Pirates Have Inquired on Corner Infield Bats

In his latest Full Count video, Ken Rosenthal mentions that the Pittsburgh Pirates have inquired on a few corner infield bats. Rosenthal mentions that the Pirates have looked at Bryan LaHair, Chase Headley, and Kevin Youkilis. He notes that there are far more buyers than sellers right now, but that the Pirates have the pitching depth to swing a deal.

LaHair is having a good season in Chicago. He’s hitting for a .310/.391/.589 line in 168 at-bats, along with 12 homers. This all comes at the age of 29, so there is some concern that he’s pulling a Garrett Jones and might not be this good going forward. He’s blocking top prospect Anthony Rizzo in the Cubs’ system.

Youkilis has struggled at the plate this year, hitting for a .231/.309/.372 line in 121 at-bats. The Red Sox currently have Will Middlebrooks at third base and Adrian Gonzalez at first base, leaving no room for “The Greek God of Walks”. The 33-year old has been hitting for more power since returning from the disabled list, with a .246/.328/.404 line in 57 at-bats since May 22nd.

Chase Headley looks like the best target, as he’s under control for two years beyond the 2012 season, and has had pretty good results the last two years. He’s hitting for a .269/.378/.822 line this year in 212 at-bats. Last year he hit for a .289/.374/.399 line in 381 at-bats. In his career he’s a .269/.347/.397 hitter. However, he has a .302/.367/.450 line in over 1000 at-bats away from Petco Park. He’s a switch hitter and has been better in his career as a left-hander, so he’d fit PNC Park well.

Headley looks like the best player of the group, but he also looks like he’d be the most expensive. LaHair’s value probably wouldn’t be as high due to a lack of experience, and the fact that he came out of nowhere and has a small sample of success. Youkilis probably wouldn’t require a lot, as there’s the worry that he’s on the downside of his career, plus he’s owed a little over $7 M for the remainder of his contract.

Tim Williams

Author: 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 AccuScore.com, 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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  • http://twitter.com/scott_klima Scott BUCN Klima

    LaHair would be awful to acquire unless it didn’t take a significant prospect, he’s too similar to GFJ. Youkilis would be interesting, depends if his attitude fits more like Burnett’s (good) or Derrick Lee (bad). Headley would be solid, but the price won’t make him worth it.

    • VtTom

      I’m totally with you on LaHair. I was disappointed to see him included in the article. Richard Justice of MLB Network said last Monday the Pirates along with the Dodgers and White Sox were the leaders for Youkilis. Last summer, there was the “untouchable five” of Cole, Taillon, Bell, Marte and Heredia when Pirate fans were discussing deadline deals.I still feel the same this year but might want to add Hanson to the list. Anybody else on Tim’s new top 20 list is fair game in my opinion for either Youkilis or Headley. Appel of course can’t be traded yet. This is a winnable division, go for it.

  • HamburgBucco

    To be honest, I’m not too keen on bringing in a corner infield bat right now. I’m happy with the way we have finally put together some great pitching talent in the minors and I wouldn’t want to trade any of those away at this stage. I still feel the likes of Alvarez, Hague, Presley, McGehee and Jones will come around and improve their batting averages enough, so we do not necessarily need a trade. Unless the price is right of course.

    • http://twitter.com/scott_klima Scott BUCN Klima

      I would like to see Hanrahan dealt, his price will go too high in arbitration this offseason, and closers are sooo overpaid. Grilli, Hughes, Lincoln, Watson, Slaten, Cruz, Reslop could make a pretty good pen. Hammer for a bat, DO IT NH.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740167494 Mike Adamson

      I think 1B is where the upgrade is needed and I’m disappointed that Morneau isn’t being talked about. That is the guy we need when healthy he’s better than all those names. He makes a bunch for the next couple years and should’nt kill our farm system to aqquire him. Rudy Owens, Gorky Hernandez, and Matt Hague?

  • Henduck

    I don’t see any of the three in black and gold this year. I think the cons outweigh the pros in all three cases. They do need “someone” though. It just won’t be any of these guys.

  • Justin Gray

    i could see the buccos “pulling an AJ Burnett” and giving up some ok prospects for Youki. I’d like headley a good bit. still relatively young and still puts up decent numbers in PETCO.

    but then this brings up the debate of how long you give Pedro before sending him to AAA.

    what would Youkilis or Headley cost in terms of prospects?

  • James S

    If they have a shot at Heady, (“That’ s Headley!”), then they need to go for it. His versatility alone makes him the best of those mentioned. He can play outfield, third, second, or first base all adequately. He’s always been a tough out, and his power would increase just by getting away from Petco Park. He really is only just entering his prime years and could be useful for a long time forward. And who in the world can hear his name mentioned without thinking of Harvey Korman angrily state “That’s Headley!” from the classic Mel Brooks movie ‘Blazing Saddles’?

  • PiratesFan

    I’d love for us to get Headley. What about Hanrahan/Owens and maybe D’Arnaud for him? His power numbers will definitely improve with a move from Petco to PNC.

    • Justin Gray

      I’d do it. but what use do the padres really have for trading their
      best bat for a closer with one year left of control? i think the pirates would have to provide their
      value in any trade with prospects.

