Jayson Stark has a lot of trade discussions this morning, including a few mentions of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stark mentions that “if there’s a hitter who might have even a remote short of getting traded, the Pirates have asked about him”. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has seen the numerous names linked to the Pirates on the trade market.
Stark mentions that the Pirates took a run at Billy Butler from Kansas City. He mentioned that the Pirates are still in a “buy-low” frame of mind, and that the Royals have told clubs they’d have to be blown away to deal Butler. The first baseman is under team control through 2015, making $8 M a year the next two years, with a $12.5 M option in 2015. He would likely require one top prospect, plus a Grade B prospect.
Stark also talked about the potential for the Philadelphia Phillies to go in to sell mode. He says that if this happens, they might listen to Hunter Pence, looking for a major haul. He also says that the Pirates are one club who could make a run at Pence. That seems more like speculation, just due to the fact that the Pirates are going after everyone. Pence is making $10.4 M this year, and is eligible for arbitration one more time next year, before hitting free agency. His value would command one top prospect in return, although his name value could add to that potential return.