It Doesn’t Sound Like a Trade For a Reliever is Close

Ken Rosenthal just tweeted that the Pittsburgh Pirates are working on a deal that is believed to be for a reliever. It obviously leaves a lot of possibilities, but check back for any updates because it looks like the Pirates aren’t waiting for the trading deadline to get deals done. The Aramis Ramirez deal might just be the first of many moves.

UPDATE Friday 2:12 PM: Rosenthal has an update, saying that nothing is close, but that the Pirates have multiple options in play.

The first tweet made it sound like the Pirates were close to making another deal, this time for a reliever. This update kind of just sounds like your normal work during the trade deadline of having multiple discussions, but no actual trade in the works. That said, I’d be surprised if the Pirates were done after adding Aramis Ramirez. They seem to be aggressive early this year, so I wouldn’t be shocked if they make another early trade. We’ll see how it all plays out from here. – Tim

UPDATE 6:09 PM: Joe Frisaro of had the following on a trade today where the Cardinals acquired Steve Cishek from the Marlins.

Frisaro, who covers the Marlins, says that the Pirates were in on Cishek. Just going on what we know, it would seem that this was the reliever the Pirates were pursuing last night. Cishek was traded shortly after Rosenthal’s update today, which had a much different tone. So it seems that the Pirates were going after Cishek, didn’t end up getting him, and will now turn to their other options. I guess you could expect them to add a reliever in the next week.

  • Wow Jones!

  • I’ll take Ollie Perez (back)!

  • Darkstone42
    July 24, 2015 8:07 pm

    Ziegler might be a good option if he’s available. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s always solid. Dependable, reliable, and completely different from anything we have in the bullpen right now.

  • Honestly, it quickly seems to be becoming a BUYERS market…Mets acquire both Juan Uribe AND Kelly Johnson for their 20th ranked prospect and a 22 year old AA pitcher with a 4+ ERA in AA. That, added to the Cishek and Kazmir trades really seems to be indicating that this market is becoming a lot more buyer friendly…Maybe the Pirates should look to add a starter as well as a 1B and relief pitcher since the prices seem to be more buyer-friendly than otherwise originally thought.

  • With Melancon being a free agent at the end of the year, I would love to see the bucs bring in someone like Mcgee or Boxberger from the rays. They are both pitching incredibly and apparently are being shopped. Either would solidify our bullpen for the stretch while also giving us a controllable closer or 8th inning guy for 3+ years. I know they’d come at a cost, but I think it would certainly be worthy of entertaining. Thoughts?

  • Cishek would have been nice…and for a really low price too. Damn the Cardinals.

  • William Hritz
    July 24, 2015 5:22 pm

    I think they are going after Chad Qualls.

  • Bryan Morris and John Axford are both available and would fit right back in where they were last season. Either would probably be more reliable than what I have seen for the past month. And their price would not be anywhere near as costly as many of those mentioned. That doesn’t address the LH relief though.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      July 24, 2015 4:37 pm

      maybe we can offer Conner Joe to the Marlins for Morris??

      Sorry, could not help myself….

      • Heh…I thought the same thing, including Gorkys ! Though in all seriousness, it makes sense to me. All they need are a couple of ( more ) reliable bridges from the starter, or Hughes, to Watson and Melancon.

    • For all that’s been made of the bullpen struggles, we’re really only talking about one RH reliever needing replaced, Caminero. Well, actually Guerra in all likelihood. They’re not going to let Caminero go completely at this point.

      Cheap LOOGY to replace Bastardo shouldn’t be difficult to find, either.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 24, 2015 4:47 pm

        Jake McGee would be the ideal LH reliever, but will likely cost way too much in this market….may need to fall back to Cotts or Oliver Perez instead. I’m not too sold on Worley in the pen either – and actually prefer Guerra and Caminero to him – at least they both seem to have upside. Hopefully, if we don’t make a trade for a RH reliever, Liz and/or Holdzkum can come up and replace 1-2 of these guys. Holdzhum is the X factor IMHO.

        • Agreed all around.

          Figure they have Worley in the pen solely for injury insurance at this point, but rosters will expand in a month or so and I can’t see him making the post season roster anyways.

          Oliver Perez would be neat.

      • How cheap? A LOOGY I always found interesting (and for more than his name) is Charlie Furbush. $1.3 mil, so cheap but not dirt cheap. Probably due a regression on his .125 BABIP, but if he’s only going to throw 20 innings max, it shouldn’t hurt.

    • Hey, gave you a shout on the Prospect Watch thread. Let me know what you think.

      • Thank you much. I replied on that thread NMR. Happy to have helped out.

  • The Cardinals just picked up Cishek. I’m still holding out hope the Bucs go extra aggressive and go after a starter instead.

  • A reliever should be added . But I think a starting pitcher would be good as well. We can expect Burnett, Morton, and Locke to struggle especially as the season pushes along. A good solid starter would be a big plus. One of those Padre starters would look good in Pittsburg. There is no doubt that Alvarez will be non-tendered so even a nominal return should be considered if a suitable replacement can be found. Thats a big if.

  • So no deal is close… That usually means that I should check back in a few hours to review the details of the trade… I love this time of year.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 24, 2015 2:25 pm

    I would expect that there is a very heavy demand for quality relievers in this market, and therefore the price is likely very inflated. Jake McGee is a power throwing LH reliever, who would look great paired with Watson. He is only 27 I think and has been dominant.

