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Pirates Won't Give Up Duffy

The Post-Gazette:

The Braves have asked for center fielder Chris Duffy, but the Pirates flatly refused on the ground that they believe they have no adequate replacement for the near future. Andrew McCutchen, the organization's top prospect, will open next season with Class AA Altoona.

The Braves also have asked for starting pitching. It is not clear which of the Pirates' four young starters -- Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Paul Maholm or Tom Gorzelanny -- they sought, but it likely was Maholm. It probably does not matter, anyway, given that the Pirates have displayed a clear distaste for moving any of those starters in one-on-one deals, much less a two-for-one.

An imaginary dialogue:

LITTLEFIELD: With where we're at, we need a middle of the order hitter.

SCHUERHOLZ: Well, we have one who's 27 years old, is left handed, plays good defense at a position where you have needs, and had 32 homers and a .915 OPS last year. We're willing to be reasonable. Just give us Gonzalez....

LITTLEFIELD (screaming): Deal! Deal! You have a deal! That is a deal!


LITTLEFIELD: Deal! Nya nya nya nya nya!

SCHUERHOLZ: Look, Gonzalez is a good reliever, but cheap power hitters in the primes of their careers just aren't traded one-for-one for relievers! Name for me one time that has happened.


SCHUERHOLZ: Look, I'll make this easy for you. Your team traded Ricardo Rincon for Brian Giles in 1998. That's the last example I can think of. And even in that case, Giles never even started for a full the Indians before he was traded. LaRoche has. LaRoche is good and everyone knows he's good. So, as much as I like Gonzalez, you're going to have to add a second player.

LITTLEFIELD: Brian Rogers!

SCHUERHOLZ: In a perverse way, that's sort of generous, since I know no one fetishizes relievers like you do. But no. That's not even close.

LITTLEFIELD: Humberto Cota!

SCHUERHOLZ: You've got to be kidding. We want Chris Duffy.


SCHUERHOLZ: Dave, give me a break! Those players have no value! McLouth had a .293 OBP last year. We already have about 19 tweener-ish outfielders who are better than McLouth - Ryan Langerhans, Matt Diaz, Scott Thorman, Kelly Johnson... McLouth might someday be a good fourth outfielder, but why would we bother waiting for him?

LITTLEFIELD: So Gonzalez and McLouth, then? I'll call the commish!

SCHUERHOLZ: You're obviously not listening. Duffy is not a good player, Dave. He's basically a fourth outfielder himself. But he has one thing our other fourth outfielders lack: defense. Besides, he'll be totally irrelevant to you within a year, whenever Andrew McCutchen is ready. If you're not currently willing to pony up to pay a fair price for a player who is so obviously well-suited to your franchise, will you ever be ready? If you won't trade Duffy, who will you trade? A reliever? Carlos Maldonado?

LITTLEFIELD: LaRoche for a reliever and Carlos Maldonado! You've got a deal!

SCHUERHOLZ: No, we don't...