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7/31 Deadline Deals: Keone, Cruz, J-Mac, Steady Freddy, X-Man, Lawton

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  • 1987 – The Pirates traded RHP Don Robinson to the San Francisco Giants for C Mackey Sasser and $50K. Robinson did everything from starting to closing for the Giants from ‘87-91, with a slash of 42-33-14/3.56. Sasser played a dozen games for the Buccos and then was sent to the Mets after the season as part of the Randy Milligan deal. 
  • 1993 – RHP Jon Lieber was traded by the Kansas City Royals along with reliever Dan Miceli to the Bucs for closer Stan Belinda. Lieber won 38 games in five seasons with Pittsburgh, Miceli had 24 saves/10 holds in four Pirates campaigns and Belinda lasted two years for KC, blowing 2-of-3 save opps and settling into a bridge role. 
Mike Fetters – 2002 Topps Total
  • 2001 – The Pirates traded the well-traveled LHP Terry Mulholland to the Dodgers for pitchers Mike Fetters and Adrian Burnside. Mulholland, from Uniontown, pitched for 11 teams in a 20-year career and had a pair of stints with the Cubs, Phils and Giants. The FO also swapped Mike Williams to the Astros for RHP Tony McKnight. It was actually more like a lend-lease, as Williams signed with the Bucs again as a free agent after the season. 
  • 2002 – The Bucs sent first round bust OF Chad Hermansen, 24, to the Cubs for 35-year-old OF Darren Lewis, who refused to report to the Pirates (he was ticketed as outfield depth) and retired instead. Chad hit .209 for the Cubs before moving on. The deal’s personnel package was restructured; along with Chad, the Pirates sent OF Aron Weston to Chicago (he topped out at AA) and the Cubs shipped pitchers Ricardo Palma (he reached AAA and pitched for the Venezuelan WBC team) and Tim Lavery, who was sent to A ball and retired at age 23, to replace Lewis. 
  • 2003 – Pitchers Brandon Lyon, Anastacio Martinez and Jeff Suppan were traded by the Bucs to the Red Sox for LHP Mike Gonzalez, 2B Freddy Sanchez and cash in a redo deal. Originally, Gonzalez had gone to Boston for Lyons and Martinez a few days earlier, but Lyons flunked the physical causing a reworking of the swap. The mulligan panned out pretty well for the Bucs. 
  • 2005 – The Cubs sent young OF Jody Gerut to Pittsburgh for vet OF Matt Lawton. Chi-town shipped Lawton to the Yankees for a minor leaguer in August. Gerut, hampered by a bum knee, barely played and was released after 2006, appearing in just four games as a Pirate. 
  • 2006 – Busy at the deadline: The Pirates traded pitchers Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez to the Mets for Xavier Nady. Pittsburgh also sent P Kip Wells to the Rangers for P Jesse Chavez, traded OF/1B Craig Wilson to the Yankees for P Shawn Chacon and acquired RHP Brian Rogers from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for 1B Sean Casey. Nady hit .301 in three Pittsburgh seasons, Chavez was flipped in the 2009 offseason for Aki Iwamura, Chacon gave the Bucs two workmanlike campaigns and Rogers was ineffective, getting into 13 games over two years.
Matt Morris – 2008 Topps Heritage
  • 2007 – The Bucs traded OF Rajai Davis and IF Stephen McFarland to the San Francisco Giants for RHP Matt Morris, who was being paid $7.5M in 2007 and under contract to make $9.5M in 2008 with a $1M buyout for 2009. He was released on April 27th of 2008 after going 3-8/7.04 in 16 Pirate starts, costing the club piles of dead money; many believed this deal was the final nail in GM Dave Littlefield’s coffin. Rajai is still playing, albeit in the Mexican League. Another rumored shuffle didn’t get done; there were hot and heavy talks with the Tigers to send SS Jack Wilson to Motown, but the deal fell through although Detroit agreed to take on his contract and offered one of pitchers Jair Jurrjens/Dallas Trahorn; Littlefield wanted Craig Monroe, per Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette. The Bucs had already chased Toronto away by asking for Troy Glaus straight up for Wilson. Relievers Damaso Marte, Salomon Torres and Shawn Chacon were also dangled without success (spoiler alert: Chacon left as a FA and Torres was traded during the offseason while Marte lasted until the 2008 trade deadline). 
  • 2008 – Jason Bay and Josh Wilson were traded to the Boston Red Sox in a three-team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Andy LaRoche & Bryan Morris to the Pirates from LA, and Brandon Moss & Craig Hansen coming to the Bucs from Beantown. None of the prospects panned out for Pittsburgh, and Bay’s career was hamstrung by injury. Reports were that Tampa Bay offered SS Reid Brignac & P Jeff Niemann for Bay, but the Bucco FO wanted Wade Davis, David Price or Jeremy Hellickson instead of Niemann, ending that talk in a hurry. Miami was also a player for Bay and offered a package anchored by OF Jeremy Hermida and P Ryan Tucker, but the Pirates were focused on an 18-year-old outfielder named Mike Stanton, another untouchable. 
