Team president Frank Coonelly predicted that the July 31 trading deadline will be different for the Pirates this summer than the current management's first two, when many veterans were sent away in what the team described as an attempt to add quantity and quality to the minor-league system.
"I can't imagine any circumstances under which it would be anything like the first two July 31 dates. And it could be the reverse," Coonelly said, referring to the Pirates as potential buyers rather than sellers.
The Pirates have not been an in-season buyer since 1997, when acquiring shortstop Shawon Dunston, now a special assistant to San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean.
Well, other than Matt Morris, I guess that's true.
I was about to describe Coonelly's comment as ridiculous spin and move on with my life (really, does it make any sense for the Pirates to be buyers at the deadline?), but then again this administration has shown again and again that it's not adverse to trading youngsters for veterans as long as the deals are minor. One might think that their previous attempts to do so would make them wonder if this is the right thing to do. First there was Todd Redmond for Tyler Yates, and while that trade cost the Pirates nothing, they really didn't get back anything either. Then there was Jesse Chavez for Akinori Iwamura, which I'm sure the Bucs wish they hadn't done. And then there was Ron Uviedo for Dana Eveland, which of course the jury's still out on, but which doesn't look so hot so far. I'm certain the Bucs won't consider any prospects-for-vets deals more major than this one, but still, I wish they'd just stop this practice altogether. They fortunately aren't willing to trade any real prospects, so the veterans they've gotten so far are players no one should really want.