UPDATE: The deal is done.
Dejan Kovacevic writes that the Pirates are close to shipping D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby to Arizona for Chris Snyder and shortstop prospect Pedro Ciriaco. Jeff Clement and Argenis Diaz have been recalled from Indianapolis with the departures of Church and Crosby.
Ciriaco is irrelevant - sort of a replacement for Diaz in Indianapolis now that Diaz himself is in the big leagues. Still, this is a pretty interesting trade. Crosby and especially Church have negative value at this point and the D'backs are probably just taking them to offset some of Snyder's salary, so the deal essentially boils down to Carrasco for Snyder. I still think the Pirates should be trading players like Carrasco for prospects, but in this case I think Snyder has a chance to provide enough immediate value to the big-league team to more than make this trade worthwhile. (This is especially true because someone like Carrasco just isn't going to bring back much in the way of prospects. If the Pirates traded Paul Maholm in a deal like this, I'd be angry.)
Snyder gets Ryan Doumit out from behind the plate, which is excellent. Snyder is a risky player - if his average declines much further, it'll be tough to play him, and as a 29-year-old catcher, some decline isn't out of the question - but he's a valuable offensive player now, with plenty of power and walks, and he's a much better defensive player than Doumit is. This looks like an upgrade to me. He's also under team control at reasonable rates through 2012.
John Perrotto wrote yesterday that if the Pirates acquired Snyder, Doumit would catch a couple of days a week and also play first base and outfield. Can we just reduce that to catching a couple days a week, please? Doumit's bat isn't good enough to play at the corners, particularly given that he'd be almost as much of a defensive liability there as he is at catcher. He can be useful as a backup catcher and pinch-hitter. It sounds like Doumit will be gone when the Pirates can let him expire at the end of 2011, if not before then.
UPDATE: Daniel McCutchen is being recalled along with Clement and Diaz, although McCutchen's promotion really has nothing to do with the trade.
UPDATE: The Pirates will have Doumit play mostly in the outfield. I really, really hope this means he plays sparingly, because having him split time with Lastings Milledge makes this trade a lot worse. Milledge's problem so far this year has been that he doesn't hit righties well. He needs to learn how to do that, and having Doumit out there against righty starters three days a week won't help. If it were the opposite, and Milledge couldn't hit lefties, then a platoon might make sense, because it's pretty easy to find a good righty bat to hit lefties. But if Milledge is ever going to be a real, everyday player, he needs to be able to hit righties, and the time for him to do that is now.
UPDATE: The Dodgers have acquired Ted Lilly, making a Paul Maholm trade less likely.
UPDATE: Dejan Kovacevic tweets that the Pirates are unlikely to trade Maholm, but could still deal Octavio Dotel.
UPDATE: Kovacevic now suggests the Pirates might be close to trading Javier Lopez.