Choo remains top target if Indians decide to move him
Reliever Brad Lincoln has emerged as the Pirates most coveted player off the MLB roster in trade talks as the Pirates look to add an impact bat before the July 31st deadline.
With talks souring on Justin Upton, Phillies not yet to fully open to moving Hunter Pence and the same with the Indians regarding Choo, the Pirates top-2 realistic targets continue to be Padres third baseman Chase Headley (.264 – 12 HR – 51 RBI) and Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino (.258 – 8 HR – 39 RBI). However, Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo has emerged as the Pirates top target over Headley and Victorino, if Cleveland makes him available.
The Pirates have been in on Headley since June, but the asking price remains high. However, Headley is not a free agent until 2014 which has the Pirates not ready to pull out of talks. The Pirates plan with Headley would be to play him at first base or right field, then next season transition Pedro Alvarez to first base and move Headley back to third base for 2013 season.
Headley is making $3.475 million this season and is 4th in the NL in walks with 54.
Victorino remains a player the Pirates are monitoring after making an initial offer centering around Jared Hughes and a low tier minor leaguer. Huntington continues to take the right stance in that he’s not willing to overspend for a two month rental.
Fox Sports.com reports that Lincoln is believed to be coveted by both Philadelphia and Arizona in trade talks. “Pittsburgh right-hander Brad Lincoln – 4-2 with a 2.78 ERA in 27 games (five starts) – has been mentioned in the Pirates’ trade conversations for both Headley and Victorino, sources say”. The report adds that the “Pirates may face competition from within the division to acquire Victorino: The Reds, looking for an outfield bat and leadoff hitter, are known to have interest in Victorino, as well.”
The Pirates to this point have not been willing to move Lincoln for a two-month rental in Victorino but might be willing in a deal for Headley.
One executive we spoke with said moving Lincoln for Victorino would be too much value to give up.