The Pirates are looking for outfield help, GM Neal Huntington told reporters (including Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). While Huntington likes the Bucs’ current outfield options, the team is still on the lookout for external players to help the fill the void left by the suspended Starling Marte. “If we felt there was something better internally at this point in time, we’d make that move,” Huntington said.
In four games since Marte’s suspension was announced on Tuesday, the Bucs have used Andrew McCutchen in center field, Gregory Polanco in left and a variety of players (Adam Frazier, Jose Osuna and John Jaso) in right. Frazier has been swinging a hot bat this season, though overall, the outfield mix isn’t tenable defensively. (Using converted infielders like Josh Harrison also wouldn’t help matters.) There isn’t much reinforcement available at the minor league level, as Huntington reiterated that top prospect Austin Meadows isn’t going to be promoted anytime soon. As Brink notes, Meadows isn’t hitting well at Triple-A and the Bucs would likely prefer to delay Meadows’ debut for service time reasons anyway.
The rather makeshift nature of the Pirates’ outfield over the last week isn’t surprising considering that the organization was apparently almost as shocked as the rest of the baseball world by the news of Marte’s suspension. “We had no idea, no knowledge that this was coming,” Huntington said, adding that Pirates only learned of the suspension the night before MLB announced the 80-game ban last Tuesday.
Given this surprise factor and the Pirates’ limited payroll capabilities, the team certainly won’t make a rash move to trade for a star outfielder, especially since Marte will be back by mid-July. Looking at the list of available free agent outfielders, Alejandro De Aza and Sam Fuld are potential fits, as left-handed bats are more of a need for Pittsburgh and a player with center field capability is necessary given McCutchen’s declining glovework.
The designated-for-assignment market is perhaps the more interesting avenue of exploration, as Leonys Martin was just DFA’ed by the Mariners earlier today. Martin’s $4.85MM salary is likely out of the Pirates’ comfort zone, though the M’s could cover some of that money or take on another contract in a trade. The Pirates have considered recently-designated Brewers outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (Twitter link). Nieuwenhuis is also a left-handed hitter but doesn’t produce much at the plate, so Biertempfel thinks the Bucs will look elsewhere.
Why not Ryan Braun 😉
Replace one drug cheat with another.
Abraham Almonte, take him please…
You can have Scott van slyke for some Penguins tickets.
Might take you up on that offer. He probably has more power than anyone else on the team. Plus his daddy did well enough for us back in the day.
Why not try Alen Hanson? Seriously. The Pirates cannot afford to not give they guy a chance. I cannot understand why they are letting him rot without finding out if he can play at the MLB level.
If I were the Pirates I’d take Leonys Martin.
He will be a pirate
Would think that they just wait for him to be released then sign him
yeah, speedy OF with defensive skills that most likely won’t hurt you.. sounds like a good idea to me. If they can get him after he is a free agent anyway.. I wouldn’t trade or take on his full salary though.
Assuming the Cespedes injury isn’t serious (which you can never tell with the Mets), Granderson is gladly available
He already said he’s not playing.
why is that? never heard that report
Reported earlier this week I think, he said he won’t play this season to spend more time with family but not officially retiring
Yeah but he was also holding out this spring for a major league deal. If he can hook up with a decent team that will give him at bats he may change his mind. Definitely fits the bill and would be there best FA option.
I agree, they could convince Pagan to come play in Pittsburgh!
They’re more likely to have a reunion with Jose Pagan.
I know he’s not left handed but A-Jax has been playing very sparingly for Cleveland despite putting up quietly strong offensive (great on base numbers, producing runs) and defensive numbers.
He’s expendable with guys like Naquin and Bradley Zimmer in AAA and gives the Indians a roster spot.
Plus he has 1.25m left on his contract and would probably cost a C prospect like Tate Scioneaux or Eric Wood.
Yes, take Jackson or Almonte from Cleveland.
How in the world did the Pirates not know that this was a possibility? It is my understanding that he failed the test but was allowed to play during his appeal. The only way that they wouldn’t know was if the test results were communicated to Marte and not the team. That may be the case but I think that if that is the case then Marte had a responsibility to tell the Pirates that this could be coming. His inability to do so shows some deceit and lack of commitment to team success.
What? He has the right to an appeals process and Pittsburgh knew the results – they are shared with the team and player, as per the PED agreement. But, just like in the normal justice system, the appeals process has to play out first.
