(Photo: David Hague)
Latest Pirates Buzz
Funny how things work.
After weeks of doing nothing to quiet the chatter locally or nationally that they [Pirates] were aggressively trying to trade Andrew McCutchen, Pirate manager Clint Hurdle comes out telling reporters this afternoon the Pirates are not the “aggressors” in trade talks surrounding McCutchen.
About an hour later after Hurdle’s comments, the Washington Nationals acquired Adam Eaton. It was clear what was going on. Reality was setting in for the Pirates today that they might not move McCutchen this week or this winter after being certain he would be moved by now.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo met Tuesday afternoon with the Nationals giving the Pirates a list of prospects they were willing to include in a trade for McCutchen. The key pieces the Pirates sought, Giolito/Lopez who were main pieces in the Eaton deal, were not both offered for McCutchen. It was one or the other but at the end of the day the Pirates believe the Nationals had some pause about McCutchen as communication went dark from the Nationals end on Wednesday after the two sides had deep talks late into Tuesday night.
What played out is those leaks last week from the Washington media of the Nationals having concerns about McCutchen’s fielding and clubhouse presence might have had some substance because the full offer the Nationals made to the White Sox for Adam Eaton was never made to the Pirates for McCutchen.
The Eaton acquisition was a clear analytic move, 6.2 WAR, multiple years of contract.
The growing sense in the MLB industry is the Pirates may have overplayed their hand with the Nationals and others as the trade market for McCutchen is shrinking.
There is a better than 50% chance McCutchen will be a Pirate in 2017.
More McCutchen Buzz & Mystery Team emerges from AL Central?
— The Los Angeles Dodgers have not just discussed Andrew McCutchen (remain trade option for McCutchen down the road) they’ve also inquired about Josh Harrison as a third base option and could eye both as a packaged move, TIOPS has learned. Nothing is imminent.
— The Texas Rangers informed the Pirates Monday they were going in another direction and did signing Carlos Gomez. The San Francisco Giants also signaled to the Pirates on Monday they were unlikely to be a trade match but haven’t completely ruled out a run at McCutchen later this winter or during the season.