitting first basemen. They have been rumored to have interest in Justin Smoak of the Mariners, Mike Carp of the Red Sox, Ike Davis of the Mets, and Mitch Moreland of the Rangers. When it comes to trades, it takes two to tango. Can Neal Huntington find a dance partner? He has done a lot of dancing in the past. Here is the list of the ten teams Huntington has most frequently dealt with and numbers of players he has swapped with those teams since taking over as GM of the Pirates on September 25, 2007:

Team Transactions Players Acquired Players Traded Away
Red Sox 11 16 8
Indians 10 7 5
Yankees 6 10 8
Braves 6 7 4
Diamondbacks 5 4 6
Nationals 5 4 5
Blue Jays 5 3 5
Padres 5 4 3
Mariners 4 7 4
Rays 4 2 3

By far Neal Huntington’s most active trading partner in both number of transactions and players involved has been the Red Sox. These deals entail a number of blockbusters such as the Jason Bay and Joel Hanrahan trades. If the Pirates do covet Mike Carp there is a strong likelihood that Huntington and Red Sox’s GM Ben Cherington can find some common ground to make a deal. Although Huntington has made numerous deals with the Indians the vast majority have been cash or considerations for player swaps. I’m counting these types of transactions as trades, however I’m not including waiver claims in the tally. Now let’s move to the next ten teams:

Team Transactions Players Acquired Players Traded Away
Royals 3 4 4
Orioles 3 3 3
Twins 3 2 4
Marlins 3 3 2
Tigers 3 2 3
Phillies 3 2 2
Rangers 3 1 3
Dodgers 2 3 3
Cubs 2 3 3
Giants 2 3 2

Some interesting things to note here. The Cubs are the first NL Central Division opponent to appear on the list, however those deals predate Theo Epstein’s tenure with the Cubs. The biggest trade in this middle group was the deal that sent Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers in exchange for Andrew Lambo and James McDonald. Now the remaining teams:


Team Transactions Players Acquired Players Traded Away
Brewers 2 3 2
Houston 2 2 3
White Sox 2 1 2
Rockies 2 1 1
Mets 1 2 2
A’s 1 1 1
Reds 1 1 0
Cardinals 0 0 0
Angels 0 0 0

Although Neal Huntington has not dealt with this group of teams frequently, this list does represent two of the most recent major trade deadline deals. The acquisition of Marlon Byrd and John Buck for Dilson Herrera and Vic Black is the only time Huntington has hooked up with Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson to make a trade, but it was a huge deal. The Wandy Rodriguez acquisition was no small potatoes either. It should be noted how infrequently Huntington deals within the division. He has yet to make a single transaction with the Cardinals.

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