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Apparently, Scheurholz used the Pirates to help make the trade with the Mariners, at least according to this Bucco Blog:
While Littlefield was having his medical team send Gonzo's file to the Braves, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released the article indicating a deal was done between the Braves and Pirates.. the Post-Gazette evidently picked it up and ran it immediately too, and that was enough to drive Bavasi to the phone and do the Soriano deal for Ramirez. Schuerholz pulled LaRoche off the table as soon as he got Bavasi's call. But Schuerholz wasn't done.. knowing the media had made Littlefield look like a fool that he didn't get the LaRoche deal done, and thinking Littlefield was in 'save-my-job-mode', he came back at Littlefield wanting his original deal - Maholm and Castillo for LaRoche. Littlefield, of course, said no. The Braves want to clear some salary and see Castillo as a cheaper 2B option than Giles, and Maholm as a Ramirez replacement. In fairness to Dave Littlefield, Schuerholz took him over a barrel. But he had no way of knowing he was being taken until it all played out. What hurt Littlefield is when both the AJC and the Post-Gazette *both* ran with the seemingly made up story about the Braves and Pirates being close, someone with the Mariners probably heard about it, and Bavasi, eager to get some kind of starting pitching, made the call earlier than he wanted to make to Schuerholz.
Slick. (Via Chopnation message boards.)

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