The Pirates were engaged in talks on Andrew McCutchen throughout the winter meetings, but after they couldn’t reach a deal with the Washington Nationals, they announced their plan to move forward with McCutchen on the team in 2017. However, Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington left the door open for a future trade, saying they’d still listen to offers, but weren’t shopping McCutchen.

Naturally, there are still teams interested, and Jerry Crasnick says the Blue Jays are one of “several clubs” with interest, especially after losing out on Edwin Encarnacion.

The Blue Jays have some prospects in their system. The highlight on the pitching side is Sean Reid-Foley, a right-hander with a 92-94 MPH fastball that touches 97, and the command to be a future number two starter, according to Baseball America. They also have right-handed pitcher Connor Greene, who sits 93-97, touching 98 when his fastball is at its best, and has top of the rotation potential.

The offensive side of their system is highlighted by Vlad Guerrero Jr., who could have 30 home run potential down the line, and could play third base at the start of his career in the big leagues. BA had some high marks on him, noting that some scouts say his offense could compare to Encarnacion with more speed, and that he could arrive in the majors by age 20 (which would be 2019). There are also some interesting prospects in outfielder Anthony Alford and shortstop Richard Urena, with the latter having above-average offensive potential, and average defensive potential at shortstop.

Of course, the Pirates have been looking for MLB-ready talent for McCutchen, and the rumors involving the Nationals were mostly focused on the pitching side for the MLB-ready talent. Aaron Sanchez seems to be the only name who would qualify for the Blue Jays, but I don’t know if they’d consider parting with him.

Keep in mind that the Pirates are also trying to trade for Jose Quintana, so a prospect return could help them make that move (example: adding Urena would allow them to move either him, or Kevin Newman as part of a Quintana deal). That said, I don’t see the Pirates changing their approach with McCutchen, where they will accept less than they think he is worth just to get other deals done.

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  1. I have been on this Quintana thing all offseason, but it was really predicated on the belief we would find a trade partner for Cutch. We COULD trade for Quintana without trading Cutch and the two year benefit with Cutch still here MIGHT be good…but the long term effect would be devastating. We need to trade Cutch and at least gain enough in prospects back that 1 or 2 of the players in Cutch deal could be flipped in deal for Quintana.

    I would love to have Quintana and if it cost Glasnow and Newman and some pieces from a Cutch trade then fine, do it. But I am not moving Meadows or Keller or Bell. Bell’s bat has as much potential as any bat we have had in recent memory and Meadows as well. And after the year Keller had the sky seems to be the limit there. As a small market team I am not giving up any of those 3 for the hope in a 1 or 2 year joy-ride.

    I’ve felt all along that the Pirates would need to make a Cutch trade to make things work…and they’ve failed to do so and that failure could be damning. Cutch is a great player…he’s not the future and what the return should be would have made that future better than the present will be with him.

  2. Just throwing a thought out and not even sure that LLOYD likes this at all. But what if Neil traded the prospects including Bell needed for Quintana and also traded Cutch and Kuhl for Stroman and Pillar?
    1. Cole
    2. Quintana (L)
    3. Stroman
    4. Tallion
    5. Nova
    1. Marte LF
    2. Harrison 2B
    3. Polanco RF (L)
    4. Kang 3B
    5. Freese 1B
    6. Vita Bella C
    7. Pillar CF
    8. Mercer SS

    The lineup is definitely weaker but the rotation would be the best in baseball and the defense would be greatly improved with Freese/Jaso at 1B and Pillar, who may be the best defensive OF in baseball. It’s also possible Bell may not be needed for Quintana.


  3. Any value in trading cutch and jhay to jays with Devon Travis coming back as part of the return plus a few of their top prospects. With their lack of upper end prospects to deal seems as though both teams would need to get creative to make a deal. Travis has injury history but imo more upside than Harrison. Also would help with payroll both this year and even more so next. Not necessarily in favor of a cutch trade but if he doesn’t bounce back there’s absolutely no value to trade later.

  4. its gotta stink to have your division rival pick up your stud. I presume there’s pressure on the Jays to acquire a notable replacement.

  5. If we can bring back Guerrero, I’d be very tempted to do it. Maybe him and a decent arm and a lesser prospect. Glasnow and Guerrero on their own would likely land Quintana, or we could keep Guerrero and free up Hayes to trade and flip the arm with Glasnow.

    They want Major League talent back for McCutchen, and Quintana is Major League talent.

