David M. Littlefield
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195 lb.
Littlefield played football while at the University of Massachusetts, and was signed as a free agent catcher. He played in the minor league organizations of the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. After his playing days, he coached baseball at the University of Massachusetts and Clemson University. Starting in 1988, he worked on the staff of the Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos, and Florida Marlins, moving to increasingly more important positions. In 1997-1998 he was director of player development for the Expos and from 1999 to 2001 he was assistant GM of the Marlins.
In 2003, Littlefield traded away the top two hitters on the Pirates, Aramis Ramirez and Brian Giles, under pressure to cut costs. The Giles trade for Jason Bay and Oliver Perez has been considered his best move, while the Ramirez trade has been considered his worst. Littlefield has been criticized for demanding "MLB-ready" players instead of looking for more talented prospects that need some development time. Littlefield was also famous for his blundering in the 2003 Rule V Draft, when the club had five of the first six players taken due to leaving top prospects like Chris Shelton, Chris Young and Jose Bautista unprotected.
In 2004, Littlefield refused an offer of Ryan Howard for Kris Benson as he felt Brad Eldred was comparable to Howard and the team did not need two young power prospects. Instead, he dealt Benson with Jeff Keppinger for Ty Wigginton and Jose Bautista.
In 2006, he dealt away the team's #2 offensive threat over the prior five and a half seasons, Craig Wilson in return for a pitcher who, at the time of the trade, had an ERA of 7.00 in Shawn Chacon. A year later, Wilson had bounced between three organizations while Chacon was one of the more reliable parts of a leaky Pirates bullpen. Additionally, he has repeatedly signed washed-up veterans like Jeromy Burnitz, Joe Randa, Raul Mondesi or Benito Santiago, who have quit the team after a short time of poor production or spent most of their time on the bench.
Littlefield spent the winter of 2007 trying to acquire Adam LaRoche to give the club more power. After deals fell through at the winter meetings, he acquired LaRoche in January, along with Jamie Romak, by dealing away shortstop prospect Brent Lillibridge and closer Mike Gonzalez. The deal got mixed reviewes and the final anaylysis will depend on whether Gonzalez stays healthy, whether LaRoche maintains his 2006 form or whether it was a fluke and how Lillibridge develops.
Littlefield's major in-season move in 2007 was the trading-deadline acquisition of Matt Morris for Rajai Davis and a player to be named later (Steve MacFarland). The move was criticized by Pirates fans as Morris would consume about 1/5 of the Pirates budget for 2008 despite having been an average pitcher for the prior several years. No other team had offered to take on all of Morris's salary, resulting in a situation of Littlefield bidding against himself (as had been the case with Burnitz and Randa a year earlier).
Littlefield also picked Danny Moskos with the 4th overall pick of the 2007 amateur draft, a move highly criticized by the team's fans for several reasons: 1) Moskos was a sub-.500 pitcher in college. 2) Moskos was projected to be a relief pitcher, a waste of resources with such a high selection in the eyes of many. 3) The consensus top hitting prospect, Matt Wieters, was still available.
In September, 2007, Littlefield was fired by the Pirates and replaced on an interim basis by Brian Graham, the club's director of player development. Neal Huntington was hired to take Littlefield's job. Littlefield was second all-time in losses by a Pirates GM while ranking third in wins and almost fourth. Only Joe L. Brown, who had a much longer tenure, took more losses. The much-criticized Cam Bonifay had lost fewer games while winning more.
In 2011, Littlefield is Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Chicago Cubs.
|Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager