Latest Pirates Rumors

The Pittsburgh Pirates are seven games game of first place in a mediocre NL Central where the Chicago Cubs look like they’re never going to become the Cubs of 2016.

With Starling Marte set rejoin the team on July 18, the Pirates have signaled to other clubs that their focus leading up to the July 31 deadline is trying to hang around in 17 but they’re eyeing trades with an eye on 2018.

The Pirates are certain that no Chris Sale type offer is out there for Gerrit Cole and the team has pre-determined to keep Gerrit Cole for one more season and see how things go in 18 and be more open to addressing his future at the 18 deadline or the off-season.

But, is Neal Huntington bluffing with his stance about keeping Andrew McCutchen in 2018?


Huntington last week threw it out there in comments to Peter Gammons that the goal is to build a serious contender with McCutchen and Cole.

“We haven’t had a real conversation about Gerrit, and I don’t see us doing so,” said Neal Huntington. “We think we can be serious contenders next year, the way (Jameson) Taillon, (Ivan) Nova and (Tyler) Glasnow can develop, especially with Gerrit at the front, as well as three or four other good young pitchers. There’s no reason we can’t be better with Cole and McCutchen going into next year. Our goal is to maintain a level of competitiveness every year, and not to have to jump back and build all over again.”

McCutchen has returned to an MVP level since late May after looking like a potential DFA candidate.

Will the Pirates actually pass up on trying to move McCutchen at his highest value?

They may and a couple factors are said to be at play.

The market is said to still be limited for McCutchen.

The Dodgers are a possibility and Dusty Baker loves McCutchen, so you never know if the Nationals kick tires again. After those two teams, there’s not expected to be clubs lining up.

The Pirates are also in a terrible PR situation. Attendance is done big time and they can’t sell off McCutchen for prospects like they were seeking to do early in the winter of 2016.

Right now for the Pirates to move McCutchen, they are said to be eyeing a Gio Gonzalez (who they have been after for months) and MLB-ready prospect type return for McCutchen.

20 Days out from the deadline there’s still some gamesmanship being played but talk among Pirate officials is that the team is locked in on keeping McCutchen unless they get Major League talent in return that can help them in 18.

We shall see. [/hide]