Pirates Looking to Add Veteran Outfielder?

Buster Olney tweeted the following today about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their plan going in to the trade deadline:

The Pirates have asked around about veteran outfielders; looking for somebody who can be a stable presence in their offense.

We know that the Pirates need offense, although I think the consensus opinion is that first base is the bigger need.  That’s especially the case with the way Alex Presley has been playing in his limited time in the majors since being called up.  Presley is off to a hot start, with a .365/.424/.577 line in his first 52 at-bats of the 2011 season.  The Pirates aren’t finding a replacement for Andrew McCutchen.  The only other alternative is replacing Jose Tabata, who is making his way back from a quad strain.  Tabata should be back by the end of the month, and possibly sooner.  However, he’s not having the best season at the plate, with a .265/.351/.354 line in 257 at-bats, including a .671 OPS in the month of June.

The current outfield isn’t providing guaranteed production, as Presley has a small sample of at-bats, and Tabata is having an inconsistent year at the plate.  So it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Pirates to add an outfielder, although I think most would agree that it isn’t their biggest need.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Jarrod Ranone

    unless it is getting beltran for nothing (face it we are not getting pence), they need to keep the outfield of tabata, cutch, presley

    • Anonymous

      If Pence finishes the season w/ the Astros, the Pirates should make a play for him in November.  The Bucs can unload some prospects they would otherwise lose under the 40-man roster crunch and acquire a great corner outfielder they can control for 3 seasons.

      • Anonymous

        I read a great piece on bucsdugout where a poster (thecheeseisblue) broke down Pence, and compared him to Tabata as many posters have brought up trading Tabata for Pence.

        It is an interesting read — take a look if you’ve got some time.

        For the record, I’m not a fan of giving up much for ANY rental.  If we can obtain a good player that gives us several years of control, I’m game (perhaps a bat at 1B?)

  • Steven

    Since Tabata, Presley, Marte, Gorkys Hernandez and McCutchen are all cut from similar molds, we ought to consider moving Tabata and Hernandez.  I do not want to give up Presley or Marte yet and Cutch is untouchable.  But adding a power bat to Cutch and Presley (or Marte someday) would complement them better than the same type of players.  Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    This tells me that we’re possibly counting on Pedro and Steve Pearce being healthy and capable with a little GJ at 1B.  If that works out I’d be ecstatic but I was of the opinion that a corner infielder would’ve been more important.  I’ll be happy with any corner with some pop though.

  • Mike Adamson

    I wouldn’t mind Andre Either!!! I think Tabata could be part of the package because you have Marte and Presley. We need a middle of the order bat and all of the prospects are speed and athleticism types.

    Tabata with either Lincoln, Wilson, or Owens + Gorky Hernandez for Either. Does this seem close to value?

    • BlakeL

      seems close to me, maybe add a bullpen arm, watson, crotta, resop, and veras are all possibilities and id even add meek to the group too if it would get the deal done….id also prefer to give up owens or lincoln of your group of arms, but not sure how realistic that is
      p.s. i really, really like this trade idea if we’d extend/pay either

    • Luke

      I like it. Maybe throw in Cedeno or one of the ss prospects to sweeten the deal. That would be an awesome trade.

    • Anonymous

      I’d like Ethier if we could extend him — is the money there for Ethier + McCutchen?  We could have $30m tied up in 2 OFs…do we have the funds to do so?

      If we DO pick him up, we have a regular OF and Diaz and Jones on the bench from each side of the plate.
      I just don’t like giving up a player we have substantial control over (Tabata) for a guy for 1.4 years of his bat.  I’d like to talk extension for 3-4 years before I give up anything of substance for him.

      • Anonymous

        Not a huge fan of Ethier.  He  seems like exactly the guy that Tabata projects to be – high average, good power but not Matt Kemp pop, and a career .850 OPS is good but not great, and Tabata has more speed, plays better defense and is cheaper for longer.  Ethier is also 29 already, and before you bash my power statement, Ethier hit 11 and 13 home runs in his first two full big league seasons at the ages of 24 and 25.

  • Anonymous

    The guy I have been pushing for is Michael Cuddyer.  Plays 1B and RF, good presence in the clubhouse.

    He makes $10.5M this year, so the balance is $3.5.  If the Pirates take all the salary, they could probably do this trade for 2 low-tier bullpen guys like a Jason Townsend or Ryan Beckman.

  • Jimmy Cali

    How about Marlon Byrd?   Cheap contract and he hits for average and gets on base (although he does K a lot).   Not much power but he probably can be had for a minor prospect.

  • Anonymous

    When does NH leak info? Never. We let this go so the Cubs will get realistic about their asking price for Carlos Pena.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand this fasination with Pena, this guy can’t hit against left hand pitching, in fact he can’t even be in the lineup against lefthanders, other than a few more homeruns, he is not better than Overbay and you still have to coff up about 4 or five mil to get him and probably a prospect.
    Makes no sense at all to get this guy.
    Could they use a good firstbasemen? For Sure
    Could they use a good third basemen? For Sure
    But get good ones, not rent a players.

    • Anonymous

      leadoff:  agreed.  We need to try to acquire a power bat for 1B, but not a rental.  If we do acquire a rental player, it should be for a bucket of balls or something.

      How about a Brandon Allen (ARI) — he could be available, especially with the emergence of Goldschmidt.  Not a fan of him being a RH glove, but he could be a force at PNC from the left side of the plate.

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