CINCINNATI -- Trade deadline day turned out to be a relatively quiet one for the Pirates.
As expected, Corey Dickerson was dealt Thursday before the 4 p.m. deadline. He was shipped earlier in the afternoon to the Phillies for a player to be named and $250,000 in international signing-bonus pool money.
That was it.
Felipe Vazquez stayed put despite being the subject of plenty of rumors in recent weeks. The Pirates also didn't find trade partners for Francisco Liriano and Melky Cabrera, who would seemingly be able to help a contending team in an ancillary role.
Dickerson is eligible for free agency at the end of the season and the Pirates had no plans of re-signing him. General manager Neal Huntington said dealing Dickerson should open up more playing time for Jose Osuna. And, potentially, Jason Martin and Pablo Reyes, who are at Class AAA Indianapolis.
"It's going to give opportunity to players who could be key parts of our 2020 club, beyond to gain major-league exposure," Huntington said. "It also gives us an opportunity to spend more in the international market, acquire a lottery ticket or two. We love the job (Latin American scouting director) Junior Vizcaino is doing and we're looking forward to giving him the opportunity to sign more players."
In 141 plate appearances spanning 43 games this season, Dickerson slashed .317/.376/.556 with four home runs. He missed the first two months of the season due to a right shoulder injury, but has hit .336 since his return in early June. Last year, Dickerson was the National League Gold Glove left fielder in his first season with the Pirates, after being acquired from the Rays in a trade early in spring training.
He joins a Philadelphia club that is six games back of the NL East-leading Braves but is clinging to the second wild card spot, which they currently share with the Cubs.
Dickerson had mixed emotions about the trade.
"I enjoyed my time here in Pittsburgh and so did my family," he said. "The people treated us great and the organization was great. I'm not just going to be jumping around because I made some very good friendships here and it's tough to leave that behind."
Dickerson talked more about the move:
Huntington acknowledged that multiple teams inquired about Vazquez but declined to elaborate on what kind of offers he received. However, by his tone, it sure sounded like the general manager was never seriously tempted to trade his two-time All-Star closer.
Vazquez said he thought all along that he would not be dealt.
"I told you guys nothing was going to happen," Vazquez said. "I'm glad to still be here. Things have been good here. Now, we've got to start winning some games."
It is somewhat surprising that Liriano and Cabrera remain with the Pirates as they are also on expiring contracts.
“They give us a quality veteran presence and they can help our young players continue to grow, and we like them being around the club,” Huntington said. “We just didn’t feel we would have gotten enough in return to be appropriate to trade them. All things considered, the right move was to have them continue to be Pirates.”
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