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With the Giants apparently comfortable with their second examination of second baseman Freddy Sanchez's knee, they decided to send highly regarded pitching prospect Tim Alderson to the Pirates to acquire him and fill their hole at that position.
Sanchez's fantasy value doesn't change much, and he'll continue to be the player he has been the past few seasons (batting average in the .300 range, but with little power or speed) in his new home. He's listed as day-to-day for now and should be back in the lineup soon.
What the deal does is give Delwyn Young a chance to get regular at-bats as the Pirates' second baseman. The 27-year-old has definite offensive potential and has been waiting for a chance to play every day, and it appears he might finally get his opportunity as the team evaluates if he can be an option there in 2010. Young's defense at second base is still a work in progress, and is likely going to be a negative in terms of holding on to a starting job. However, he could be a quietly effective producer in deep mixed leagues, hitting for batting average with a little pop if he gets regular at-bats down the stretch. I'm assuming Young is already rostered in most NL-only leagues. If he's not, he should be picked up immediately.
"It's tough to say because he hasn't played that much," manager John Russell told the team Web site about Young's defensive progress. "I don't know if I would be totally accurate because he hasn't played out there much. We'll have to see how [his defense] progresses ... So far, so good with the limited look."
The inclusion of Alderson was mildly surprising as it was expected the Giants might be able to pull off a deal without including Alderson or Madison Bumgarner by giving up a pitching prospect like Kevin Pucetas instead. I profiled Alderson extensively back in late April.
His strikeout rate has plummeted since moving to Double-A, as he's fanned just 46 in 72 2/3 innings. His fastball command hasn't been quite as sharp as it was last season, and he's learning to make his plus curve less of a chase pitch. However, he still profiles as a potential third or fourth starter in the big leagues who could get an audition in Pittsburgh as soon as next season.