Rounding up rumors – Pirates in on Rios and Norris, per reports – as deadline approaches


PNC PARK – Happy trade deadline, folks. We’re 26 hours from the non-waiver trade deadline and noise linking the Pirates to various players has really begun to pick up in volume today.


Teams love to create as much leverage as possible in negotiations, which is why they typically end up waiting until the last minute to consummate  a deal. It’s a game of chicken.


For instance, as we reported in the dead tree edition today, the White Sox asked the Pirates for Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco for Alex Rios. The Pirates perhaps covered the phone and laughed and then quickly and politely said no. (Rios is owed $18 million through next season).


Now White Sox VP Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn probably didn’t think the Pirates would say yes, he’s probably really targeting a lesser chip(s), but you start the talks high.


The Pirates really need another bat at right field, first base, or shortstop and the Pirates have linked to about every right fielder on the planet and to White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. A deal for Rios and Ramirez makes sense if the White Sox pick up dollars and don’t expect elite prospects back.


The Pirates might be getting close to something with the White Sox.



Also, despite the Pirates leading baseball with a 3.09 ERA,  there’s the old adage that a team can never have enough pitching.


Moreover, Wandy Rodriguez is not a sure bet to return this season. He’s still experiencing some pain in his elbow when tossing off flat ground.


Yahoo! reported that the Pirates are a player for Astros starter Bud Norris. And suggested a deal would be build around RHP Tyler Glasnow, who has had a breakout year and is now considered a top 50 prospect in baseball.


Norris and Jake Peavy, who has been connected to about every contender in baseball, were both scratched from starts today.




A Norris for Glasnow deal, seems like a bad one for the Pirates, to me.


Norris is a mid-rotation starter. He might net you one marginal win the rest of the way for a potential top of the rotation starter who will have six years of club control. And if the Pirates make the postseason, Norris might not even be a top-four option to start a game. While Norris has two more years of club control, he’s also about to get expensive.


Peavy has an extensive injury history and is under contract for only one more year.


I can’t get excited about either name.


The danger of the trade deadline is trading top-end upside (Glasnow) for marginal Major League talent (Norris).


I’m all for using a farm system to acquire an elite talent like Giancarlo Stanton or Cliff Lee, but I’m not for trading away elite chips for mediocrity.


Stay tuned.