We’ve yet to see the Pittsburgh Pirates make any moves this offseason, much less give us an idea on which direction the team is heading for the 2018 season.
Guys like Gerrit Cole, Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen have all been linked to other teams in trade rumors, but other than a couple week span in mid-December when it looked like Cole could be heading to the Yankees, nothing has been close to happening.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Pirates were being active and making progress on trade talks and I looked at the Chicago Cubs jumping in on the Cole sweepstakes.
Baseball’s winter freeze has continued, but the Pirates are said by other teams to be active and making progress. As has been reported all winter, they’ve been discussing possible deals involving Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 3, 2018
Today it’s McCutchen’s turn.
According to a report from MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the San Francisco Giants are back in on the McCutchen talks.
The two teams discussed a McCutchen deal early in the offseason, but those talks didn’t go anywhere.
Morosi also notes that a deal doesn’t seem imminent at this time.
How do the Giants matchup as trade partners?
Honestly, not good.
The Giants dealt highly regarded infielder Christian Arroyo in last month’s trade with the Rays for Evan Longoria, meaning there is not much to like from a farm system that really isn’t that great to begin with.
Outfielder Heliot Ramos, outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw, and right-hander Tyler Beede and San Francisco’s top three prospects and judging by what the Bucs have reportedly asked for Cutch in the past, it will likely take one or two of those to even get talks heated up.
Shaw has big power potential and Ramos, a 2017 first-round pick, could be a potential superstar with excellent power and speed. You would think since Neal Huntington was not budging from Victor Robles in a potential deal that could have sent McCutchen to the Washington Nationals last season, Ramos would have to be part of any deal.
Ramos is likely at least three years away from making the majors, so keep that in mind.
Shaw, who hit 24 homers last season in the minors, should make his MLB debut this season.
As for Beede, he can hit 97 at times with his fastball and also has a nice changeup, curveball and cutter. He should be close to being big-league ready.
Other than that, there’s not a whole heck of a lot to like about a package the Giants can offer.
I can’t see the Giants seriously making a run at McCutchen. That’s especially true after the Longoria trade and with the free agent market being so slow.
With the likes of: J.D. Martinez, Lorenzo Cain, Jay Bruce and even Carlos Gonzalez among the available free-agent outfielders, it makes little sense for San Francisco to give up what few valuable assets they do have for a guy making $14.5 million in his walk year.
As for the Pirates, any deal would have to center around Shaw and Ramos and I really don’t see that happening.
Photo credit – Daniel Decker Photography