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Pirates, Braves May Deal

The Pirates are rumored to be pursing a trade of Craig Wilson for John Thomson from the Atlanta Braves.

If it's a one-for-one trade, this isn't terrible. Thomson is a markedly better pitcher than either Victor Santos or Brandon Duckworth, who are currently competing for the rotation spot Thomson would occupy. Thomson has a 4.69 career ERA, but most of that has come in ridiculously tough parks. In his last two years with the Braves, he put up ERA+s of 116 and 98, which is great for a back of the rotation type of pitcher. And the Pirates could really use a back of the rotation pitcher right now. If Kip Wells is ready in six weeks or if Sean Burnett or Tom Gorzelanny starts forcing the Pirates' hand, Thomson really is the sort of player who could land the Pirates something decent in a trade when contenders' starters get injured. (Dave Littlefield's ability to make a good trade in that situation is another matter, of course.)

On the other hand, it's disappointing that the Pirates' offense has floundered for years because they've banked so heavily on their young pitching, and now the offense is still bad and the Pirates are considering trading one of their few competent hitters for a pitcher because many of their young pitchers aren't ready.