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Littlefield Strikes Again!

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Not that any of this is a huge deal, but:

  1. On April 25, the Pirates released Class AA pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo even though he wasn't terribly old and had pitched well there the previous season. He wasn't on the 40-man roster, and as far as I can tell, there wasn't any pressing reason whatsoever to release him. Basically, they cut him to make room for journeyman Mike Nannini, who was subsequently dumped and then picked up by the Cubs.
  2. The Nationals scooped up Albaladejo, then watched him pitch well at Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Columbus.
  3. The Nats then called him up to the big leagues on September 3, and he was excellent, posting a 1.88 ERA with 12 strikeouts and just two walks in 14.1 innings.
  4. The Nats then agreed to trade Albaladejo to the Yankees for an actual prospect in Tyler Clippard. Clippard doesn't have great stuff and thus isn't a high-upside guy, but he's only 22, struck out more than a batter an inning at AA at age 21, and played a bit for the Yankees this year. He has very good command and a nice changeup. He was disappointing in 2007, but if he were with the Pirates, he would probably wind up in the 2008 rotation at some point, at the age of 23.
In other words, the Pirates dumped a guy who wasn't even on the big league roster, and another organization picked him up for free, let him pitch for a while, and then flipped him for a player who might very well wind up in their rotation. There simply is no reason why this should have happened. None.