Jon Morosi reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been overwhelmed by trade interest in left-handed reliever Justin Wilson.
Pirates have been overwhelmed by trade interest in reliever Justin Wilson and are willing to listen, sources tell @Ken_Rosenthal and me.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 10, 2013
There has been a lot of talk that the Pirates could make a trade from their bullpen this off-season. Wilson would definitely draw a lot of interest. Not only did he have strong numbers in 2013, but he also has five years of control remaining. Right-handed 7th and 8th inning relievers have been getting about $4 M per year on the open market, so a guy like Wilson should be seen as a huge value to teams looking for relief. He also has more value to a team who would try him as a starting pitcher, since he throws four quality pitches and has been a starter in the past.
As you may know, I’m all for trading relievers to get a big return, especially since the Pirates do a great job finding low-cost relievers. In Wilson’s case I value him more than most relievers because of his potential to be a starting pitcher. However, the Pirates have alternatives for the rotation, such as Stolmy Pimentel, who has the same starting upside as Wilson.
UPDATE 8:33 PM: Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com reports that the Nationals are looking for left-handed relievers, and that Wilson is believed to be on their radar. For those of you rushing to your Baseball America Prospect Handbooks to see the top Nationals prospects, Zuckerman does add the disclaimer that the Nats have been reluctant to part with top prospects in trades. That might make a Wilson to the Nationals deal unlikely.