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Wednesday Morning Rundown: Pirates after Koshansky?

This time of year it's always informative to look at where other out-of-playoff clubs are looking to fill needs, and the Rockies are actually in a position to help fill some of those for once. Take Pittsburgh, for instance:

That leaves two primary items on general manager Dave Littlefield's offseason shopping list: One is for a left-handed power bat to play first base or right field. The other is for a right-handed starter to complement Ian Snell and offset the three left-handers.

The author is smart to think of the Rockies as a suitable trade partner for that first request, and he brings up Purp #6 Joe Koshansky as particularly well situated to be moved. Frankly, I would want to keep Joe K -really I want to keep all of our left-handed power bats- yet I see the possibilities here are ripe for a mutually beneficial arrangement. Our left-handed power hitters who fit the bill (in alphabetical order) and should be ready for next Spring:

  1. Brad Hawpe
  2. Todd Helton
  3. Joe Koshansky
  4. Seth Smith
  5. Ian Stewart (could be moved to right)
With our glut on the corners and in the outfield, it makes sense to find a suitable trade partner to fill some of our own needs, and the Pirates have a lot of young pitching talent that they might be willing to give up. Now, they probably won't be as interested in Smith or Stewart, who haven't shown as much ability to take their power over the fence, and Helton's out of the question as well, leaving Hawpe or Koshansky as the trade chips most likely to be suitable to the Pirates. Why not Hawpe? I'm not sure exactly why he wasn't mentioned. If we can get a suitable return for either Hawpe or Koshansky, a deal would make sense, as the Rockies have Jeff Baker ready to step in at right, although that leaves a hole in our bench that management might be hesitant to use Smith or Stewart to fill as they still need some AB's to be fully ready for the majors.

Now, what would the Pirates need to give back? First, I'll go over the two relievers this author mentioned. Although he seems to fit Clint Hurdle's description of his ideal man for the eighth inning slot, a Koshansky for Salomon Torres straight up deal makes me ill. Torres isn't bad, but he's pitched much better at PNC than anywhere else, and I'd think we could do better than that. Much better. Koshansky for Mike Gonzalez I like a lot better, as paired with Fuentes he'd give us the two best left handed relievers in the NL. Gonzalez is just entering his arbitration seasons, so he'll be affordable for the next couple of years as well.

If we were giving up Hawpe, then despite any sort of "relunctance" on the part of Pirates management to part with their young starters, I don't see another way around it, given what that team has. The Pirates use of Jose Bautista (25 years old, 16 HR in 117 games) in center this past season makes him a very interesting player to me, but maybe not worth a Hawpe or Koshansky by himself. Anyway, I just wanted to bring this up, as one more thing to be looking at in the offseason.

Update [2006-10-4 12:28:21 by Rox Girl]:

Baseball Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein makes the easy call in labelling Koshansky the best first base prospect heading to the AFL. Arizona in the fall is usually a haven for heavy hitters, so it should be fun to see what kind of numbers Joe can put up.