There's one trade in particular the Pirates' GM really regrets
In the spirit of Groundhog Day, Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington revealed the one trade he wishes he could have back.
When asked by MLB.com which trade he'd like a mulligan for, Huntington selected a deal he made during his first full year as Pirates GM that sent Jason Bay to Boston in a three-way transaction with the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Just before the 2008 non-waiver trade deadline, Pittsburgh made the deal, which brought them outfielder Brandon Moss, reliever Craig Hansen, infield prospect Andy LaRoche, and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris, and sent outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers.
The outcome of that trade has Huntington wishing he would have never made it happen.
"The worst outcome trade we've made has been Jason Bay," said Huntington, via MLB.com. "At the time, it was very positively received by the pundits and by the experts. ... Most everyone felt like it was a good return. As we look back on it, so did we, obviously."
Bay, who had been one of the Pirates' most prolific power hitters from 2004 to 2008, finished the season on a tear with the Red Sox, hitting .293/.370/.527 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in 49 games.
He then followed up with 36 home runs and 117 RBI with the Red Sox the following season in 2009.
If the prospects that Pittsburgh received in return would have panned out, the move would have seemed a net-positive, as Bay experienced a massive decline after the 2009 season.
However, none of them did – at least not in the Pirates' organization.
Moss hit .228 in 195 games over three years with Pirates. Two years later, he blossomed into the All-Star player he had been projected to become as a member of the Oakland A's.
Hansen's career was cut short due to a nerve condition.
LaRoche had a solid season for the Pirates in 2009, in which he hit .258/.330/.401 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI, but he never fulfilled his potential and has since dropped off the grid.
Morris contributed the most to the Pirates out of the bunch, holding a 9-7 record with a 3.46 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 81 appearances over three years.
"The outcome of it sure has not played out the way we anticipated," Huntington said of the trade.
While the aftermath of the deal was by no means favorable to the Pirates, it reminded Huntington of the importance of upholding a regimented system in the front office.
"That one certainly reinforced our belief coming in the door that we needed to shift how we do things, who's doing it and how many people are doing it," he said. "The outcome of that trade certainly reinforced that professional scouts are really important, that we needed to beef up our analytics and that we needed to beef up the volume of our pro scouts and the structure of their assignments to put us in a better position to make better decisions."