This, as they say, changes everything. Coming in to the winter meetings, we were all looking at guys like Jack Wilson, Ronny Paulino, and maybe Freddy Sanchez or Adam LaRoche as people that might be traded during the week in Vegas. Trades involving those guys, with the possible exception of LaRoche, would be interesting and they would be something to talk about, but they likely wouldn’t be terribly important. That sounds pretty blunt, but there’s just not a lot that’s coming in return for those types of players. You know it, I know it, most GMs know it, and Neal Huntington certainly knows it. It’s his job to try and get as much as he can for those players and he’s doing that right now, but ultimately the future course of the Pirates isn’t going to be decided by whether or not a Jack Wilson trade is made.
What would be fairly more interesting and consequential would be a trade involving Paul Maholm or Nate McLouth. It’s still early to really think there’s much there (Huntington has said he’d “overvalue” those players and the Braves don’t seem to like that too much), but if Huntington is serious about giving this system a makeover, this is the kind of thing he should be looking in to. I know that talking about trading the two best players on the team right now makes stomachs turn, but McLouth and Maholm are the two guys on this team that can pull in players that will actually help remake the Pirates’ system.
This is, of course, all hypothetical right now, but trading McLouth and Maholm isn’t an idea that should have Pirate fans recoiling in horror.