Wednesday night, Nate McLouth was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Atlanta Braves for three prospects – right-hander Charlie Morton, centerfielder Gorkys Hernandez and lefty Jeff Locke.
McLouth hasn’t been quite as awesome in the first two months of 2009 as he was in 2008. His current 5×5 numbers on the year are .256/9/34/27/7 versus .312/13/41/46/5 through the first two months of last season. Lack of offensive protection in that woeful Pirates lineup has something to do with that. Like most Buccos, he has missed having Jason Bay bat behind him.
That said, the Pirates get to call up Andrew McCutchen, a top prospect. Calling him up makes their outfield even more crowded with players who have limited fantasy baseball value. Unless you are majorly in need of speed, I would hold off on adding McCutchen until we all see what we’re going to get. NL-only leaguers probably already have the guy on a bench somewhere.
McLouth brings a gold glove and 20/20 potential to the Braves lineup, which could use an energy shot. For that 20/20 production, however, it seems Bobby Cox will have to let McLouth run more than he did with the Bucs so far this season. Expect McLouth’s run production and batting average to improve in his new surroundings, thanks to the presence of Brian McCann and Chipper Jones in the lineup.
Jordan Schafer got reassigned thanks to the acquisition of McLouth, but anyone who pounced on Schafer after his Opening Night standout performance probably bailed sometime in the last month, anyway.