For each and every Pittsburgh Pirates fan, they all had a defining moment when it comes to the infamous franchise record 20 straight losing seasons. Throughout the stretch there was no shortage of options to choose from.
Personally, rock-bottom was the trading of Jason Kendall to the Oakland Atheltics. In a purely money saving move, the Pirates received left-hander Mark Redman, who went on to lose 15 games in his lone season in Pittsburgh. Luckily for Arthur Rhodes, the other player in the deal, he only had to be a member of the Pirates for two weeks, as he was swapped for Matt Lawton with the Cleveland Indians.
For one of the few players that sniffed superstardom during the losing streak, the Kendall trade hurt. But if you’re looking for the true black eye of that era, look no further than the Chicago Cubs armed robbery of the Pirates in the form of the Aramis Ramirez trade. The then 24 year old third baseman, Ramirez was coming off a 30 home run season when he and Kenny Lofton was swapped for a who’s-who of nobodies.
Pirates Have Chance To Rewrite History With Aramis Ramirez
Funny though, how things come full circle – with a huge dash of irony on the side. In a dire need to add an infielder with two of the four Opening Day infielders now shelved with injuries, the Pirates turned around and reacquired Ramirez – now with the Milwaukee Brewers – EXACTLY ONE day AFTER the 12 year anniversary of Pittsburgh making the original deal with the Cubs.
This time around, the Pirates got the better end of the deal – trading away converted pitcher Yhonathan Barrios to go along with cash considerations. They will also pay $3 million of Ramirez’s remaining $5.74 million salary for the season. Ramirez is thought to be in his last season before retiring.
Not the spring chicken he once was in his time – now at age 37 – Ramirez still gives the Pirates a legitimate power hitter, as well as a honest four-hole hitter. His .430 slugging % only trails Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte among the Pirates’ regulars. His 11 home runs, while not overly impressive, is good for fourth on the current Pirates roster – trailing McCutchen, Marte and Pedro Alvarez.
While it’s hard for any team to continue the kind of success the Pirates were on with two of their everyday infielders out with injuries – the difference between those teams and let’s say, the St. Louis Cardinals, is that they have the depth to stay afloat while their starters are out.
Yea, this trade is looking even better.
Not Florimon, Morel depth but a Mercer/Jung Ho Kang competition at short, and J-Hay returning to his born-to-play role as the team’s top utility player.
Up to the trade, Ramirez had an unwanted part in one of the darkest moments in the franchise’s history – but a shot at redemption, for both sides, to erase the past and rewrite how his story is told in a Buccos jersey.
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 24: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a double in the 4th inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 24, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)