By Mike Wysocki
Pittsburgh Current Baseball Writer
Sometimes the anticipation around the Major League Baseball trade deadline has all the tension and dramaof a TV series finale like Breaking Bad.
However this year, the trade deadline wound up being about as enjoyable as an episode of According to Jim. You don’t remember According to Jim? My point exactly.
The best news that came out of this dud of a deadline is that Felipe Vazquez will remain a Pittsburgh Pirate. The greedy Los Angeles Dodgers, who’ve been to the last two World Series but haven’t won it since 1988, wouldn’t give up super prospect Gavin Lux to get the Pirates closer. Vazquez as their setup man would almost have made them unstoppable, but good for the Pirates for not budging.
Before the All-Star break, we all wondered if the Pirates would be buyers or sellers this year. However, starting off the second half by losing 15 out of 18 games, answered that question loud and clear.
First, Jordan Lyles was traded to Milwaukee, the same place where he was traded to at the deadline last year. The Brewers should just sign him so they don’t have to trade for him every year. Yes, the Jordan Lyles era is finally behind us now. He spent four months in our city and the first two were pretty respectable. He then reverted to his normal subpar hurling and was the first victim of the Pirates fire sale. Lyles gave up 16 runs in 18 innings in his last three starts. In return, the Buccos got a 25-year-old AA pitcher named Cody Ponce. Nobody even knows if he’ll even make it to the majors before he’s kicked off his parents’ health insurance, but he probably can’t be worse than Lyles.
The only other Huntington action involved trading Corey Dickerson to that team across the state. The Pirates received international bonus money and a player to be named later.
So, basically nothing.
Dickerson won a Gold Glove and hit well in his short stay. His .317 average will be higher than any of his new Phillie teammates. The money saved by dumping Dickerson could go toward purchasing a new zipline at the Bob Nutting-owned Seven Springs, because they don’t like to spend money on baseball. The Pirates have Gregory Polanco coming back and Melky Cabrera is still here. Jose Osuna is also trying to break into the outfield cluster. Bryan Reynolds has emerged as a starter and Marte is not going anywhere, so Dickerson was in an overcrowded outfield and a free agent at the end of the year anyway.
The best news for July was seeing the Pirates get into a bench clearer with the hated Cincinnati Reds. It was just good to see a little fight in them. You gotta give a little credit to Yasiel Puig, too. He only played for the Reds for four months but managed to get into two fights with the Pirates. Even after it was announced he was traded to Cleveland, he still got in one last scuffle as a Red.
So, an underwhelming trade deadline has passed, the Regatta was canceled, and Jordan Lyles is gone. How much more can we take in this town?