A rather surprising trade went down yesterday. The Pittsburgh Pirates traded Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves for three prospects. The surprising part is because this type of trade usually happens in late July, not early June. Most fantasy owners will not come out significantly ahead, so lets look at the winners and losers.
McLouth went from one team with a lousy offense to another team with a lousy offense. The Braves did improve and McLouth should hit in the middle of an order that includes Chipper Jones, Garrett Anderson and Brian McCann. Look for his stats to take a slight upturn, but nothing significant.
All Pirates will be affected by this move. The team has thrown in the towel with this trade, signaling that they don’t care if they are losers again in 2009. All pitchers will lose potential wins and the hitters will see their stats dip a bit too as the general atmosphere of the clubhouse will likely turn sour for the next four months.
The Pirates called up Andrew McCutchen to fill McLouth’s centerfield slot. McCutchen is a prospect who will eventually be a good player, but don’t expect too much from him right now.
The group that will benefit the most is Atlanta pitchers. The Braves rotation has lost too many close games in 2009 and the addition of McLouth might be enough to add some more wins to everyone’s totals and also a few more saves for Mike Gonzalez.
The prospects that the Pirates received are good, but not great. Jeff Locke is the most likely All-Star of the bunch and has future #2 potential, but he won’t be in the majors for a few more years. Charlie Morton is a #3 starter if all the stars align for him and Gorkys Hernandez is a traditional leadoff hitter: singles hitter with great speed and no power.
Of note, Atlanta released Tom Glavine yesterday. The fact that the Braves weren’t willing to give the icon a chance to prove his arm is ready tells you how bad they think it really is. Stay away from Glavine at all costs.