Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Checking in on the Early Offseason Buzz

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Manager Derek Shelton of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 28, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Manager Derek Shelton of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 28, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a whole offseason ahead of them, yet rumors have already started.

The 2021 MLB offseason has barely started, yet there has been a lot of player movement already. In fact, this has been considered busy for this early in the offseason.  Some big names have already come off the market including Eduardo Rodriguez and Noah Syndergaard.  Teams and players are operating with more haste than usual due to the current CBA running out on December 1st. Will the Pittsburgh Pirates be a part of the action?

With the market moving quicker than normal, the hot stove is already heating up. With that comes plenty of rumors and buzz.  For the Pittsburgh Pirates, it is usually about them finding deals on the trade market.

While the Bucs are more than past the bulk of the rebuild, they still do not have a very inspiring outlook for 2022.  Yes, there will be a lot of prospects and fun names to watch, but overall the team will only be marginally better.

Naturally, teams around Major League Baseball always look to the Pittsburgh Pirates as a team to make a deal with.  General Manager Ben Cherington has shown his willingness to make trades of veteran players, but he has also made it very apparent that he is always open to trade discussions.

Could that be the case again this winter?  Like I said earlier, the rebuild is pretty close to over.  They have traded a majority of the Neal Huntington era veterans that were still around.  Also, the team has had multiple high draft picks over the recent years including the number 4 overall pick in the 2022 Draft.

Even though the Bucs roster is full of youth, there are still a few players that are generating interest.  The biggest name has been Bryan Reynolds.  There have been a lot of reports about teams looking into the asking price for Reynolds.  The Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners tried to start the conversation, but to Cherington’s credit, a high price has been set.

According to reports, Cherington asked the Marlins for three top 100 prospects and the Mariners for two of the top 10 prospects in baseball.  Cherington is essentially setting a price that would make any opposing Front Office uncomfortable.  He knows that teams will most likely not give up what he is asking for in a trade for Reynolds. Expect to see plenty of teams inquiring about Bryan Reynolds this offseason.

The other name that is popping up is Kevin Newman.  Yes, there has been a lot of talk on Twitter about the Yankees having an interest in the shortstop.  I am referring to this as buzz rather than rumors.  Often times buzz can lead to legitimate information.  The Yankees are searching for a shortstop and Newman would provide a low-cost option with Gold Glove defense.  After all, the Yankees are typically conscious of the luxury tax.

A lot of teams could have interest in Newman, after all, shortstop is a position that teams always are trying to acquire.  He also is coming off a season in which he was selected as a Gold Glove finalist after setting a the record for the longest streak of games without an error to start the season (76 games). Add in that Newman is going into this offseason with three years of contractual control, and it’s not hard to see why there’s interest.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article arguing that this is the perfect offseason to trade Kevin Newman.  The team is going to start seeing some of their top infield prospects join the big club.  Also, Cole Tucker had a really strong end to his 2021 season, and has earned one more look to see if he can develop into an everyday player.

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Whether or not the buzz on Newman is real remains to be seen.  Until one of the National or local beat writers puts it out there, take it with a grain of salt.  Remember last offseason when there was early buzz about Taillon to the Yankees? It eventually took place but it took some time to actually unfold.  Could Kevin Newman be available? Yes, but for now it is just buzz.