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If Pirates swing trade, Monroe wouldn’t be needed

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BRADENTON, Fla. — Craig Monroe took a pinch-hit at-bat today against the Red Sox, then quickly showered, dressed and left McKechnie Field in a grumpy mood.

Today is the deadline day for Monroe, the day when he can trigger the escape clause in his contract if the Pirates do not put him on the 25-man roster for opening day.

“Right now, I don’t know what’s going on,” Monroe said.

That could be because the Pirates are interested in trading for another corner outfielder. The Detroit Free Press reported the Pirates are talking trade with the Tigers for outfielder Brent Clevlen.

This morning, GM Neal Huntington said the Pirates were “working through the Craig Monroe situation and we’ll probably resolve it this afternoon.”

Huntington will not comment on possible trade talks.

Clevlen, 25, is out of minor league options and is not expected to make the Tigers’ opening day roster. In 73 career games in the majors, he’s hit .233 with three homers and seven RBI.

The Tigers are interested in acquiring bench players and relievers.

Clevlen would be a younger, less expensive option than Monroe as a backup corner outfielder.

Monroe, 32, is in camp as a non-roster player. He leads the Pirates this spring with six homers and also has 13 RBI in 21 games.

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