It seems like the Pirates are always getting fleeced on trades, going all the way back to the days of Cam Bonifay. It’s truly amazing to think that one year ago, they had arguably the best outfield in all of baseball in Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Nate McLouth, and now all three of them are gone, and the jury is still out on whether the Pirates got even a *single* impact player in return.
In the prime of his career at age 27 and just coming off an All-Star, Gold Glove season, not to mention being locked up for the next 4 years at extremely reasonable rates, it’s safe to say that Nate McLouth’s trade value would pretty much never be higher.
Which means that this wasn’t a terrible time to trade McLouth, but it also means that the Pirates really needed to get a more obviously can’t miss prospect than Gorkys Hernandez, Charlie Morton, or Jeff Locke, none of whom was among the Braves’ top 5 prospects.
I think the upside for this trio would be a no. 3 outfielder, and a pair of no. 4 starters, but the more realistic outlook here is a 5th outfielder and maybe a no. 5 starter.
Say what you will about McLouth’s overrated defense, and his offense that really only plays well in center, but the Pirates could have and should have gotten more.