Pirate’s Hot Sove already heating up

Well it was an off day for the World Series, but my baseball world kept turning. Just a few hours ago it was announced that Pittsburgh traded reliever Jesse Chavez to Tampa Bay for Akinori Iwamura.


Aki, as he is affectionately called, will step in the Pirate clubhouse and not only be one of the oldest on the squad, but also an impact player. At 30 years old Iwamura suffered an injury last season. In just 69 games Iwamura batted .290 with 22 RBI. The power numbers aren’t there as he just hit 1 homer last year and has just 14 over his 3 year career. Iwamura does have a .335 on base percenatge-not bad but I’m hoping he can devlop into a top of the order hitter.

Iwamura’s defense is said to be top notch. It’ll be nice to have someone already meshed into a middle of the infield position. Delwyn Young, our current second baseman was a converted outfielder and had many growing pains when manning 2nd base this year.

In order to acquire Iwamura, the Pirates gave up reliever Jesse Chavez.

jchavez.jpgThe Pirates bullpen was simply attrocious this year.  One of the few, bright, ugh dare I say dimly lit spots was Chavez.  He was just 1-4 in his first full year of  service. Chavez held down a  4.01 ERA  over 67 innings.  No where near the numbers of a star reliever but for the Bucs, the numbers were pretty good. The Pirates need bullpen help and dealing away their best reliver  isn’t really my idea of improving.

All in all I am nutural on the deal. The Pirates need help, in any way possible. The deal will surely help our depth up the middle and Iwamura is an improvement over Ronny Cedeno and Young. It’ll be interesting to see how these three adapt to each other when alternating in an out. There was talk of moving Andy LaRoche to 2nd base, it now seems like these talks will cease.

When I recieved the text message update about this trade I figured many national pundits and local fans would be ho-hum about this.  Some may say “Oh this is just another trade by the Pirates to give away their players.”-but nobody said that, probably because of the return from the deal. People have heard of Akinori and so the Pirates getting him, is a great move by the Bucs. But when we trade players people have heard of such as Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez all I hear is mumblings that the Pirates are idiots for giving away these players! It is very contradictory.

aki mag.jpgAki has a track record of success. He has been on the Rays World Series team and was well liked amongst the clubhouse and the fans. He has the winning experience and a competitive edge. Bringing Iwamura into the mix adds a new dimension into the Pittsburgh clubhouse. I’m sure the international attention, specifically from the Japanese media will heighten for the Bucs. It is a new generation and every little bit helps. 

Hearing this news from the Pirates especially with the Philies and Yankees battling in the World Series just made me so much more excited for some Bucco Baseball in Pittsburgh. Heres to the best for Iwamura and the direction the Pirates are headed in!



  1. NYYyakkinblog

    As sweet as it would’ve been to win it on their turf especially after the ad that ran in the Philadelphia papers but it didn’t happen so we’re going to have to do it across the street from where the other 26 were won and where the ghosts of the postseason now reside.
    Yakkin’ About The Yankees

  2. devilabrit

    Matt – Iwamura is a good addition for the Pirates, of the clubs that unloaded staff, it looks like the Pirates are the ones that are looking to build an improved club….

  3. xcicix

    Sounds like the Pirates got the better end of that deal: Iwamura was that good in the AL, he’ll tear up the NL.

  4. theheirloom

    Matt, Talk about being aggressive! Aki is a good pickup by the Bucs. I’ve seen this guy play and he can be quite good when he wants to be – as long as he’s healthy. Put Aki with Lastings Milledge and you have a core for a possible resurrection (or to simply stay out of the cellar for quite some time).


  5. JQuist

    *Heard about the Iwamura trade man… Can’t wait to see what the Pirates roster looks like in the ’10 season. For now, I’m on cloud nine!!!!!! You already know lol… My Yanks pulled it off, and christened the new stadium. Atleast you’re not a hater Matt – you know that every dog has his day, and that the Pirates are gonna’ snag one again soon!


  6. southernbelle

    Matt: Wait. The Pirates got someone really good! Could this finally be the year where they STOP trading away half the team and actually start building? I sure hope so! KEEP BUILDING, BUCS!!!
    If so, it’s gonna be a fun offseason for you!

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