The Pittsburgh Pirates did not make any trades at this year’s Winter Meetings. However, the expectation is they will make quite a few moves before the end of the offseason.
One thing that many Pittsburgh Pirates fans were expecting to occur at this year’s Winter Meetings was for star outfielder Starling Marte to be traded. Marte is arguably the Pittsburgh Pirates most valuable trade chip on the current roster and does not project to fit in the team’s future window of contention.
The Winter Meetings have come and gone and Marte is still on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster. There were plenty of rumors surrounding the outfielder that mainly placed him in the Mets outfield, but nothing really seemed to materialize. There were reports that the two franchises met and discussed trades, but nothing ever really came out confirming that talks got beyond that.
Also, it was reported that the Mets wanted to move Brandon Nimmo if they acquired Marte, but they did not want to include him in a Marte trade without getting more in return. Even with that report, there has not been anything concrete suggesting that the Pittsburgh Pirates require him as part of the package. All in all, the Marte trade talks did not seem to really make it to the deeper level of negotiations.
A few other teams are still involved in the Marte front beyond the New York Mets. During the meetings, it was reported by Jon Heyman that the San Diego Padres were showing interest in Marte. The Padres made sense entering the offseason as a team that could be a fit. Another NL West team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, apparently called on him as well.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Pirates did indeed have several teams calling on Starling Marte. They confirmed that teams like the Mets and Padres did indeed show interest in him. However, they also mentioned two other teams that could try to acquire him. In the article, they mentioned that the Reds showed interest and the Phillies could be interested as well. The Athletic stated:
"“Outfielder Starling Marte has been out there all offseason, as the Pirates look for teams shopping for a centerfielder. The Mets, Padres and Reds have all checked in. And there could be a fit with the Phillies, as well. Stay tuned.”"
Obviously the Reds would be a tough team to trade with due to the inter-division rivalry. Still, it is the offseason and Ben Cherington is going to listen to all offers on the table. If the Reds are willing to overpay for Marte, the club likely will consider it. The Phillies, on the other hand, make a lot of sense and have the pieces to get a deal done.
The most interesting part of the quote is the “stay tuned” part. Obviously, fans expect the team to make quite a few deals and try to rebuild the team toward competing again. Both Rosenthal and Stark have a lot of connections in baseball, especially Rosenthal, so that they are saying to “stay tuned” suggests that they expect a deal to happen most likely sooner than later. It seems there are plenty of teams interested in the outfielder.