Mark “The Shark” Melancon, the Pirates former reliever, might become the Pirates “slayer” instead of remaining one of their “saviors.” Former Pirates GM the late Syd Thrift is probably rolling over in his grave muttering: ‘let the dying feed the living or let the dead bury the dead,” or something to that effect.
Here’s what Jamal Collier of MLB.com recently wrote about the ill-advised deal. “The Nationals made acquiring bullpen help their top priority prior to Monday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. They addressed that need Saturday afternoon, completing a trade for right-hander Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for left-handers Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn.
The deal allowed the Nationals to acquire a closer without giving up any of the top prospects they deemed untouchable before the deadline. “We put a lot of work into a lot of different ideas and deals — this one made the most sense for us,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “He’s a known commodity and he’s a successful late-inning reliever and a guy we had followed for years. A good makeup guy. Battle tested and one of the elite relievers in the game.”
Did I read that correctly? “The deal allowed the Nationals to acquire a closer without giving up any of the top prospects they deemed untouchable before the deadline.”
I have the utmost respect for Pirates GM Neil Huntington and Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle but I am perplexed, baffled and even stupefied by this deal.
From 2013-2015 the Pirates played 486 games. Mark Melancon saved 100 of those games! This season he had already saved 30 games. Without Melancon, the Pirates would have never made it to the post season during the past few seasons and without him for the remainder of 2016, chances of Pittsburgh getting a ticket to “Autumn Ball” are slim, very, very slim.
The Pirates should have kept Josh Bell up here with the big boys. Here is my Pirates dream lineup for all of you true “fantasy” aficionados’. Josh Bell, first base, (on offense, smacks the baseball and can shoo be do, run, run, run). Josh Harrison, second base, (on offense, smacks the baseball and can shoo be do, run, run, run). Jung Ho Kang, shortstop, far better fielder and hitter than currently beloved shortstop Jordy Mercer all around nice guy, and I really mean that. Third base, David Freese, bad man, bad bad man.
‘The Pirates starting outfield of left fielder Starling Marte, centerfielder Andrew McCutchen and right fielder Gregory Polanco should not be touched even without a ten foot pole. The entire Pirates outfield can shoo be do….run, run, run, you digggg.
The pitching rotation is still a work in progress and Melancon represented stability and confidence to a currently evolving Pirates pitching staff. But on top of that the Pirates traded him to an opponent that they could possibly face if they happen to snag a wildcard spot in the postseason. The Nationals currently lead the NL East by 4 games over the Marlins. Meanwhile the Pirates are 10 games out of the NL Central.
Why not trade Melancon to one of the bottom feeders to possibly get a little more than a couple of possibilities? Mark Melancon was a Pirates “untouchable.” Maybe sometimes instead of baiting “the shark,” does the shark itself become the bait, just to catch a few trout? (The source of this article was mlb.com)
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at:
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