    The Rays need quality position players and bats…so what would it take to get someone like McGee? How about a package of Garcia, Moroff, and Osuna?

    • Sure. Then throw in the quality position players you mentioned the Rays needing along with the three marginal prospects you listed and I bet there’s a deal to be made.

      • One of these is not like the other. Moroff is far from marginal.

        • Moroff is certainly the most Rays-y of the group and would be worthy of inclusion, but we’re still talking about a kid with limited upside that just cracked the Pirates Top 20 for a reliever that’s been better than Tony Watson, comes at a reasonable salary, and has years of control left.

          It’s gonna take a good bit more than Max Moroff.

          • Sure NMR, it would likely take more than just Moroff, who is hitting 320/390/430 with solid D in AA ball in which he started the season as a 21 year old after having been aggressively pushed through the minors by the Pirates. I am simply of the opinion he is a legit prospect, and not ‘marginal’ as you stated previously.

            However this trade deadline seems to be rapidly moving toward a ‘Buyers Market’, so you never can tell…

          • It would take Alen Hanson most likely…

            Max Moroff is a much better prospect than you seem to be giving him credit for. He works very hard, plays very hard, and makes solid contact. He has an improving bat and is hitting to an .822 OPS in the Eastern League…I think he makes Hanson expendable, but not for a reliever (at least in my mind).

        • You guys are crazy. Cishek just got traded for a AA reliever who has 29 walks in 39.2 innings and a 1.44 WHIP. Moroff is overkill for a reliever, especially an arb-eligible guy. The Rays have McGee and Jepsen both making over $3 million and both due for a raise in arbitration – one of them is going to go.

          Moroff has a ton of trade value – he could be the centerpiece in getting a 1B upgrade. It would be silly to use a bullet like him to get a reliever.

        • Honestly what is Moroff’s value right now? Grade B hitter, Grade C, somewhere in between? I guess it depends on what you see his upside as.

          Assuming $7 million/Win, a Grade B hitter is around $8 million, Grade C, $1 million.

          • A year younger Alen Hanson at the same level hit for a .768 OPS…Moroff is destroying that. Hanson is a grade B prospect. He is more athletic and has a higher upside than Moroff…so I would say Moroff is a grade B-

            • Interesting comparison, there is certainly some anchoring bias in prospect evaluations. Moroff doesn’t have the tools to justify optimistic projections on his upside, but it will be interesting to see what the national outlets have to say in the off-season.

    • McGee would cost a little, he’s been really good since returning. I don’t know though that packaging three players for a reliever is a good move. He would have another year of control though I thought?

  • Rosenthal tweets now that nothing is close because there are multiple options in play…anti-climatic much Ken?!

  • Maybe we’re getting Clayton Richard…

  • Neal Cotts is my guess. We must have the Brew Crew on speed dial.

    • meatygettingsaucy
      July 23, 2015 10:59 pm

      It would be strange to get Cotts as we had him signed to a minor league deal back in 2010 but had hip surgery and was released in September without ever reaching the majors.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 23, 2015 9:38 pm

    For LH reliever possibilities, any opinions on the following:

    – Neal Cotts (MIL)
    – Will Smith (MIL)
    – Andrew Chafin (AZ)
    – Robbie Ray (AZ)

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 23, 2015 9:16 pm

    We need a LH reliever more than a RH reliever – although one of each would be fine as well. With RH relievers, we do have a couple of inhouse options (Holdzkom, Liz) but none exist for LH relievers. Bastardo has to go…you cannot use him in any high leverage situations, although Caminero isn’t much better.

    I wouldn’t think Clippard would be candidate, since we have Melancon and Hughes, but you never know.

    • Why is Caminero so hittable? Even the tv guys are puzzled by it, 97 on the outside corner and they kill it. They have to be looking for it, see it early and it comes in straight. He looks like a weak option now.

  • Aroldis Chapman? Kidding.

  • Good to see us be aggressive early…it’s oftentimes good to be aggressive early and set the market instead of being held back by the market. IF we can get a second good deal right away and continue to work for a 1B it will be a real win….maybe they don’t think 1B is the problem that the rest of us think it is.

  • A reliever…and then we can continue to try to find a 1B between now and the 31st.

    • The first baseman may be here if they move Ramirez to first when harrison or mercer are healthy.

  • Hmm? Guess who’s coming to dinner. No really, guess who’s coming to dinner.

  • No doubt fellas! Will be nice to get a 4th reliable bullpen arm for the 7-9 innings!

  • Id love to see Tyler Clippard come to town. Not sure what it woule cost though

  • Darkstone42
    July 23, 2015 8:35 pm

    I wonder who they’re after. So many relievers on the market, it’s tough to know. It would be a nice bit of stability, though, especially as Guerra falls back to earth and Bastardo and Caminero struggle.

    • Radhames Liz was less than expected due to his inability to consistently throw strikes. Even so, he had a 3.63 ERA which I think is better than both Bastardo and Caminero. He is now pitching with confidence with a high number of K’s and low number of W’s.

      Is it time to try him again or expose him to more short relief at AAA? I think once the rosters expand the Pirates will be a lot stronger than they are presently with relievers.

  • Lets hope its a shrewd deal like the first one!