Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Notes on Cutch, Garcia, and Quintana

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

There are still plenty of rumors and speculation surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is the latest from some baseball insiders.

With the off-season halfway over, there is still plenty to talk about with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  One of the key topics that will be continued to be discussed is the future of Andrew McCutchen.  Since the Winter Meetings, it has been said the Bucs are unlikely to trade Cutch.  However, there still has been plenty of discussion about teams being interested in Andrew McCutchen.  Here is the latest from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

"While McCutchen didn’t get traded at the Winter Meetings, one major league source indicates teams are still trying to obtain him. With the Mariners dealing Seth Smith, they may have some interest."

So far it has been reported that the Blue Jays have had the most recent interest.  During the Winter Meetings, other teams who were interested were said to be the Dodgers, Mariners, and the Mets.  As Cafardo said the Mariners traded Seth Smith which opened up a spot in their outfield.  However, after the trade of Smith, the Mariners made another deal for Royal outfielder Jarrod Dyson.  Dyson is a fantastic defensive outfielder and is coming off his best offensive season posting a .728 OPS in 2016.  However, last year was also the first time he posted an OPS north of .700.  The Mariners may view Dyson as a platoon player with Guillermo Heredia.  Dyson for his career struggles against left-handed pitching hitting .233 against them along with a 65 WRc+.

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So they still could use an impact player like Cutch to round out their outfield. The Mariners as of now have no clear-cut starter in right field.  McCutchen would fill that hole and still give them the athleticism the Mariners look for. With that, Mariners still seem to be a long-shot as they do not have the immediate impact talent to send back.  The Mariners very well might know they do not have what it takes.  Jon Morosi tweeted late yesterday that:

"#Mariners positioned to add outfielder after trading Seth Smith but are not engaged in serious talks on Andrew McCutchen, source says."

There is some other outfield news for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The White Sox did pick up an outfielder from the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday.  Willy Garcia, the Pittsburgh Pirates #15 prospect according to MLB.com was claimed off waivers by the ChiSox.  Garcia was designated for assignment by the Bucs to make room for Ivan Nova.  Although Garcia was ranked #15 by MLB Pipeline that was a mid-season ranking.  He very well may have fallen out of the Bucs top 30 rankings entering 2017.   Entering the Bucs top 30 was 2016 third round draft pick Stephen Alemais.  Alemais is a shortstop who has shown above average defense with a decent bat.  As of now MLB Pipeline projects him to be a bottom of the lineup type hitter with gold glove defense as his ceiling.

Next: Trades with the Yanks

The last note is that it seems like the Houston Astros might be emerging as the favorite to deal for Jose Quintana now.  Jon Morosi says that they have really upped their talks in trying to acquire him.  This could be because their trade offer to the Rays for Chris Archer was turned down.  According to Peter Gammons, the Astros offered their top three prospects along with two others for the Ray’s ace.  The Rays turned the deal down.  Since they struck out of Archer, the Astros may solely focus on Quintana.  Let’s hope not, as the Bucs continue to be involved for the South Side lefty.