  • 2010 – A lot of wheeling and dealing: RHP James McDonald was traded to Pittsburgh with OF Andrew Lambo by the LA Dodgers for RHP Octavio Dotel and cash. The Bucs also flipped LHP Javier Lopez to the Giants for RHP Joe Martinez and OF Joe Bowker. In a big house cleaning/change of scenery deal, SS Bobby Crosby, RHP D.J. Carrasco and RF Ryan Church were sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash, C Chris Snyder and SS Pedro Ciriaco. J-Mac had a promising start but crashed while Lambo couldn’t overcome a spate of injuries; the other players didn’t leave much of a mark with the organization. 
Gaby Sanchez – 2013 Topps
  • 2011 - OF Ryan Ludwick was sent to the Pirates by San Diego for cash. He hit .232 with two homers during the dog days and then signed with the Reds in the off season, with 2014 being his last season. 
  • 2012 – 1B Gaby Sanchez and RHP Kyle Kaminska went from the Marlins to the Pirates for OF Gorkys Hernandez and 2013’s sandwich compensation draft pick five minutes before the deadline expired. Gaby stayed as a platoon 1B and bench bat through 2014 with Pittsburgh, hitting .241, and then went to Japan to play. Before that trade, the Bucs dealt 3B Casey McGehee to the Yankees for RHP Chad Qualls; both ended up as stretch run rentals for their respective clubs. 
  • 2015 – The Bucs picked up 1B/OF Michael Morse, who had just been traded to and DFA’ed by the LA Dodgers, for OF Jose Tabata and cash. The Beast hit .275 with a .390 OBP in 45 games during the stretch, mainly off the bench. Morse signed with the Giants in 2017, which was his final MLB campaign while Tabata is playing in Mexico. In a late deal spurred by AJ Burnett’s same-day trip to the DL due to elbow inflammation, Pittsburgh then sent minor league RHP Adrian Sampson to Seattle for veteran lefty JA Happ, who turned in a masterful slash of 7-2/1.85. Sampson is in the White Sox system while Happ is tossing for the Twins 
  • 2017 – LHP Tony Watson (5-3-10, 3.66) was sent to the LA Dodgers for a pair of prospects, IF Oneil Cruz and RHP Angel German. Tony joined the club in 2011 and was seventh in franchise history with 450 appearances, but had lost his closer job to Felipe Rivera and was in his walk year. To replace him, the Pirates picked up 40-year-old rental Joaquin Benoit from the Phillies for 23-year-old Bradenton Marauders closer Seth McGarry. Watson is now working for the Angels while Oneil is one of the Bucs’ top prospects. 
Chris Archer – 2019 Topps Fire
  • 2018 – Big day for the Buccos. First, they sent a ton of potential talent in OF Austin Meadows, RHP Tyler Glasnow, both at one time the top-rated Pirates prospects, and a PTBNL (RHP Shane Baz, the Pirates 2017 first-rounder, #12 overall) to Tampa Bay for RHP Chris Archer. Archie, 29, joined Jameson Taillon at the head of the rotation, a spot he wouldn’t hold for long. He injured his thoracic nerve and won just six games in Pittsburgh in two seasons and some change. He left to rejoin his old club as a FA for 2021, but injured his forearm after one start for the Rays. Austin, Glasnow and Baz have all shone for Tampa Bay, making this one of the more one-sided deals in Bucco annals. The Pirates also snagged RHP Keone Kela, 25, from the Texas Rangers for minor league LHP Taylor Hearn, 23, and a PTBNL, who ended up being 19-year-old 3B Sherten Apostel, a Low-A prospect. Kela was the Rangers’ closer, but the Bucs added him to provide extra depth to their bullpen’s back end. He proved to be effective but injury prone, and signed with the Padres as a free agent after the 2020 season; he had TJ surgery in 2021. Hearn was having a breakout campaign at Altoona and was the top-ranked Pirate organizational southpaw starter before being dealt; an elbow injury sent him to the Texas bullpen for the past two years. 
  • 2019 – OF Corey Dickerson was traded to Philly for $250K in international bonus credit. Corey came over from Tampa for RHP Daniel Hudson and minor league IF Triston Gray. He hit .303 with a 121 OPS+ in 2018-19 and won a Gold Glove in his first season. He hurt his shoulder in ‘19, got into just 44 games for Pittsburgh and was moved in the walk year of his contract. Still fighting injuries in Philly, he was released at the end of the season and signed with the Marlins. He’s now with Toronto. Huddy toes the slab for the Nats and Gray is playing for Tampa Bay’s AAA club.


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