Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Stories for the 2017 Season
The Pittsburgh Pirates had an odd trade deadline in 2016, they sold off an expiring contract in Melancon but also acquired a starting pitcher in Nova. This year they have a few trade candidates. First is Tony Watson. He is on an expiring contract and the Pirates already were talking with teams in the off-season about him. Teams looking to bolster their bullpen with a veteran arm could look to acquire him. Meanwhile, if the Pirates are able to make a similar deal to the Melancon one they could still acquire someone to help them right away.
The other player is Andrew McCutchen. Technically McCutchen is under contract for 2018, having a club option, so he is not on an expiring deal. Still, if the Pirates are floating around .500 and they get the right deal for him, they will deal him, especially if Austin Meadows is performing to expectations in Triple-A. Now if the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the playoff picture like I expect them to be, it is likely that McCutchen would be a key part of that run. So there would be no reason to trade him midseason. Still, this is likely his last calendar year as a Pittsburgh Pirates player. The main story on the trade front this year will be “how much longer will Andrew McCutchen be a Pirate?”