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Pirates Trades: Early Reaction To Derrek Lee, Ryan Ludwick Deals

With the trade deadline now in the rearview mirror, reactions to the Pirates' moves for first baseman Derrek Lee and outfielder Ryan Ludwick are trickling in. Here are some of the early opinions from local and national personalities.

Former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Bob Smizik thinks the moves makes the Pirates better, but wonders if they were too late.

Lee, who was acquired Saturday for a minor leaguer, is an upgrade over Lyle Overbay at first base. Ludwick becomes one of the Pirates three best outfielders.

The team is better today than it was Saturday. The question is: Does it matter any more?

The Pirates are staggering into August. They’ve lost five of six and eight of 11. The 6-5, 10-inning loss to Philadelphia today dropped them 4½ games behind first-place Milwaukee. They are closer to fourth-place Cincinnati (2 games) than they are to second-place St. Louis (2½ games). They've scored only 37 runs in the past 13 games.

ESPN's Buster Olney appears to like the deals.

Pirates added a couple of veteran hitters at modest cost, in Ludwick and Lee. Makes them better.

Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan had this to say about the Lee deal Saturday night...

Pittsburgh management said it would do everything it could to stay competitive in the NL Central, which means the Pirates better have a busy Sunday, because even if Lee is hitting .261/.306/.533 in July, it’s not nearly enough.

...and this to say about the Ludwick deal Sunday afternoon.

The Pirates get incrementally better, which, for a team that is playing as much for 2012, ’13 and beyond as this season, is the appropriate sort of measure. Ludwick will appreciate escaping the dungeon of Petco Park, though his career year of 2008 seems more like a decade ago. Pittsburgh beat out Cleveland, which is supposed to happen only in football.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Dejan Kovacevic has these brief thoughts. He'll probably have more later.

I can't think of good reason to look forward to Ryan Ludwick coming to -- aside from isolated 2008 season -- but I'm open-minded.

Pat Lackey of Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke offers this.

Ludwick is not an exciting acquisition. He's not the player he was when he played for the Cardinals. But he does give the Pirates a bit more depth and if he's used properly, I think he could strengthen the platoon lineup against lefties quite a bit. He plays good defense, he's getting out of Petco, and it doesn't seem like the Pirates gave up a whole lot to get him. Obviously I'd rather have someone like Jason Kubel, but it doesn't seem like that was an option for the Pirates. Ludwick should make the Pirates a little bit deeper, at least until Tabata and Presley come back, and by extenstion a little bit better for the stretch run. 

Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects adds:

Overall I like him as a short term solution over Garrett Jones.  His defense is much better, although his offense is a concern, especially since he’s 32, and only has one standout year (2008).  When Alex Presley and Jose Tabata return, I wouldn’t start Ludwick, even with his salary, as I don’t think he upgrades either of the young outfielders.  He’d be a nice option off the bench, mostly for his defense.  The big bonus here would be the Type B status, which could land the Pirates a compensation pick.

More will probably trickle out tonight, so stay tuned here to SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.