It's amazing that I'm still finding new things to read about the trade, but almost two days later, I am. There's two more things that I think are important reads about this move. The first is from Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus:
While 2008 is a lost year for Tabata, he represents the type of talent the Pirates have generally had problems getting into the system: young, high-upside with superstar potential and some risk involved. It’s not clear what he’s going to become, but what he could become is more impressive than any other Pirate prospect’s ceiling. This is the type of deal Neal Huntington needed to make. Considering that he flipped an impending free agent (Marte) and a player having a career half, this is a very good deal for the Pirates; first-year GM.The second is from Wilbur Miller:
This is an indelicate comparison, but if you want the optimistic viewpoint, think about Hanley Ramirez, who put up a desultory 2005 season in Double-A, creating whispers similar to what we’ve heard about Tabata. Three years later, Ramirez is as close to untouchable as any player in the game. That’s the kind of talent Huntington is trying to add to the Pirates, and if the name and the performance aren’t thrilling to Pirates fans, the thought process and the approach should be.
What’s significant about this trade is the break it represents from the model that Huntington inherited from his incompetent predecessor. What he’s found out this year, both from the collapse of the major league pitching and the poor performances of many of the team’s already-dubious prospects throughout the farm system, is that the Pirates can’t finesse the post-2009 talent vacuum. He and Coonelly both have stated many times that they’re not aiming at just reaching .500, but at building an organization that will be competitive over the long term. This is the first tangible sign that they meant it.They're both worth a full read (the BP article is free until tonight).
I know that my gut reaction to this trade is that it wasn't a great one, but the more I look at it, the more it seems clear the most important aspect of this trade isn't necessarily the players we got, but the thought process involved. I may disagree with Huntington on the value of Tabata, but the point is that he's a very young and very talented and that's what the Pirates need . Not only did Huntington manage to make this deal, but by making this deal six days before the deadline, he sent a message that he's willing to work with other GMs and he's not going to cave Littlefield-style as the deadline approaches. Buster Olney, Joe Buck, and Tim McCarver can blabber on about whatever they want on TV, but it's clear that Huntington got what he wanted in this move.