Pirates Deal Chavez for Iwamura

The Post Gazette reports that Pittsburgh acquired 30-year-old IF Akinori Iwamura in exchange for RHP Jesse Chavez..

Iwamura is coming off a season in which he posted a .745 OPS before tearing his ACL.  Chavez, 26, was one of the lone bright spots in the Pirate bullpen last year.

More from Charlie once he has better access to the internet.

UPDATE by Charlie: Iwamura seems like a perfectly reasonable answer at second base, but to give up a guy who was one of the team's only semi-reliable relievers and would have been under team control for several more years strikes me as a bit strange. Iwamura basically is Andy LaRoche but without the upside, and Pedro Alvarez will presumably be ready to play in early 2011 if not sometime in 2010, so this seems like a move aimed squarely at this year. Which seems like something everybody loves, but of course it doesn't make any sense at all for the Pirates to play for this year, since they just finished cleaning house a few months ago.

This isn't a huge deal, though, and Neal Huntington's stated explanation--basically, that relievers are fungible because their performance varies a lot--makes sense, to a degree. The odds are against Chavez developing into a consistently excellent reliever, especially since he wasn't all that impressive last year, even for a Pirate. I'd generally rather the Pirates didn't send off decent players with years of team control remaining, but I think I can live with it this time--second base was a big hole.

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