The Pirates traded right-handed relief pitcher Salomon Torres to the Milwaukee Brewers today for minor league relievers Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts. This ends Torres’ six-year tenure with the Bucs. The 35-year-old pitcher resurrected his career with the team in 2002 after spending four years out of baseball. He was the most dependable reliever for the Pirates the past few years, averaging about 85 appearances per season from 2004-2006. However, he struggled through injuries in 2007. He pitched in only 56 games, posting an ERA of 5.47 and a WHIP of 1.41.
Salas, 26, split 55 appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in 2007. The right-hander had an ERA of 2.77 and a WHIP of 1.20, with 54 strikeouts and 22 walks in 61.2 innings. He saved 17 games. Roberts, 23, made 45 appearances for the Brewers’ High-A team last season. Also right-handed, he stuck out 74 and walked 37 in 65.1 innings. He had an ERA of 3.44 and a WHIP of 1.35, and also saved four games. The Pirates now have one opening on the 40-man roster, a spot that could go to utility infielder Chris Gomez.
Both of these pitchers posted decent numbers last season, but were a bit old for their respective levels. Torres likely had little trade value, due to his age and struggles last season. He may have had a few decent years left in his arm, and his departure leaves a huge hole in the bullpen. But I take this as a good sign, that Huntington is looking to the future as opposed to 2008. He was able to turn an aging reliever into two young relievers that could be productive at the Major League level in a few years. Also considerations are Torres’ $3.2 million salary in 2008 and the grievance he filed against the team last year. All in all, this move is not very significant. For additional analysis, check out Brewers Bar and The Transaction Guy.