Pirates willing to dangle Meek or Hanrahan
If the Pirates bring in any true impact players this off-season, it appears the trade market will be the route.
Leading into the December 6th Winter Meetings, the Pirates expect to intensify trade talks, most notably with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Pirates are exploring possibilities to upgrade their shortstop position and Fox Sports.com reported on Monday evening that the Pirates are among a number of teams to express interest in shortstop Jason Bartlett. Bartlett, 31, hit .254 last season with 4 home runs and 47 RBI’s. In 2009, Bartlett batted .320 with 14 home runs and 66 RBI’s.
Bartlett made $4 million in 2010.
Bartlett though is not the Pirates top target on the trade front.
GM Neal Huntington’s philosophy is to sell high on players and the Pirates are at least gauging the trade value for one of their top two relievers in Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan.
The Pirates are said to be willing to move one of them for an impact everyday player or starting pitcher. The Pirates are expected to explore a package around one of them to make a play for…

28 year old right handed starter James Shields who has been targeted by the Pirates scouting staff. Shields was 13-15 last season with Tampa Bay, with a 5.18 ERA.
Shields was 9th in the AL in strikeouts with 187 and has posted double digit wins in four straight seasons, including a 14-8 season in 2008.
Shields is due $4.25 million in 2011 and has team options from 2012-2014. The Rays have an influx of starting pitchers and are seeking relief help in any deal for Shields but they don’t feel an urgency to move Shields, according to sources.
They are in the “kicking the tires” stage on listening to proposals.
Meek, 27, was the Pirates All-Star representative in 2010. In 80 innings pitched, he had a 2.14 ERA and 70 strikeouts. Of the two, Hanrahan is the more likely to be moved if the Pirates go into that direction.
The Pirates believe Hanrahan would be easier to replace in free agency.