Pirates Acquire Akinori Iwamura

to the St.
Petersburg Times
, the Rays have traded 2B/3B Akinori Iwamura to the Pirates
for RHP Jesse Chavez.  The deal was
a sign-and-trade, with Tampa Bay picking up Iwamura’s $4.5 million option, and
then sending him to Pittsburgh.


         Pittsburgh has
seemingly filled their infield gap with Iwamura, who has started 215 games at
second, and 120 games at third in his MLB career.  Iwamura, who has recorded a batting line of .281/.354/.393
in 1526 plate appearances, will most likely remain at second base for
Pittsburgh, unless they opt to play Andy Laroche there, in which case, Iwamura
would move back to third.


         Even though
everything that Pirates GM Neal Hutington does is suprising and half-witted,
the baffling thing about this deal is, why did Huntington give away a relief
pitcher who is under team control for five
more years, for one year of a player who consistently
is not worth much more than his salary; in a year when the Pirates wil be, as
usual, not in contention


         As for the reliever,
Jesse Chavez, Tampa recorded a steal, not that that’s hard to do when your
trade partner is the Pirates.  In
his rookie year, Chavez recorded a league-average 4.01 ERA in 67.1 innings, but
showed promise with strong peripherals. 
Excluding his 1.5 HR/9 rate, Chavez’s 6.3 K/9,  2.9 BB/9, and 2.14 K/BB rates are quite
promising.  Chavez’s repetoire is
strong, with a 94 mph fastball, strong, hard slider, and an above-average


         Final analysis of
the deal, Rays get a four-fer, dumping Aki’s salary, getting a quality
reliever, freeing up space for both Ben Zobrist, and Jason Bartlett, and
allowing more playing time for Sean Rodriguez in a super-utility role.  Pittsburgh traded away the future again.


Trade Grades

Tampa Bay- A-

Pittsburgh- C-


  1. santosis

    Good trade for the Rays, questionable trade for the Pirates. Its not like Aki’s the kind of vet that puts butts in the seats (like Holiday in Oakland last year, or Adam Dunn in Washington). I can’t imagine the Pirates are planning on competing this year. I don’t understand why they would want a veteran infielder, and why they would give up on a young, developing reliever.


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