HOUSTON - MAY 03: Pitcher Cesar Valdez #43 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park on May 3, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Pirates completed the Zach Duke trade by receiving Cesar Valdez from the Diamondbacks. Valdez is a 25-year-old starting pitcher who, despite some large strikeout and walk totals, apparently doesn't throw particularly hard (he pitched briefly for the Diamondbacks this year, and Fangraphs has his average fastball coming in at 88.6 MPH). He does keep the ball on the ground, so maybe the Pirates feel there's some upside here if they move him to the bullpen, or maybe they just needed another Virgil Vasquez type. Either way, we were told the Pirates would be getting a "mid-level prospect" in exchange for Duke, but that appears to have been somewhat generous.