IS PEDRO ON THE MOVE?
Are the Pirates willing to move Pedro Alvarez by Thursday’s 4:00 p.m. trade deadline? The buzz in the industry is absolutely, though, it’s believed Pittsburgh is only interested in a deal that brings a key Major League player back.
Despite Alvarez’s struggles at the plate and in the field, there are few hitters available, especially ones with Alvarez’s power.
It can’t be ruled out that Alvarez would come into play in a multi-player deal were the Pirates to go big and acquire David Price or Jon Lester. He has been talked with AL teams.
Alvarez is benched again tonight despite the Pirates facing right handed pitcher Tim Hudson. Alvarez is 4-13 with 3 RBI in his career against Hudson.
Pirates coaches prefer to play Josh Harrison at third base and there is obvious interest tonight in getting Travis Snider back into the lineup due to his hot play last week against righties.
PIRATES IN ON LESTER BUT AT WHAT COST?
The Pirates are in on Jon Lester and have the pieces to land him. That is no new revelation. The million dollar question right now is at what cost are they willing to go?
The big rumor of the day came this afternoon from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports
who called the Pirates a “darkhorse” for Lester and speculated that a deal could be centered around top prospect Josh Bell. It’s been no secret that the Red Sox loved Bell going into the 2011 draft but were scared off by the fact he was likely going to college.
The Pirates have constantly told teams Bell is off limits along with Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows and there would be absolutel shock throughout the industry if the Pirates moved Bell for a two month rental in Lester, not to mention if the Pirates gave up a prospect such as Bell, they could not get a draft pick back for when Lester departs as a free agent.
The Pirates brass feels the leaks of Josh Bell’s name circulating is coming from the Red Sox and their attempt to drive up the price as everyone knows the Pirates are set up extremely well to make a deal with the Red Sox if they wanted to go for it. It’s all going to come down to the Pirates desire.
All indications are Bell is not on the table and won’t be under any circumstance and the same goes for Meadows, Glasnow and Taillon.
Alen Hanson is certainly among the prospects Pittsburgh is willing to move as the center piece in a trade for Lester.
Pittsburgh has also been looking at a number of players on the Red Sox including relievers Andrew Miller, Craig Breslow and first baseman Matt Carp, outfielder Jonny Gomes, while John Lackey has also been a name to pop up. Lackey is making $15.95 million this season but has just a $500,000 club option next season.
There are a lot of close relationships between top front office members of the Pirates and Red Sox, so it won’t be a surprise if the two sides at least struck a smaller deal by the deadline, if the Lester thing doesn’t happen.
Huntington sent his right hand man Marc DelPiano to Boston tonight and it wasn’t to scout. There is something certainly brewing between both sides.
RAYS TRACKING PIRATES FARM SYSTEM AGAIN TONIGHT
The Tampa Bay Rays had two scouts in Altoona last night and have at least one representative tonight. The Rays also have scouts stationed in Buffalo tonight who are playing the Indianapolis Indians.
More reports have surfaced today that the Rays are very willing to move David Price despite the Rays surge in the standings as Price’s value is at such a high premium right now and will be lesser this winter.