We’re less than 48 hours away from the trade deadline…
-The big rumor today isn’t actually a rumor for the Pirates. However, it has a lot of Pirates fans salivating at a great possibility to upgrade the team for the long term. The rumor is that the Philadelphia Phillies are offering top outfield prospect Domonic Brown, along with starting pitching prospect Jarred Cosart, plus other players, in exchange for Hunter Pence. Meanwhile, the Astros would prefer to spin Brown elsewhere to get multiple prospects.
That’s where Pirates fans come in with their wish list. If the cost for two years of Hunter Pence would cost Brown, Cosart, and more, then the equivalent for the Pirates would be Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia, and more. That’s not a price the Pirates should pay. However, if Philadelphia is crazy enough to deal Domonic Brown, and if Houston is crazy enough to not want him, the Pirates would be smart to step in as the third team, giving Houston the prospects they want for Brown.
Again, this isn’t a rumor for the Pirates. It’s just a wish list, and I’m sure a lot of other teams have the same wish list. However, the Pirates might have the perfect piece for a Brown trade: Jameson Taillon. Taillon would be very appealing to Houston. He’s got top of the rotation potential, and he’s a native of The Woodlands, TX, which is in the Houston area. The Pirates would probably have to include more than Taillon, due to his placement in low-A, the uncertainty of prospects, and the fact that Brown is major league ready, and one of the top prospects in baseball, rated fourth overall by Baseball America coming in to the year.
For the Pirates, it would be tough to deal a guy like Taillon, but if you’re going to make such a move, this is when you make it. Brown is under control through the 2016 season. He’s a potential .300 hitter, with 20-25 home run power, above-average speed, and a very strong arm, making him the ideal right field candidate in Pittsburgh for the long term. I can see why the Phillies might want to deal him for Pence, as they need immediate help. I can see why the Astros might not want him, as they want pitching prospects. That said, he would he a great addition for the Pirates.
Again, losing Taillon would be tough, but not as tough with Luis Heredia, Stetson Allie, and soon to be Gerrit Cole in the system. Brown would rate as the best prospect in the system if he was prospect eligible. He would also provide immediate help, and long term help at the same time. It would hurt to give up Taillon, but you’re upgrading over Taillon, and adding immediate help and a better bet to have major league success.
It’s a wish list topic, and not a rumor. If it was me, I wouldn’t hesitate to give up Taillon, Starling Marte, and another pitching prospect for Brown. Then again, there are conflicting reports that Brown is even available, so this might be a wish list topic on a trade that has no chance of being made.
As for actual rumors today:
-The Pirates are still interested in B.J. Upton, but appear to be focused in other directions at the moment.
-The Pirates are still looking for outfield help, according to Jon Paul Morosi.
-Don’t expect the Pirates to even get a chance at landing Hunter Pence, as Houston might be reluctant to trade him to a NL Central team.
–Mike Vukovcan of KDKA mentions that he hears Carlos Lee is on the Pirates’ radar. Lee is owed $18.5 M next year and is on the decline, so this deal wouldn’t make sense unless Houston picked up a ton of salary.