By John Perrotto
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—The buzz going around the lobby Monday was that there are a lot of teams trying to trade with the Pirates for center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
It didn’t seem to make much sense considering that McCutchen is one of the cornerstones of the Pirates’ youth movement. And general manager Neal Huntington certainly didn’t sound like a man ready to trade one of his best players.
“Don’t believe everything you read,” Huntington said with a smile on the first day of baseball Winter Meetings at the Dolphin hotel at Disney World.
Huntington and his lieutenants talked to a number of teams, which is one of the main reasons baseball holds its powwow in the middle of the offseason. However, it did not appear that the Pirates were close to making any trades or signing any free agents.
One player the Pirates have began showing interest in…
is outfielder Jack Cust, who was non-tendered by Oakland last Thursday and became a free agent. A left-handed hitter, he would likely platoon in right field with Ryan Doumit, a player the Pirates are aggressively marketing at these meetings with little interest so far.
Cust, 31, hit .272 with 13 home runs and .395 on-base percentage in 112 games with the Athletics last season. Cust earned a salary of $2.65 million last season. He hit 33 homers and drew an American League-leading 111 walks in 2008.
John Perrotto is a contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports. He is the editor-in-chief of BaseballProspectus.com
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