Pirates swap Tim Alderson for Russ Canzler in minor move

The Pirates first move of Trade Deadline Season, they sent minor league reliever Tim Alderson to the Orioles today in return for Four Corners guy Russ Canzler. Canzler is your protypical Quadruple-A guy; he never really hit well for a corner infielder/outfielder in the Cubs' system until he was way too old for his level, then he had a nice year with Tampa's Triple-A affiliate in Durham in 2011 (he and Ryan Reid are both all over my scorebook because I went to a bunch of games in Durham that summer; it's weird that they're both Pirates now), and now he's the guy that always gets selected off of waivers, but who's also always being put on waivers because he's a pretty fringey player. 

That said, I'd think of Canzler as filling the same role that the Pirates likely hoped Jerry Sands would fill before he bombed with Indianapolis this year. He's right-handed, he has a bit of pop (he hit 18 home runs and sluggled .530 with Durham in 2011, then hit 22 homers and slugged .487 with Columbus last year), and he can play first base or either corner outfield spot. He played third quite a bit for Durham, but I see no indication that he can actually play third base(40 of his 130 career games at third came in that 2011 season, and he's been a minor leaguer since 2004). 

Canzler is depth. If something were to happen to Gaby Sanchez or Jose Tabata in the next couple of weeks, the Pirates didn't really have a right-handed bat to plug into that roster spot with Sands' implosion. I suppose he could also serve as a right-handed bat off of the bench if Neil Walker's oblique heals up quickly and Brandon Inge is finally cut, but at this point I wouldn't count on that. I wouldn't read any more into this deal than that it's a depth deal; if Canzler sees significant time, something probably went wrong. 

Alderson, meanwhile, is just an odd man out in the Pirates' system. He's had decent-but-not-overwhelming results since moving into the bullen a couple of years ago, but he's definitely behind Vic Black and Duke Welker and Ryan Reid and a few other guys in terms of both short-term and long-term right-handed relief options. The Pirates have certainly had no trouble finding right handed relievers of all sorts in all kinds of places in recent years. 

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.