Credit ESPN with breaking this story first, and Bucs Dugout not far behind. Nate McLouth has been traded to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Charlie Morton, minor league outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and minor league pitcher Jeff Locke.
This comes as a surprise for a few reasons. Just a few days ago we mentioned that trades in June probably wouldn’t happen because teams would be reluctant to show their fan base that they were giving up and raising the white flag. Well, we forget that MLB unfortunately houses the Pirates; who need something done for them for being a putrid organization.
The Pirates also locked up McLouth to a 3-year contact earlier this year. Something about his solid numbers (9 HR, 34 RBI, .258) made them ready to give him up after making him look like he was going to be a guy they built around. This move is puzzling to say the least.
On the other hand, McLouth is 27 and the Pirates are in a constant state of rebuilding. That isn’t a young age when you are an organization like the Pirates. And although the Reds aren’t far behind them in futility; I thank God everyday that I’m not a Pirates fan because of stuff like this.
“This may be the toughest decision we have made in my time with the organization. Nate is a quality player and person but, as we have said several times, tough decisions will need to be made as we build and sustain a championship-caliber organization. Nate has worked as hard as any player to become a starting major league Player, proving wrong anyone who may have doubted him. When we signed Nate to a long-term contract, we did so with the intent on having him remain part of our core of homegrown talent. But the quality and quantity of talent we are receiving in this trade moves us closer to our goal of building that sustainable championship-caliber club and compelled us to move a very good player and an outstanding young man.”