      • PiratesFan

        That’s why I included Owens and D’Arnaud.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_46YTB5OO4O7UM2OVB44UZSTXNA Nate

    Any chance we could deal Heredia, Kingman, Tabata, and Pedro for Justin Upton? I don’t want to trade Pedro (low value at the moment). But an outfield of Upton, Cutch, and Marte w/ Alex as the 4th would be sweet. Yes, I know Upton would be tough, if not impossible to get…but MLBTR mention Boston was thinking about it. It’d be tough to let Heredia go, but ya gotta give to get. DBacks get two young guys to follow up their awesome rotation, a 3rd baseman who needed a change of venue (and would be an upgrade for them), and a decent OF at a rediculously friendly contract.
    I would also like to see them send Hanny and Correia to Boston for Youk and Lavarnway (blocked by Salty & Shoppach). Take on Youk’s contract to make the deal work.
    We would have a stacked OF w/ power and speed at reasonable cost for the next 5-8 years. Third would have power, on-base skills, and leadership. And catcher would have another strong candidate in case Sanchez stinks. Maybe throw more pitching their way and steal Xander Bogaerts (SS, eventually 3B) away as well.
    What do you think?

    • pirateswillwinin2012

      Boston would just love Correia

  • st1300b

    The last thing we should be considering at this point is messing with the ace of the pen – you’re in the hunt that’s when you need your closer most of all.
    Frankly I don’t like the idea of a corner infield bat at all right now. I’d rather see a corner outfielder to play RF who can spank it and field – No Ryan Ludwick’s. Have Tabby and Presley battle it out for the 3rd spot in LF where you need good defense.
    I also have no interest in giving up any of the top arms, unless it’s a top player – otherwise just stay pat. I hate giving up talent for a rental… makes no sense.

  • Jason

    I guess the question is, do you think Lahair is more like Michael Morse than GFJ? And the thought of adding Youkilis actually makes my head hurt. Aging? Check. Oft-injured? Check. Declining? Check! Yeah, go get him! Ugh.

    I wonder. If we had sold at the deadline last year and had somehow managed to add a legit young bat or two…..

  • st1300b

    For example if you want to make an impact on this roster – Step up to the plate to get Heyward from ATL. Even if it takes a big price, this is the kind of player that will make a difference in a pennant chase.

  • drufan11

    Headley slugging .899? Or is that another error that would’ve been caught by an editor? I love the site overall, but Tim either needs an editor for the pieces he writes or he needs to let some of the other more capable contributors pick up the slack so he can just run the site. Dude is not a good writer at all.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      I think you’re talking about the first sentence, and you mean “.822″, not “.899″ (look who else needs an editor). That’s his AVG/OBP/OPS. Don’t know why I typed it that way. I rarely use that format. But it doesn’t really change anything, other than apparently ruining the rest of the article for you.

  • buccotime57

    is there a hyperlink to the draft signings page i cant find it

  • http://twitter.com/vabarletta Vicente Barletta

    I`m hoping for a Toronto meltdown so maybe they will put Encarnacion on the trade block. With him being a FA this year, I don`t think the Pirates have to give up any top prospects for him. He is not a big defender, but he can play 1B, 3B and OF. He had success before in the NL Central. He is younger and cheaper than Youk. Maybe even keep him around for next year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.clorley Jeff Clorley

    If they want an impact bat theyre going to have to trade legit prospects. Ive read all these comments slightly amazed because everyone thinks gms are just going to give us headley for gorkys, darnaud and a bag of balls. Nor would they trade the hammer for him either, pads suck and need a pricey closer less than we do. Somethings definitely coming soon but were not going to blatently rob a team blind for a bunch of lowend prospects. Before posting crazy trades everyone should reread them but imagine theyre the other team and see how it would benefit them. If it doesnt its because its an awful one-sided trade thought up by some guy on the internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vince-Riedy/100002800992567 Vince Riedy

    Headley is interesting if the price is right.
    Lahair would have to be virtually free to even think about.
    Under know circumstance should they acquire Youkilis. He has always been overrated and now is on the decline. Not too mention his reputation for being a problem in the clubhouse.

  • http://twitter.com/_steve13 Stephen Stasa

    To me, the reason to get Youkilis is to go against lefties. He’s .310/.417/.517 against lefties (sOPS+ of 154). Against righties, he’s .207/.277/.326 (tOPS+ of 73). Split him with Jones (vs righties: .266/.278/.508, 104 sOPS+ — vs lefties: 0-for-9). It would also give you a powerful option to be able to switch them later in the game if, for example, Jones starts so the opposing manager brings in a lefty to face him. Take Jones out, Youk in. Boom, advantage returned to the bucs. I wouldn’t be willing to give up much for that though and I don’t think Boston is expecting much. Whether or not it would be worth it to get him just for lefties would depend on what they (Boston) want in return and how much of his contract they’ll pickup. But I can’t imagine the Pirates are looking at him to be an everyday player.

    Youkilis: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=youklke01&year=2012&t=b
    Jones: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=jonesga02&year=&t=b

  • http://twitter.com/rburgh80015 Craig Biddle

    Why not trade for David DeJesus so the Cubs can promote Rizzo and move LaHair to RF? DeJesus is a much better fit for the Pirates – good OF, good on-base skills, plus defender in RF. He’d make an ideal #2 hitter, to my mind – he has only 3 GDP so far this year.