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Insider Only Pirates: Big-3 in the system said to be off-limits as trade deadline approaches

Meadows, Bell, Glasnow untouchables?
Pirates GM Neal Huntington flirted with the possibility of acquiring David Price last winter and did so again at one point in the past four weeks, a team official says.

The Pirates have the prospects to get into the mix for Price but that’s something that won’t get past the exploratory phase and for good reason.
Even with the promotion of Gregory Polanaco, the Pirates remain loaded with three elite prospects in their system in Austin Meadows, Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow.
The Pirates lucked out by not signing Mark Appel in 2012 and were able to take Austin Meadows in exchange with the 9th overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Meadows a potential middle of the order bat, is going to be regarded as one of the top-10 prospects in baseball going into next season, some of the top scouting evaluators contend.
Bell promoted to Class-AA recently, is a prospect Pirates officials are absolutely giddy about right now. They see star potential like they do with Polanco, with Bell projecting to be more of a power hitter. “This is a middle-of-the-order bat with the potential to hit for high averages and 25-30 homers a year,” Keith Law said of Bell in his top-50 prospects list released this week.
You think that’s going to be a guy the Pirates have the appetite to move? No and the same goes for Meadows and Glasnow.
It’s likely the Pirates will consider a move to first base for Bell who projects to play left field.
Glasnow, the consensus No. 1 pitcher in the Pirates system, throws 98-99 and has great upside as a No. 1 pitcher. He has passed Jameson Taillon as the Pirates best pitching prospect and did so prior to Taillon’s injury.
The Pirates are searching for starting pitching, bullpen help, if the right player is out there, they would like to add a right handed bat, preferably at first base.
Prospects the Pirates are willing to move are more in the mold of the type of trades they made last year with the likes of Alex Presley, Duke Welker getting moved. Someone like Harold Ramirez has trade value and if the Pirates were to go for an impact move, Pirates have been growing impatient with Alan Hansen who a team official called a “knucklehead”.
One Pirates official privately said he believes 2016-2018 project to be the years where the Pirates have the greatest chance of being an elite team with Andrew McCutchen in his prime.
The Pirates could be boasting a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, Nick Kingham by then.
With Kingham, Taillon, Glasnow all projecting to be the majors together by mid-season of 2016, Kingham, Taillon by middle of next season, young pitcher Luis Heredia could become a significant trade chip when this team potentially hits their peak in a few years like some Pirates officials believe this group could.
The Pirates have an influx of top talent set to enter the Majors in the next couple seasons with Bell, Glasnow, Taillon, Kingham, maybe Hansen, if he gets it together, where the Pirates look to be in a great spot to add to this group internally or go all in for a major player via trade, but this trade deadline doesn’t appear to be setting up for the Pirates to make that type of trade.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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