A short but sweet article came out in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette this morning detailing the Pirates' five main trade candidates. No new or surprising names appear on the list but it's a handy roundup for those not up to date on their Bucco news. As we head into the '08 season (tonight!) the Pirates may not be contenders, but they could be difference makers.
Jason Bay - $5.75MM in '08, $7.5MM in '09 - I was surprised they didn't deal him in the offseason, but the Pirates are wisely taking a wait and see approach with Bay. Surely he can't be as bad as he was last season. Like the Pirates, PECOTA is predicting a moderate bounce back season, but not quite the elite 30 HR seasons of '05-'06.
Xavier Nady - $3.35MM in '08, arbitration eligible in '09 - To make room for blocked prospect Steve Pearce, Nady needs to go; however, there's enough doubt around the league that he can hit righties well enough to justify an everyday position. The Mets are the only listed suitor as they could use a corner OF/1B.
Damaso Marte - $2MM in '08 with club option for '09 - The article's rhetoric seems to imply Marte is the most likely to be dealt with Yankees and Braves as suitors. When it comes to crafty, lefty relievers, expect a number of teams to come calling.
Matt Morris - $9.5MM in '08, $9MM club option in '09 ($1MM buyout) - Morris had a nice first half for the Giants last year(3.55 ERA) before regressing to his struggling ways. His talent should make it hard to trade him out of the NL, and his contract and could make it difficult to deal him to any team not desperate for someone to pickup innings. The Pirates should be crossing their fingers for another strong first half.
Jack Wilson - $6.5MM in '08, $7.25MM in '09, $8.4 club option for '10 - The article notes that the Pirates will need a SS in return for someone on this list before they can comfortably deal Wilson as he's the only everyday SS in their system. As Tim noted back in August, Wilson just wants out of Pittsburgh and will waive his six team no trade clause.
We'd love to hear from Pirates fans on all of this.
By Nat Boyle
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