Neal Huntington’s Trade Record

As those of you who have been on this blog a while may know I keep a list of Neal Huntington’s trades. I try my best to keep it fairly complete with any trades of note. Well today I added the Hanrahan deal and also a few of the minor ones this offseason. It is now up to a total of 57 trades. I estimate about half of them to be of insignificant quality (ie both Drew Sutton trades this past season).

Anyway as is my normal way I took a brief glance and wanted to see how many trades I could say had definitely been won or lost by the Pirates. With just a quick glance I came up with 29 trades of insignificant value, some could probably be considered a slight loss, some a slight win but really they weren’t deals of any note. Ten of the remaining 28 I considered to be incomplete right now. Those are the 3 important trades at this past deadline, the 6 this offseason and the newly revived from the L column Adam LaRoche trade (Strickland was added to the 40 man so I’m not ready to call it quite yet). Of the trades made this offseason the only 2 that look of much significance right now are the Ramon Cabrera and Hanrahan deals.

That leaves me with 18. Of those 18 I consider 10 of them to be wins and 8 of them losses. Again this is really subjective. I mean how much of a loss is Jesse Chavez for Akinori Iwamura? How much of a win was Snyder and Ciriaco for Church, Crosby and Carrasco? Probably nearly insignificant either way.

In truth when you get down to it NH trading history and how he is currently viewed is shaped by only 7 deals. They are probably best known as the Bay, Sanchez, Bautista, Nady, McLouth, Dotel and Burnett trades. For a recap of those 7 deals:

Pirates Dealt: Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez, Jose Bautista, Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, Nate McLouth, Octavio Dotel, Exicardo Cayones and Diego Moreno

Pirates Received: Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Brandon Moss, Craig Hansen, Tim Alderson, Robinson Diaz, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, Gorkys Hernandez, James McDonald, Andrew Lambo and AJ Burnett

Like it or not when we look at Huntington’s trade record that is essentially what we are dealing with. It may be unfair to lump Bautista in there as his deal at the time it was made was a minor one but it certainly effects the perception of Neal Huntington.

This is only part of how a GM should be evaluated. His drafting, free agent signings and many other aspects also need to be evaluated but when assessing Huntington’s track record on trades there are a bunch of data points one can use but in reality only 7 of them are important to the discussion. How did Huntington fare in those 7 trades? Probably not as well as he should have but not as poorly as a lot of people seem to think. One more thing to keep in mind is that this is incomplete evaluation the 3 trades made at this past deadline and even possibly the Joel Hanrahan trade could sway his record widely in either direction.

3 Comments

I guess you can categorize all these words as much to do about nothing then. NH really hasn’t had any significant successes, and the losses have been organization killers. Meaning he has not added to the roster any significant improvements. Then you turn to his Free Agents list, another unispiring group of acquisitons. Now to talk about his drafts to date, again not alot to get excited about after 5 years of work. So, in all an un-insipiring job, which has done very little to add the progress we needed to make.

Sorry I meant had not been organization killers.

Through his time with the Pirates Huntington has went from being a below average GM to an average GM in my opinion. I think there may even be more room for him to grow and that this year and next if he is around that he might even blossom into an above average GM.

However for teams like the Pirates (and Rays, Royals, other small market teams) the 18th, 15th or even 12th best GM isn’t enough. It takes a top 10 (and probably top 5) GM to be truly successful. I know for a fact NH is not that and I don’t believe he can become that so that is the reason I felt he should have been left go this offseason. I understood the other side though.

Huntington has helped the Pirates out quite a good bit he has taken the Pirates from a terrible position which was unattractive to most high profile GM candidates to one which should at least no be so easily dismissed this time around.

I think this will be his last season and if so it hasn’t been a complete failure but there was potential for more there. If he is to stick around though it is probably going to have to be off the backs of the Snider and Rodriguez trades he made last deadline.

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