The Pirates and White Sox continue to have dialogue regarding a trade for Alex Rios but there are doubts in the industry that the Pirates can pull off a trade with the money Rios is owed. That said, the White Sox have been actively scouting the Pirates farm system so there is some smoke there and clear interest from Pirates GM Neal Huntington who is actively seeking a bat in right field. Rios has been at the top of Huntington’s wishlist and the Pirates GM has the “OKAY” to add a big salary, team sources contend, but taking on all of the remaining money Rios is owed isn’t an option for the Pirates.

Meanwhile, industry sources say a name to keep an eye on is New York Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd. The Mets are asking for a kings ransom for the 35 year old but the Pirates are said to be considering an aggressive play for Byrd. The right fielder is hitting .282/.326/.518 with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs. His .518 slugging percentage is 8th in the National League and Byrd’s .844 OPS would rank second on the Pirates behind Andrew McCutchen (.863). Byrd’s WAR is 3.1. From 2007-2011, Byrd hit .276 or better.
What attracts the Pirates to Byrd is that he makes just $750,000 and is a free agent. With no financial obligation, it could have the Pirates offer a high B-level type prospect for Byrd that could get the rebuilding Mets attention.