Photo: David Hague

Latest Pirates Rumors

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports released a list this week of 70 impact players who may be traded by the deadline.

Among the Pirates, Gerrit Cole came in at No. 4, Andrew McCutchen No. 12, Josh Harrison No. 30 and Tony Watson No. 40.

On Cole, Heyman states the obvious in saying teams will be lining up to acquire Cole if the Pirates decide to move him but they are not there yet, while the situation with Andrew McCutchen is pretty clear to anyone.

He’s not tradeable right now but McCutchen will be a goner at the deadline if the Pirates can find a suitor. Things are heading down the road with McCutchen where his option being picked up is dicey for any team that acquires him.

The Pirates don’t have much intention of picking up the club option for 2018.

If there’s a club that considers trading for him, they’ll likely look at him as a rental too.

Everyone knows Tony Watson is on the outs with being a pending a free agent and he’s preparing for life as a free agent by hiring Scott Boras as his agent this month.

The only question right now with Watson is whether the Pirates look to get ahead of the market and move him sooner than later.

The Pirates will turn the closers role over to Felipe Rivero soon enough who is under team control through the 2021 season. Rivero has also recently hired Scott Boras as he inches closer to being arbitration eligible in 2019.

From Heyman’s list, Josh Harrison is the interesting one.

The Pirates will always look to move anybody with a decent salary and around the winter meetings they actively tried to move Harrison’s salary, discussing a deal with the Dodgers.

But, there was a lot of pushback from Pirate manager Clint Hurdle in the Pirates wanting to move Harrison and the information since about February has been pretty consistent that the Pirates are no longer looking to move Harrison.

A strong start to the season, batting .308, and the uncertainty surrounding Jung Ho Kang gives the Pirates no incentive to move Harrison, whether the team went into a fire sale or not.

Trying to move him in the winter also made no sense.

Harrison as a utility player at the minimum in future seasons is a bargain at what he brings to the table and what he makes.

He is under team control through 2020.

Josh Harrison Contract: 2017: $7.5 million, 2018: $10 million, 2019: $10.5 million club option ($1 million buyout), 2020: $11.5 million club option ($500,000 buyout)

Here is Heyman’s take on Harrison as he hears the Pirates have also taken him off the block.

“He was available over the summer (think he means winter), as the Pirates will consider anything. However, there’s no hint he’s on the block now. Another issue: Jung Ho Kang appears stuck in Korea at the moment.” — Jon Heyman