Cleveland and Pittsburgh, after *months* (OK, I exaggerate, but only a little) of haggling, completed a huge 6-player trade this morning.
Cleveland gets OF Rod McNeil, SP/MR Rodney Stuart, and SP Cap Scott; Pittsburgh nets OF Omar Villa, 1B Walker Sobolewski and IF Wayne Walker.
McNeil was Pittsburgh's first-round pick in Season 17 (#2 overall), Stuart was their Comp D pick the same year (#3 overall); Scott was Nashville's first-round pick that year as well (#33 overall) and came to the Pirates in a pre-season trade last year.
Villa (Season 11 IFA) is a .308 hitter over 6 sometimes injury-plagued seasons. Sobolewski was the Indians' Season 14 first-rounder (#10 overall) and has posted a .908 OPS in his first 2 ML seasons. Walker was a Season 14 first-round selection by the Cardinals (#12 overall) and came to Cleveland in last year's Dioner Petit deal.
Blanch13 on what the deal means for Pittsburgh: "Now we have a solid lineup. We don't have a superstar slugger anywhere but we'll get good AB's from all 8 starters. We're deep and versatile...we can go all-righty against lefty pitching and start 6 lefties against RHP. I think we can give the Phillies and Mets a run for it now."
On the negotiations with Cleveland: "Jgnjr was a very tough negotiator and extremely persistent. We started, I think, around arb day talking about a small deal for Walker. He wanted 2 players for Walker, and it just escalated...we each kept asking for one more chip. Most owners would've gotten frustrated an shut it down...jgnjr just kept sending offers. We took a breather around roster freeze day...when we resumed it was clear we had both moderated our demands, or maybe we both had so much invested in the deal we couldn't let it die. In the end we certainly gave up a lot of young talent but think we helped the team."
At presstime, jgnjr was unavailable for comment but has promised to send in his take on the deal at earliest convenience.