New Pirates GM Ben Cherington told reporters yesterday that he’s fielding interest in loads of players, as Rob Biertempfel writes for The Athletic (subscription link). Cherington indicated that he isn’t rebuffing inquiries on any segments of the Pittsburgh roster.
“We wouldn’t want to stop any conversation about any player,” Cherington explains. Right now, he’s gathering information in anticipation of opportunities that haven’t quite presented themselves. “The more information you have, the more clearly you can think about what makes sense for the Pirates when you’re kind of pushed to make a decision,” says Cherington.
The player the Bucs seem likeliest to end up moving is center fielder Starling Marte. It was already known that he was available. He’s in a position of demand and would surely be of greater utility to another team that’s seeking to contend. But the market situation is still taking shape.
There are some new data points to consider with respect to Marte. The Diamondbacks are among the teams showing interest in the veteran, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter links). That creates another potential landing spot to help generate offers. The full scope of interested teams isn’t clear.
If Marte is to be moved, the Pirates hope to land a controllable backstop in return, per Heyman. Of course, that sort of desire isn’t always attainable. It stands to reason that the organization will focus first and foremost on value rather than worrying too much about filling a specific need.
For that same reason, the Pirates won’t insist upon receiving high-end, far-away prospects in trade talks. Young MLB pieces could also be of interest to the Bucs, Biertempfel tweets. That’s particularly sensible since the organization does have a solid amount of young talent at or near the MLB level. While the results have obviously been disappointing of late, the roster is at the moment in much better shape than those of teams undergoing full-blown rebuilds.
Though much of the focus remains on Marte, the versatile Adam Frazier is said to be getting the most hits, per Heyman (Twitter link). Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had noted yesterday that Frazier was drawing interest. He’s a capable hitter who’d provide function to most any roster at a reasonable price.