Pity poor Whitehead, whose unsuccessful minor league career would have gone almost entirely unnoticed had he not been included in a trade for a major leaguer. The Pirates, of course, acquired Whitehead when they traded Charlie Morton to the Phillies, even though Morton was a functional starting pitcher, the Pirates had no serious plans to replace him, and Whitehead wasn’t a prospect. (Morton ended up getting hurt in Philadelphia, but that was because he injured his hamstring while running; it isn’t as if the Pirates predicted that. Meanwhile, the Pirates went ahead with Ryan Vogelsong in the back of their rotation)
Following the trade, Neal Huntington admitted that a key to the deal was clearing salary, but also unconvincingly claimed the Bucs liked Whitehead’s talent. Whitehead, a 23-year-old former 34th-round pick coming off only a passable season in Class A+, went completely off the rails in the Pirates organization, posting a 7.83 ERA and walking a batter an inning in Altoona and pitching only modestly better in Bristol.