Hidden Vigorish

Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

Best Way to Solve the Pedro Problem: Trade Him to the Phillies

Last night Pedro Alvarez made yet another throwing error. It was his 22nd throwing error this season. Pedro’s case of the yips have put the Pittsburgh Pirates in a real bind. It is clear that he is broken as a third basemen. There isn’t enough time left in the season to really fix him. Perhaps he could transition to 1B, but even that would require a little time. Not to mention that makes Ike Davis irrelevant. Sitting Pedro on the bench doesn’t help this club either. At best benching Pedro just hurts the Pirates a little less than playing him. Inevitably Pedro is going to get dealt. Likely it would be in the offseason to an American League club for a poor return. Pedro’s value is destroyed. His future is as a 1B/DH platoon player. He will likely make close to $7 million next season in arbitration. American League teams can find hitters like that in free agency and not have to give up any assets. I’m not sure the Pirates should wait to make a deal. I see one possible scenario in which the Pirates can trade Pedro now and improve this team. I suggest the Pirates trade Pedro to the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins.
Here is why such a deal could work. The Phillies are ready to move on from Ryan Howard. They will have an opening at 1B soon. So they could transition Alvarez to 1B, or they could try to resolve his throwing issues. The Phillies aren’t in the middle of a pennant race so it wouldn’t kill them to take the chance on fixing his yips. The Phillies have been shopping many of their veterans including Rollins, but other teams do not want to take on Rollins’ high salary. The Pirates would have plenty of room to fit Rollins in their budgeted payroll if they parted with Alvarez. The Phillies are also adverse to rebuilding, so adding a player that was the NL home run leader just last season probably looks like a better return for Rollins than acquiring a few marginal prospects. From the Pirates perspective they could play Rollins at SS and slide Jordy Mercer to 3B.
There would be a couple of sticking points to such a deal. Jimmy Rollins would have to ok the trade. Rollins has 5-and-10 rights giving him full no trade protection. The other issue would be that both players would have to clear waivers. That shouldn’t be a problem. Rollins likely makes it the Pirates waiver claim as no team wants to take on his salary of $11 million next season. The Phillies have the 4th highest waiver claim so Pedro should fall to them. I can’t see the Rockies, the Cubs, or Padres blocking such a deal. This is a bit of a long shot, but an entirely plausible scenario. And I really don’t see a better option for what to do with Pedro than this trade idea. His value is destroyed, and in his current mindset he is a detriment to the team. This is the one way the Pirates could use him to improve. Perhaps it is the only way.


  1. J-roll will not wave his no trade rights, unless it’s Oakland, his hometown. Phils have Asche at 3rd and Mayberry and Ruff to platoon after Howard.

    1. Rollins has softened on his stance of not allowing a trade considerably. In recent interviews he has indicated he would consider being moved. Mayberry and Ruf aren’t a platoon. They are half of the short side of a platoon. Both right-handed hitters. Ruf has some upside. Mayberry has none. Pedro has way more upside and value than both. If he bounces back, even if it is just his stick, they’d have a valuable piece. This would be a really smart trade from the Phillies standpoint. Probably one of the reasons it would never happen. The Phillies don’t make smart deals.

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