I heard Huntingdon on his weekly radio show today. The MLBPA and the player (and anyone they tell) are the only ones informed, not the team. That way if the player wins the appeal, the fewest number of people least likely to leak the info know and the player’s rep isn’t damaged by a bad test.
Not exactly. The commissioner’s office, MLBPA, Player, and a number of medical staff know.
I wish they’d trade for Austin Jackson.
Because we don’t want him in Cleveland.
bring in swish
How about Tyler Collins or Mikie Mahtook? One could be DFA’d very soon.
Tyler Oneil, Boog Powell and Leonys Martin for Mcutchen. Ok it won’t happen for many many reasons but I can dream.
It’s not there for the Pirates this year. They should be selling expiring contracts, not buying short term fixes.
Haha how about ARod at 1B and Josh Bell in RF
The’d be getting one of Martes suppliers then. The other is Barry Bonds.
Wily Mo Pena
I’d just figure out which of Harrison and Frazier are better at which of 2B and RF and use them. Basically, figure out where Frazier does the least harm and put Harrison in the other spot. Frazier is the only real leadoff hitter by skill set the Pirates have had since Tony Womack.
Martin for free works, too.
What this team really needs is power from the 3rd base spot and a better bench. Getting a power hitting 3B and pushing Freese or Bell to the bench on any given day kills two birds. If Kang somehow comes back, having him as a bench player makes the bench the best in the league at that point.
He’s having an absurdly awful year so far, but Todd Frazier would be interesting.
And I doubt this happens because it’s a division trade, but if the Reds move Saurez when they promote Senzel, I’d at least try to find a way to get that done.
The pitching (aside from Bastardo and Glasnow’s first two starts) has been really good. Between Taillon, Nova and Cole the Pirates basically have 3 high end #2 starters. Kuhl is quietly rather good. Glasnow gets discernibly better in each start. That’s something to build on.
Sheesh wouldn’t it be a dream to land Frazier and Quintana
I’m not interested in Quintana at anything close to the asking price.
Right now, he’d be 4th (maybe even 5th) in line to pitch a wild card game behind Taillon, Nova and Cole (at this moment, Kuhl, too). The Pirates have Keller and Kingham in the minors, too.
We need a power bat. If Frazier rebounds and the Pirates could either land him cheap as a rental or somehow manage to sign him to an extension (basically take the Cutch money and give it to him) after parting with a decent prospect or two for him, I’d be all for it.
Sox would throw in $ and not ask for anything better than Taylor Hearn in return for Frazier.
But the Pirates shouldn’t do it. Frazier is done. For nearly 2 years now, his D has been in decline and his at-bats produce K’s or infield pop-ups.
You can take Frazier. I’d rather see Davidson playing everyday at this point. I can’t figure out why the heck he’s not starting at third nearly every game with Frazier DH’ing (assuming he won’t be benched). I understand why they want to play Frazier, but the fact that Cody Asche is getting nearly everyday at-bats instead of Davidson is ridiculous.
I don’t know…Frazier was so good in the NL Central for years with the Reds, I’d take the chance. Especially for a guy like Hearn.
Lack of power behind them means the 1-2-3 hitters get junk pitches all day. Polanco has 5 RBI out of the #4 spot so far this year.
Yeah as a Red in that bandbox of a stadium. Todd Frazier is overrated. He doesn’t get on base and is not a good defender anymore.
Melky Cabrera would be a great fit, switch hitter with a bit of pop who can play either corner outfield spot, and center in a pinch.
Lol no, he most certainly cannot. Maybe if that pinch was a stranglehold…
Last time I checked freese was batting around .320
So u want to put a .320 hitter on the bench with a lineup full of .220’s? And that’s being generous
I get wanting power but u just named the one position the pirates DON’T need to mess with lol
Braun for Glasnow cash
I assume you meant Braun and cash for Glasnow. While I wouldn’t be opposed to trading for Braun just seems like unless they Brewers ate A LOT of money it would never happen.
Theoretically I could see that for a few reasons:
1) New York can throw some cash to cover part of gardners salary to net a better, near mlb ready prospect return
2) Gardner can cover center defensively and keep Cutch in a corner spot
3) Yanks have young bats but need starting pitching and Bucs have a bunch of decent upper minors pitching prospects.
