Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pirates send Melancon to Washington

The Washington Nationals were concerned with the state of their bullpen.
The Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to get something for a player that that they were unlikely to be able to afford in a few months and as usual in these situations-a match is created as Pittsburgh shipped their closer in Mark Melancon to Washington for reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league pitcher Taylor Hearn.

Melancon had already notched 30 saves this season after 51 in 2015 with a 1.51 ERA for the current season.
The 31 year old Melancon will be a free agent at the end of the season and Pittsburgh was unlikely to pay double digit millions for the veteran righthander,so getting any kind of return was paramount for the Pirates.

The return was underwhelming on the surface,especially when you look at the haul that the Yankees brought back for Aroldis Chapman,but despite the save numbers,Mark Melancon isn't Aroldis Chapman and in the postseason,which pitcher would you fear facing more?
Still,Felipe Rivero is a decent arm for the bullpen and at 24 and with plenty of contract control,could be helpful in a Pittsburgh 'pen that is all about putting together a unit that is cost efficient.
Rivero's ERA is higher than last season,but his strikeouts are up and some of his numbers indicate that he had been pitching better than the basic stats show.
Rivero has five years of team control,throws in the mid-90's and could eventually prove to have closing level ability.
Rivero was obtained by Washington before the 2015 season from Tampa in the trade that sent Nathan Karns to the Rays.

The other part of the trade might be the most interesting as Taylor Hearn leaves the Hagerstown Suns in the trade and most likely will be in town Monday as a member of the visiting West Virginia Power.
The 6'5 lefthander had impressive numbers after an early season ankle injury that cost him over two months of the season,but has been a reliever after his return after being in the Hagerstown rotation at before the injury.
Hearn turns 22 in August,but isn't extremely old for the level.
Hearn touches 96-97 and has an excellent slider when the mechanics are smooth,which isn't always the case for tall pitchers.
An interesting lottery ticket for a strong arm for the Pirates,although he will need plenty of refinement to reach his potential.

For the effect on the current Pirates-Southpaw Tony Watson will likely receive most of the save chances at first with Neftali Feliz having the odd opportunity as well from the righthanded side.
I don't think the Pirates will take a huge hit in the bullpen even if Watson proves to be better suited as a setup man.
Feliz was an experienced closer in Texas and should be able to take over should Watson falter.

Sure,it is easy to scream about not getting what other teams are getting for high end closers,but Melancon isn't an elite closer to me,he is solid and the return was in line as such.
Something certainly beats nothing and the Pirates decided to be proactive in this situation.
You may argue about the return,but you shouldn't complain about moving the player.

Back later with a report on Leo Santa Cruz vs Carl Frampton...


joe plum said...

As a nationals fan I'm glad we didn't have to give up the farm for him. Considering what is was going to take to get Miller...who hasn't been a regular closer I'll gladly take it.

Shawn said...

Yes,I like the trade for both teams.
Pittsburgh gets two nice (and Cheap) arms and Washington didn't pay the crazy price that the Cubs paid for Chapman and what the Yankees want for Miller...