Pirates Inquired on Willingham, Kouzmanoff
Jenifer Langosch reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have inquired on free agents Josh Willingham and Kevin Kouzmanoff this off-season, although Langosch mentions that neither player is likely for the Pirates. The Pirates are looking for backup options in the outfield and at third base, and Kouzmanoff and Willingham are looking for regular starting time.
Neal Huntington talked previously about the need for a contingency plan if Pedro Alvarez struggles again in 2012. The internal options are likely to include Josh Harrison and Chase d’Arnaud, although neither player put up good numbers in 2011, and ultimately neither has the bat you want at third base.
In the outfield the Pirates have Jose Tabata and Alex Presley, neither of which are really established in the majors. The Pirates do have Garrett Jones as a backup plan, although there have been rumors that they will non-tender Jones. During the season the Pirates were linked to Willingham in trade rumors. Willingham puts up similar numbers to Jones, so the Pirates would be better off just sticking with their in-house option.