    • If the Pirates could get Vlad and a decent pitching prospect, I’d be happy to see them sign a Joyce-like player to be a bridge to Meadows. Colby Rasmus and Logan Morrison are good buy-low guys who would probably take a one year deal to rebuild their value.

      Quintana would be a nice get, but I’d rather the Pirates save the prospects, trade Watson and/or Bastardo, and use the money to target Jason Hammel or Tyson Ross.

  6. Maybe we could get a blue Jay’s starter and two of prospects in their top ten rankings. Liriano and maybe Mcguire and Ramirez. Lol. I know Tim will hate that comment and I’m being sarcastic, but realistically that fits the general kind of package they expect in return which is a bit frustrating when you think of it that way. On a different note a Sanchez return would be incredible but there is zero chance of that happening.

    • Not so sure about your negative view of return from trades — for example, Melancon brought a potential closer for the next 4 years, as well as a plus-arm young starter.

      Russell Martin was acquired for next to nothing, or was it nothing?

      Jay Hay was a throw in, many years ago.

      Joel Harrahan was acquired for Nyger somebody, who ended up playing city street hockey in San Francisco.

      a bunch of guys were signed for next to nothing, and the list is too long to remember them all: Freese, Meek, Liriano, Burnett, Happ, and so on.

      Yeah, Iā€™d expect a good return. But what do I know, the facts or somethin?

  7. Who is the favorite to be DFA’d now? I think it has to be Bonilla or Ogando but could there be a trade coming?

  8. the Pirates shouldn’ t over pay to land Quintana, But he does represent the kind of pitcher that can have Liriano success here. Cutch for an appropriate package is a good starting point to 2017 and adding a quality pitcher. Trading Bastardo or Watson may be a way to gain added flexibility to add at needed depth form a position from excess. The questions are about Bell and can he be a force at 1st? I still move JHay to OF and rotate Kang, Freese and Jaso at the corners. Kang plays second if they move JHay to OF.
    J Hay, Polanco, Marte, Kang, Bell, Freese, Cirvelli, Mercer still looks productive.

  9. I was interested in trading Cutch to the Nats, but the Jays and Yanks prospects are a lot less interesting. Plus, if we are looking to add Quintana then we can really compete this year and Cutch in RF (particularly if he regains his form) gives us our best chance to win. I would think that a good portion of the salary would be made up in ticket sales if the fan base thought they were going for it all.

    I hope they are looking hard at trading Harrison and Bastardo, with Watson a possibility as well.

    Sort out the prospects later.

  10. The Blue Jays are the worst team to hear are interested because we will be inundated with dumb Ramirez and McGuire jokes as we already have been.

      • Until the Pirates own up to the real reason they made that trade, and stop giving the fans the typical BS, they will continue to hear about it.

          • They–the Pirates front office–does not have to explain anything. The deal is done. MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!! Why does everyone on this site act like we gave away Walter Johnson, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell, all reincarnated in their prime? You could put 100 skunks together in the same room and they would not stink as bad as Liriano in 2016. GET OVER ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • They did. They have said they didn’t feel Liriano was going to be able to pitch well in the NL anymore and they wanted to move his salary to make other moves. Which they did by signing Hudson and Nova. Huntington talked about it already.

        • I expect Hutchinson to get a real shot at being the 5th starter only because of face saving. He does have MLB experience and that’s what their looking for.

        • Anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that clearly there were behind the scenes issues with Liriano, issues that the fans are never going to know about and quite frankly, don’t need to know about. Suffice it to say that Liriano stunk up the joint for 2016 and was no longer coachable when it came to fixing what was wrong. Neal Huntington made the best move that he could to cut bait, and salary, and that is it. GET THE FREAK OVER IT, EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I heard Toronto might have a catching prospect but after we plundered them for Hutchinson they can’t have much left.

      • Merry Christmas Chuck. I’m not sweating it either way. Marginal guys for a marginal guy. That trade lacked all the desperate spinning/prevaricating of the Liriano trade. It was a salary dump. They were selling long term debt (contract) and had to use cash (prospects) to get it done. Pretending that Hutchinson was the priority didn’t fool anyone. Just the same, I like NH and his group. They have a hard job and have done remarkable work overall. But why pass up a chance to bust chops when it is so richly deserved?

        • Trey Supak was so marginal at 19, that the Pirates gave him $1m to sign, then trade him. I don’t call that marginal. Keon Broxton will play for the Brewers and is by far the best defensive CF in both organization. Base stealing and power aside.

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