Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12/6: Pirates Pick Up Pitchers & A Delayed Deal...

  • 1939 - The Pirates traded P Jim Tobin to the Boston Bees for P Johnny Lanning. Starter Tobin went 76-88 in six seasons after the deal. Lanning pitched six seasons for the Bucs (he missed almost two years because of WW2) and went 33-29/3.44 as a starter and long man. Lanning’s bread and butter was the curve; he threw both a soft and hard hook.
Johnny Lanning (photo via NCS Baseball)
  • 1966 - The Bucs sent P Don Cardwell and OF Don Bosch to the New York Mets for P Dennis Ribant and OF Gary Kolb. Cardwell had three solid years with NY and appeared in the 1969 “Miracle Mets” World Series, while Ribant pitched for a year in Pittsburgh before leaving and being converted to a reliever by the Tigers. The OF players never panned out.
  • 1983 - Pittsburgh traded OF Mike Easler to the Boston Red Sox for P John Tudor. Easler had a big year with the Red Sox before fading. Tudor went 12-11 in 32 starts for the Pirates in 1984, then was traded to St. Louis for OF George Hendrick. Tudor was brilliant in 1985 for the Cards, with 21 wins and 10 complete game shutouts. He led St. Louis to the World Series, and after pitching masterfully against KC in games 1 & 4, he fell apart in Game 7, losing 11-0. The lefty cut his pitching hand punching some locker room equipment while in a snit after the defeat and he never won more than 13 games afterward.
  • 1990 - The Pirates inked LHP Zane Smith as a free agent for two years and $4.75M after getting him from the Montreal Expos for Moises Alou in the middle of the 1990 season. Smith pitched six of his final seven campaigns in Pittsburgh with a line of 47-41/3.35 and was part of the rotation for the 1990-92 playoff teams, winning 16 games in 1991. Though he was released in 1996 by the Bucs, he went out in style: his 100th and final win was in June of that year, a six-hit, complete game shutout of the San Diego Padres.
Evan Meek 2011 (photo Getty Images)
  • 2000 - The Bucs, with the second pick in the Rule 5 draft, selected RHP Evan Meek from Tampa Bay. He stuck for parts of five years with Bucs (2008-12), going 7-7-4 with a 3.34 ERA. After a breakout All-Star year in 2010 when he went 5-6-4 with a 2.14 ERA, arm injuries took their toll on the flame thrower’s (he could touch 98) career.
  • 2006 - The Pirates came close to landing 1B Adam LaRoche, but a swap with the Braves for LHP Mike Gonzalez fell through. Both were good fits - Gonzo was 24-for-24 in save opportunities while LaRoche was coming off a 32-HR season - but the Pirates said that Atlanta was concerned about injury issues while the Bravos claimed Dave Littlefield dragged his feet too long. Either way, the Bravos went in another direction and landed Rafael Soriano to make the matter moot. The finger pointing resolved itself quickly; the two sides kissed and made up, and a few weeks later Gonzalez and SS Brent Lillibridge were sent to Atlanta for LaRoche and 1B/OF Jamie Romak.

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