Pirates Aiming High With Garrett Jones Trade Talks

We’ve heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners have been talking about Garrett Jones. The first offer we heard about involved Jones and Joel Hanrahan going to Seattle for Justin Smoak, John Jaso, and Hector Noesi. Rob Biertempfel reports that the Pirates asked for top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker in exchange for Jones, but that the Pirates were “rebuffed”.

Walker was rated the fourth best prospect in baseball in’s top 100 prospect list at the end of the 2012 season. He was the second best pitching prospect, three spots ahead of Gerrit Cole, who was ranked 7th overall and the fifth best pitching prospect. Using our trade values, that would command $26.7 M in value. Jones, on the other hand, only has $5 M in trade value, and maybe a bit more if you believe the price per WAR has gone up. To get an idea of what Walker would cost, the Pirates would have to deal Jones and Hanrahan, pick up all of their salary for the 2013 season, and even then they’d probably be short. Another way to look at it is to imagine what you’d accept for Gerrit Cole straight up. I don’t think anyone would deal Cole for a guy like Jones.

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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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  • jalcorn

    Nothing wrong with aiming high. There are doing so with the wrong GM though, call up Dayton Moore and offer a package around JMac for Wil Myers. Moore has made quite a few odd moves recently.

  • bjointbucs

    How do you feel about Nick Franklin or James Paxton? I highly doubt they could get walker, hultzen or zunino.

    • jalcorn

      like and like. Either player would be a good return. Selling high on Jones makes a lot of sense, but NH has not often showed the fortitude to trade high. They have Gaby to start at 1B with Clint Robinson and Matt Curry as lefty bench/platoon options.

      • jalcorn

        To elaborate, I wouldn’t be shocked if Clint Robinson is Garrett Jones part 2. Then again, I’ve been high on him for two years as a cheap to acquire option.

        • whiteAngus

          i believe CRobinson can handle at least a platoon situation in The Show. NH is doing the right thing by aiming high on a deal with Jones, mainly because thats his job. Also, I believe Jones to be more like his 2010-2011 performances.

    • swartnp7

      I’m hoping that maybe NH is aiming high in asking for Walker in hopes of Seattle settling w/ Franklin or Paxton. It’d be awesome to snag Franklin for SS (and I’d love to get Smoak, think he’s a change of scenery guy). Trade Hanny and Jones plus prospect, for Franklin, Smoak, Noesi, and Jaso.
      Then send Tabata/Pressley and Fort to FLA for Nolasco and his contract. The Hanny and Jones contracts are about $11-12 mill, same as Nolasco’s. it also would let them get away from Tabatas deal.
      Also wish they’d take a shot at Liriano.

  • leadoff

    All GM’s know what a player is worth, not like the old days, you can’t pull the wool over someones eyes, now the only thing a GM has going for him is how bad the other GM wants to make a move, if he needs a part to get him over the top or save his job he might mortgage the future a little bit, never hurts to ask, the guy might come back and say what he wants in return.
    At the very least any team looking for power knows now that Jones is available.

  • Kevin Anstrom

    Here is my trade proposal

    Pirates get
    Seager, Hultzen, and Brian Moran

    Mariners get
    Jones, Hanrahan, and Alvarez + cash

    The Pirates would get two leftys nearly major league ready and a solid 3B. The Mariners would get some serious LH power and a closer.

    • swartnp7

      Where would our left handed power come from? Or any power other than Cutch? Seager is nice, but Pedro is almost 40hr nice.

      Would love to get either Hultzen or Franklin. A rotation of Hultzen, Cole, Taillon, JMac, and McPherson/Locke/Wilson/Heredia would be just sick.

  • Bryan Graham

    Why on god’s green earth are we trying to trade Jones? In case the Pirates forgot, their offense is putrid. We signed Martin to a huge deal to guarantee that our 7-8-9 hitters are sure outs again and our 1-2 hitters are from from sure things but we want to trade one of the very few productive pieces we have with nothing to replace his production. All we are left with is hope that another teams reject (Gaby Sanchez) can return to his first half form from 2 years ago. I find it quite comical how so many on this site actually believe the Pirates can contend. It’s going to take Cy Young type effectiveness from the starters for a whole season and the bullpen needs to be at the top of the league again for a full season with new pieces. Lets not forget, the best pitcher the Pirates had for the second half of the season was Correia and he is gone. Correia being the best pitcher in the second half of the season doesn’t give me much hope for the starters pitching to the level they need to considering the offense could very well be worse than last year. I’m sorry, but I see this team as a group more likely to lose 100+ than to contend or even finish .500. I pray I am wrong and they can play completely over their heads for a whole season, but I just don’t see it.

    • kimbercarry

      Bottom line is the Pirates don’t want to pay him.

  • Dinco00

    How about a three way trade… Rays get Jones, Snyder, and Butler. Royals get shields, McDonald, and Hanrahan. Pirates get will Myers and hellickson. The rays are looking for bats and the royals are looking for pitching. The pirates will get a young corner outfielder.

    • kimbercarry

      I’d take that deal

  • lawdog

    I agree with Bryan Graham, why the heck would we even be considering trading Jones? Even after arbitration, he will only make 4.5 million. That is a bargain by today’s standards. They have no power hitters in the system to make up for his production. Therefore, I do not blame the Pirates for asking the moon for him. Maybe statistically the proposed trade is one sided as this article shows, but too bad for Seattle or any other team wanting one of our best players. Just because a player has a 5 million trade value, does not mean you automatically get someone with equal value in return. The fact that Jones is one of our best hitters and there is no one to replace his production on our team would make me value him much higher than some statistical formula says. There are still intangibles in value in baseball.

    I stated before in another article, on this team, Walker, Alvarez, Cutch and Jones are our only consistent hitters. Outside one of their outfield prospects (most likely Marte) blossoming, they have no one to replace these players’ production. If another team wants any of them, than their best prospect or another established power hitter or top of the line starter would be the only acceptable trade value for me. If another team doesn’t like it, then you do not trade them.

    As Michael Keaton said, “someday you have to write the check”.

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