Does something like gardner and 5 mil for Steven Brault/Tyler Eppler/Clay Holmes plus another B or C prospect going to New York sound fair?
If you are smoking something illegal
Antonio Bastardo to Mariners for Martin might work…salaries line up closely
So many better options than Bastardo who just hurts them.
Meanwhile, the Mariners got a good run out of Caminero after he busted out here, maybe Bastardo could give them something.
just sign Sam Fuld if you want a guy who can only walk and make great catches
Is bj Upton still available after the blue jays fired him?
I can see them getting a inexpensive sign like Sam fuld. In July if they are not in 22nd at best they’ll trade Cutch.
BJ Upton is out for a while….not an option and Todd Frazier is with the White Sox not the Reds anymore….above someone said Todd Frazier to Pirates but won’t happen because it’s a division trade….he hasn’t been a Red for a couple years now….the Pirates have Adam Frazier who is not the power source that Todd is….
BJ upton signed with the giants a couple of weeks ago and is out for a thumb injury I think idk
Pagan had every opportunity to come back and play with his teammates in SF due to the team not having a LF at all….but he still hasn’t so I doubt he will comeback to play for the Pirates….most likely scenario would be Martin going to the Pirates because Meadows is not ready….if Pagan comes back at all it will be as a Giants LF….just saying
Cole is the Pirates ace but pitching more like a #2….and Taillon is a solid #3….Nova has never been good and Kuhl is not proven….they are not in good shape just because a couple of them are pitching above their talent level through 20 games of the young season….they have the 3rd best rotation in their 5 team division after the Cubs and Cardinals….only ahead of the Reds and Brewers who probably have 2 of the worst rotations in the NL if not the MLB….so it’s not saying much to have a better rotation than those 2 teams…..the Pirates need to start trading away contracts like Cutch to get more young talent because their window of competing is closed….the Cubs own the division….
Umm, Tallion pitched well last year. He is a possible Ace for many other teams in the future. Nova can be a bounce back player like AJ Burnett. He is legit #3 or #4 in a rotation. Chad Kuhl is #4 or #5 on any rotation. Cole, his rookie year has been the best. I am not sure if he is going to be all he was to be. I will give you a big props on that. But Tallion, Kuhl, and Nova are capable pitchers and higher than you give credit for. I don’t know where you get your information, but you are incorrect. Cubs are struggling and no one is running with it yet. I am ok with Trading McCutchen, if it brings in a piece or two to push the Bucs to at least a wild card. Season is young and there is plenty of promises so far for the Bucs. I don’t know if you have a personal issue or what your deal is. It just doesn’t add up or support most of your claims.
melky would be a good fit.
I agree on milkman being a fit
So they want a freely available left handed center fielder who can hit, and $5m is out of their budget…
Good luck storming the castle, boys.
I don’t think he was saying it is out of their budget. I think he was just saying why pay 5 million for someone who was just DFA when you know the team is obviously actively looking to get rid of him.
So trade for Pedro Alvarez out of the orioles minors. Face it we need power and that is something Pedro has always had.
Are Willy Garcia or Keon Broxton available?
Both are hitting well under .200 and one got sent to the minors, so…
Do you want Jose Tabata back, too?
Brett The Wolfman
Melky has been very consistent for my Sox, his D is not great but it’s not bad either. We are going to need to eat money for every trade we do to hey better prospects
Matt Szczur from the Cubs would be an interesting option. Though they are in the same division, this could make sense. Given the context of Tommy La Stella’s behavior last year and the Pirates’ lack of proven outfielders, there would be no reason for either team not to look into it
Marte should of doubled his dose of PEDS. I mean compared to other cheaters his numbers weren’t anything to brag about.
Which tells you where he would’ve been if he wasn’t using.
Nothing personal but I know baseball….and how it works….Nova is doing good this year and is a capable #3 or #4….Kuhl is okay but nothing special….could be #4 or #5 on most teams and yes Taillon is a stud and Cole is a stud but Cole really has only 1 really good season behind him….Taillon is still growing….Glasnow may be future #2 but the guy who posted that they are all high end #2 starters and I simply disagree with that….#3 and #4 maybe but not #2s except Taillon and who has upside to be an ace….Cole already has that status by default but on the Nats….Red Sox….Dodgers and a handful of other teams he too is a #2….am ace of a team doesn’t make them an ace….Quintana is perfect example….solid #2 but definitely not an ace….he is only an ace by default after Sale left….Cole has ace potential and has shown it in the past but he is not consistent….future looks bright with Cole….Taillon and Glasnow….but I would be trading Nova and Cutch once they fall out of contention….Nova on pace for his best year and the return may be the biggest he will net them….
