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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.







  1. Nate83 says:

    Wow, Travis it is almost as if you copied my post from the game thread. I agree with almost everything that you posted on this blog entry.

  2. T.S. says:

    Rick Hahn is the WS GM.

  3. NorthPirateFan says:

    Does anyone in the Pirates’ front office know their team plays at PNC Park how that fact impacts the hitters?

    Apparently not.

  4. T.S. says:

    Agree with the rest of your post. :)

  5. justin says:

    I could be okay with a Rios and Peavy for Glasnow and another 2 low rated prospects.

    But i just love Peavy. I dunno why.

  6. Chuck H says:

    Our Pirates do not need any more pitchers. They need hitters and more bench strength. And they have several excellent prospects in their farm system. Why risk losing a future
    star by raiding their minor league’s bright young players?

  7. cmat0829 says:

    geeze justin you are too generous… Glasnow and two throwin career minor leaguers for hotly sought-after starting pitcher Peavy and probably one of top 2 available outfield bats ….. maybe the Sox should eat most of the salary and also throw in Gordon Beckham?

  8. Travis Sawchik says:

    Corrected. I missed Kenny Williams’ promotion while I was in the land of college football

  9. NorthPirateFan says:

    Rios could end up being a huge disappointment, or not, there are so many conflicting indicators. He’s a right handed hitter who would be moving from the fourth friendliest hitters park in the majors, where surprisingly he doesn’t hit as well as he does on the road, to the fourth least friendly park to hitters in the majors and one that is particularly hard on hitter with his profile which might negate the expected bump in his raw numbers from switching leagues.

  10. NorthPirateFan says:

    One of the things that has prevented the the Pirates from succeeding in the past has been their tendency to over value their own prospects to the point of leaving them catatonic in trade negotiations and unable to make deals that could help them move forward. Their pitching depth is so sick deep right now if the right deal comes along I wouldn’t mid seeing them give up some of it to bolster the offense and the bench.

    That said, like Travis I think, I’m not sure any of the players mentioned so far constitutes the makings of the right deal.

  11. Travis Sawchik says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure how well Rios’ bat would translate from current band box to PNC Park, especially being right-handed. Not a great fit

  12. Travis Sawchik says:


    I agree teams can overvalue prospects and/or develop paralysis by analysis and fail to make a deal they should have.

    If I’m the Pirates I’d rather package multiple elite prospects for an impact player, rather than trade one elite prospect for a marginal talent.

    Dangerous to bleed blue chips – even with prospect attrition rate – for 1 marginal win in 2013

  13. Travis Sawchik says:

    Agreed. I’d have concerns how Rios’ bat would translate.

    Honestly, if I’m the Pirates I’m going over left-handed power. A: PNC Park’s right-field power alley and porch, and, B: the Reds and Cards are loaded with right-handed starters. Lot of games left with those clubs, and also perhaps some playoff games

  14. NorthPirateFan says:

    The curios part though is he doesn’t seem to be benefiting from hitting at Comerica, .688 OPS at home, .818 on the road. But man there’s that huge platoon deficit against RH again, .829/.732 just what the Pirates don’t need.

  15. NorthPirateFan says:

    Indeed, but who has the left handed power bat bat that they’re willing to part with?

    I don’t think I’ve heard a single name mentioned in any of the rumors, for any team, that fits the bill.

  16. Travis Sawchik says:

    Limited market, yes. I have heard Kendrys Morales’ name floated

  17. CheatSalamander says:

    Why would Pirates not be looking at Seattle’s 1B – Kendrys Morales. A .278/.337/.465 for .803 OPS switch hitter with great consistency from both sides (.780 from the left and .844 from the right) but with most of his power from the left (12 of his 16 HRs)….a very good fit for our short right porch and would have a top 3 OPS on our team??? Is this guy untouchable or something? Doesn’t appear to be, but can’t quite figure out why there’s no “buzz” around him? He’s in his 3rd ARB year and would cost us under $3mm for remainder of the season. I can’t seem to think of a better offensive acquisition than he would be (for the cost).

  18. NMR says:

    Remember when everybody was predicting Russell Martin would be marginalized by PNC Park?
    How soon we forget that hitting isn’t all about homeruns.

  19. NMR says:

    No buzz because Seattle’s GM refuses to play ball. Takes two to tango.

  20. NorthPirateFan says:

    You did bother to check the splits before you posted that did you? In fact PNC dings Martin extremely hard. His slugging percentage at home is .306 while it’s .503 on the road, only 1 of his 9 home runs has come at PNC.

    His overall production at home is downright Barmesesque with a .649 OPS versus .873 away from PNC.

    The right handed hitters who seem least affected by the dimension are power hitters who can consistently put the ball over left and left center wall and there aren’t a lot of them.

  21. Jeff Z. says:

    Comerica is in Detroit.

  22. NorthPirateFan says:

    Doh! Yes that’s right he’s in Chicago, a much more neutral Park

  23. Bas says:

    Pence would fit well in the 5 hole…I don’t think PNC is fatal to a right handed LINE DRIVE hitter, which is what Pence essentially is.
    Wouldn’t trade the farm for him though (or anyone else, save a Stanton type player, who’s not in the picture).

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