Pirates Trade Rumors, Proposals and the Art of Buzz

Sure, calling the baseball offseason the silly season doesn’t work as well as it used to. There was a time when the flurry of activity and overreaction lined up perfectly with election time but it’s hard to relate the two after what we’ve witnessed in 2020.

There really wasn’t much involving the Pirates and then suddenly Jason Mackey sent this tweet.

If you read it carefully you can tell he was given little to no detail and he built in just about as many disclaimers as the character limit would allow.

Understandably it sent many into a frenzy of calculating deals, and proposing return. I must have been asked 20 times last night if there was any seriousness to this and all I’ll commit to is that Jason is good at not pushing forward crap, but even he said he wasn’t sure of the seriousness.

On the surface, this doesn’t make sense for either club in my eyes. One Josh Bell on many surplus sites has a ZERO value. Not a typo, zero as in none. I don’t buy that at face value but it’s not much higher than that if we’re honest. The Yankees being interested in Taillon makes sense but the Pirates would be selling both of these players at quite possibly their lowest value figure either have ever had.

Frustration over answers and the dream of putting one’s self on the map leads to tweets like this from a Yankees blogger.

I’ll give you my opinion in a moment but a friend of mine probably said it best.

He’s dead right. There would be no reason whatsoever to force anyone to take a player off your hands who you could easily let walk if he was such a problem. Also note the players mentioned don’t fit what a rebuilding club would be looking for.

Those three players are Yankees spare parts with the exception of Andujar and he isn’t enough to get a deal like this done.

Let me simplify this, forcing Josh Bell into a move with Taillon would only drive down the return for Jamo.

Did the Pirates and Yankees talk? Most likely, but if it were serious to the point of naming names you’d hear younger than those three.

Next up you have the super generic rumblings.

This is probably true, but it’s also a substitute for having no real rumors to run on. This just means they’re showing up when teams put out lists of players they want to discuss. Meaning we have no idea if the ask will line up, who is involved, what could be returned.

Half the fun of this time of year is guessing what that means and who could be interested. I get involved too.

That’s a loose proposal. I’m not naming names because the A’s, or if you follow the chain Padres, have a litany of players that could pull this together. What I’m looking for is not only do they have players who make the math work, but do they have enough players that there is room for massaging the deal into reality.

Do I have inside information that the A’s are calling, no, and neither does anyone else or they’d be screaming it on Twitter with their hair on fire, but the reality is they have the capital.

Finally, we get to the place where fans get frustrated only hearing about players getting shipped.

I get this, I really do. That unfortunately is not what the Pirates offseason is about this season. I know, I know, it never is with Nutting. Or Cherington is the same as Huntington.

I’m not here to argue, I’m simply saying moving assets for prospects is job number one. The types of free agents the Pirates will look for will be more of the depth type guys who will fill out the roster and patch holes created with these moves.

I simply can’t touch the reality of the 2021 roster until we see the moves. They might get some AAA players back who could make the jump. They could take a cast off as part of a deal to make the money work for the buyer. We just don’t know, we’ll have to be patient for this part of the conversation.

I love this time of year, and I love the conversations, just be aware that Twitter or Facebook aren’t exactly the Wall Street Journal (or insert whatever paper you respect).

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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