Shannon u are right that they have a quality rotation but it is 3rd best in a division of 5 teams….it’s good not great….they will not contend with Marte out 80 games and I was only stating that they should trade off Cutch and maybe Nova at his highest….the Cubs maybe struggling at this point but they will win the division barring major injuries….wild card is possible but it will be tight with the Mets….Cards….Rockies all going for wild card as well….Dodgers….Nats and Cubs should win their divisions….
How r u ripping on the buccos’ arms? Lol
Who cares if they have the 3rd best rotation in the NL Central… they r so young with potential through the roof… they have even more arms in the minors
Nova has more CG’s than BB’s in a Pirates uni. I know he won’t keep that up but damn… maybe he just needed to get out of the AL Beast
U don’t know what ur talking about. Cole is a 1, at worst a 2. Taillon is already simply a 2. Once Glasnow settles down and doesn’t look like he’s about to have a heart attack or pass out, he will be just fine. Nova fits in well and has been solid for us. Kuhl may be the only pitcher u were correct about. He is not proven but I wouldn’t give up on him just yet.
U r pinpointing basically the only thing the Pirates have been good with this year- starting rotation- they will hit their speed bumps. I mean they already have but sheeeeesh
Agree with the steelcitybuccos, pitching is not our issues except for Bastardo. Not sure why we kept him over Ty Webb?
The issue is hitting, RISP and clutch hitters. Freese is our hottest bat and no one needs to pitch to him because we have no impact players at the moment.
If I see bases loaded and no runs one more time this season…seriously, find some offense to support our young starters!
I would like them Buccos to look at Profar who is a bench player in Texas. Can play anywhere and just needs a fresh start. He is 24 and would fit in with our young club.
Frazier should be starting somewhere and needs to play all the time. Time to cut Jaso and Bastardo and start playing Osuna and Hanson.
Very happy with our rotation, but disappointed in this offensive makeup and having Jaso be our go to hitter off the bench is disappointing to me!
Agreed.. jaso sux.. he can be a decent contact hitter when he’s on but when he’s not, he’s just plain useless and tough to watch
I said Cole is a number 1 pitching like a number 2 but he can be a number 1….I also said Taillon is a number 2….and Glasnow could be a number 2….never know with prospects….see Rodon and Berrios….as far as Nova yes he is itching good but so is Vargas and a couple others….none of whom will finish better than 13-9….with a 3.50 ERA….good not great and the Ks are low….under 150….Vargas….Nova and Miguel Gonzalez all pitching above their norm….expect all 3 to come back to earth soon….none are 17-18 game winners with 200 Ks and an ERA under 2.75….which is how some people have been making Nova out to be….13-9….3.50 and 140 Ks is closer….decent but only number 3 starter at best….don’t be fooled by great starts like Chris Shelton with the Tigers who hit 16 HRs in the first month and finished with like 26 HRs and has never been seen again as a starter….Thames will also slow down eventually
Just because I don’t agree with your options of your rotations doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am taking about….u think when the season is over u will see that my assessments of then are almost spot on….Nova has upside but he is a number 3-4 on most teams though on the Padres he could be the Ace….lol
Opinions not options*
My assessments of them will be closer than what some of u are making them out to be….I meant to say “u will see that my assessments of them are nearly spot on” by the end of the season….I am not taking anything away from Nova….or the Pirates rotation….I am saying don’t let early season success fool u….Nova and Vargas are decent pitchers and so is Miguel Gonzalez but none are studs yet all pitching way above their ceiling….it won’t last for any of them….but because they got off to a great start their records and stats won’t be as bad as normal….in other words if these are .500 pitchers….say 12-12 pitchers they will finish more like 13-10 or 12-9 or something and at best will finish 14-9….only because they got off to good starts….good records yes hit their other stats lack…..ERAs around 3.50 to 4.00 and low K total which to me means more than W-L records….doesn’t matter if u are 18-8 if your ERA is 4.25 with 130 Ks….that isn’t a good year….it means they had off the charts run production….5 plus runs a game
