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Notes: Pirates promote Josh Bell to Indianapolis, place A.J. Burnett on DL

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Some notes from the trade deadline:

  • The Pirates are promoting Josh Bell from Altoona to Indianapolis, Cory Giger tweets. That's not surprising -- Bell has had a good season, and it's not uncommon for the Bucs to promote top prospects with a few weeks left in the minor league season so they can get a taste of what their new levels will be like before the offseason begins.
  • As you've probably already gleaned, the Pirates did, in fact, acquire J.A. Happ because A.J. Burnett is hurt. Burnett has been placed on the DL with elbow inflammation. Here's hoping he can return quickly. His injury isn't a joke, obviously, and he needs to get healthy, because A.J. Burnett destroying everyone down the stretch in his final season before retirement is going to be a key part of what makes the Pirates' 2015 World Series win so great. But part of me does want to be darkly amused that the Pirates are replacing him with a lefty named J.A. -- not only because Jeff Locke once quipped about there being A.J. and "J.A.," with "J.A." standing for "jackass," but because the whole situation has this mirror-image quality that I imagine M. Night Shyamalan would love. "You know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero."
  • The Pirates promoted Bobby LaFromboise and designated Deolis Guerra for assignment to clear space for Joakim Soria. It would be nice if Guerra wound up back in the Bucs' minor league system, and Thursday night's implosion might help ensure that he does. The Bucs will likely option LaFromboise back to Indianapolis when they activate Happ.
  • It doesn't sound like the Pirates will be wedded to Michael Morse."If we can get (Morse) back to where he was a year ago (.279, 16 homers, .811 OPS), it could play out very well. If he continues to scuffle, we'll have a decision to make as we move forward," says Neal Huntington. That seems pretty obvious to me -- the Bucs are making a small gamble that Morse's hitting will improve. If it doesn't, there won't be any reason for them to stick with him.
  • I don't get to say this very often, but you know who did really well at the trade deadline? The Phillies. I hadn't looked into the Cole Hamels trade too closely before today, but the Phillies nailed it, getting three really good prospects in Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro. The reason they were able to do it is because they also took on Matt Harrison's contract, thus increasing Hamels' value by offsetting salary. It speaks well of them that they approached the trade that way. With the deal, they added three name-brand guys to a farm system that was already good. It's still unclear whether their current front office is capable of constructing a real team, but after spending way too long wallowing in mediocrity, they're off to a good start in their rebuild.