I am sure that everyone on this site are known as the ESPN gurus amongst their friends just as I am….”walking baseball encyclopedia” “baseball guru” and “ESPN” some of the nicknames that my friends have called me….I am sure some of u have also been referred to by these names….we all have knowledge or we wouldn’t be here….some however favor their home team or favorite team and make them out to be better than they are….I follow all teams and all AA and AAA teams and I am not biased if a team I like is sucking etc….I will not deny it….I use past stats and future calculations to evaluate a players progress ….I knew of Taillon for nearly 5-6 years now and have been waiting for his arrival….he has a plus curve that is like a hammer….just as Cole has a filthy slider….I have been waiting for Taillon to come up and for Cole to show the talent that made him the 1st pick in the draft over his UCLA teammate Trevor Bauer who went 3rd to the Dbacks….I knew who Harper was when he was 15….I follow baseball as closely as most of u….so our opinions may not be the same hut the knowledge is….some just tend to think their team is better than it really is….doesn’t mean your opinion or mine is wrong….arguing over it is pointless because the only thing that matters is the final result….I feel like Nova will finish 12-9 with a 3.50 ERA and 140 Ks….if u don’t agree that is fine but u will see that I will be near spot on by the end of the year
I don’t care what number they r
JA Happ blew and look at last season.. bet u would never have projected those numbers..
Pirates weren’t gonna let nova walk and have the chance of that happening again.. I agree with ur prediction on Nova but anything could happen. Especially moving from the AL to the NL..
Although Happ went AL to NL to AL
I predicted several years ago that Scherzer….Morrow….and Porcello were gonna be studs….I was right on 2 of them…..I think if Morrow stayed healthy long ebony he would have been good…..like yourself and most of the others on this site may know baseball but we can’t predict injuries….I truly thought Morrow had electric stuff….his injuries derailed my prediction but I am usually pretty good at predicting talent and Nova is good but not great….I think he is pitching very nicely but so is Miguel Gonzalez….Ervin Santana and Jason Vargas….none of them will continue to pitch that good….but because they are off to great starts….it’s hard to imagine that they will finish at or below .500 which is about what Gonzalez and Vargas would normally be sitting….Nova has the upside of a strong number 3 or maybe a lower level number 2….Santana is usually pretty good but he too is pitching above his standards….mad bum was 0-3 before he went down with his dirt bike injury so records don’t tell the whole story….I look at Ks/BBs and ERA….Nolan Ryan had a losing record with the Astros 8-12 but led the league in Ks and has the lowest ERA….no run support that year….crazy stat
Enough* not ebony….lol
I play MLB the show and Happ actually won 17 and 19 games for me back to back….though my lineup was stacked so he had run support but he is actually pretty good….but still at best a number 3 or 4 starter….I do like Taillon and Glasnow….along with Cole as their top 3…..but if they fall out of contention by July….I think they should trade Nova at his highest because they will get more return for him….maybe sweeten a deal with Cutch in there because it’s hard to find takers on him but if Nova is thrown in too….another team may just bite….just saying
I remember the Pirates had other SP studs in their farm system with Cole and Taillon in 2012….Heredia….and Allie….the latter is Stetson Allie….now with Tulsa Drillers playing LF….I thought he was going to be a good number 3 for the Pirates but he isn’t even pitching anymore….Dodgers have him in AA….some prospects bust and it hurts for years when a team consistently drafts them….when Cueto was traded from the Reds to the Royals….Lamb not Finnegan was suppose to be the centerpiece for the Reds….but Finnegan is actually pretty good while Lamb is not even with the Reds anymore….pitching is so hard to predict so really none of us really know what Nova will do….that’s what I like about predictions or assessments….
Nolan Ryan 1987 with Astros…..I looked it up to be certain of my facts and yes he led the league in ERA 2.76….and Ks 270….but I was off on his W-L totals….I said 8-12 but he was 8-16….very weird to lead the league in 2 major categories like that and lose 2/3 of your games pitched….lol
Liriano had more talent when the Pirates first got him than happ had when we first got him
Liriano was a beast that just lost it and found it again with us
Happ was an average pitcher that all of a sudden turned into a beast while he was with us and now after
I like Liriano….has good stuff like Morrow but neither of them put it together consistently….Liriano was a Giants Prospect years ago…