Here are some rumors, and me shooting holes in a few...
The Detroit Free Press is reporting the Pirates could be working on a deal with the Marlins as a precursor to a deal sending Wilson to the Tigers.
Foxsports.com reported Saturday that the Pirates are attempting to acquire catcher Matt Treanor from the Florida Marlins and then package Wilson and Treanor in a trade with Detroit.
The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports claims the following teams are interested in Wilson: Det, Tor, Bal, CLE, LAD, ATL.
The rumors are starting to fire up as we near the winter meetings. My advice, take it with a grain of salt. Huntington has said he will listen to offers, but don't read too much into that statement.
Wilson is coming off an injury plagued season, his value is quite low at this point. Wilson will take the field at PNC this spring in a Pirates uniform. Huntington will hold onto one of his bargaining chips until his value is back where it should be.
Why do I think this?
Bay and Nady could have been moved last off-season, but the return would be nowhere near what was gained at the July non-waiver deadline. Wilson fits the same mold. For the Pirates to gain, they need to be patient and hope a bidding war arises or Jack is hitting .300 in July to improve his value.
There has been a lot of speculating on Freddy's future with the Pirates. Follow the same line of thinking for the former batting champion. Freddy is coming off a season where arm, shoulder and eye problems affected him throughout. The Pirates need Freddy to be healthy and hitting if he is to have any value on the trade market.
At the end of 2008, he was once again hitting like a batting champion. Freddy needs to start 2009 the same way proving he is healthy and boosting his value.
Freddy is the opening day second baseman for the Pirates. No doubt in my mind. I won't say he will finish the year with the Pirates, but he will start the season there.
Pick the brother, and either could be traded. The more likely of the two is Adam. A team in need of a defensive first-bagger who can carry a BIG stick late in the season will be interested, but not until that bat starts warming up. Adam won't be traded until he starts hitting. If he can start early in the season, that will make his value skyrocket. Don't wait for fireworks though. Adam has never hit in the first couple months of the season. Teams will wait until his offense is worth picking up. Another deadline day deal is in order here.
Andy is another story. IF he can hit and play defense like he has in the minors at the Major League level, he will keep the position warm for Pedro Alvarez to arrive. If he flails early in the season, Neil Walker will be on the bus from Indy to Pittsburgh. Don't think for a second that Andy doesn't feel Walker breathing down his neck on the 40 man roster. If he fails with regular playing time, he will either spend time in Indy or be traded as a throw in component for another deal.
If Andy LaRoche succeeds, don't be surprised to see him move to second after Sanchez is moved. Look for him to get some time there in spring training as well with some spot starts throughout the season to spell Freddy.
Walker was not added to the 40 man to push Andy LaRoche, but that is what he will do. Walker was added to protect him from the rule 5 draft.
Grabow is the one Pirate that will likely be moved this off-season. He had a good left-handed year and will garnish some attention. As mentioned earlier, if Matt Treanor is acquired, and possibly traded to Detroit, don't be surprised if Grabow is in the deal somewhere. Most general managers covet lefty help in the bullpen and will pay a nice price to land even an average lefty.
I doubt his value could get any higher.
He should be traded.
He may be traded.
This is the Pirates we are talking about. They will hang onto McLouth and hope he hits well to start the season and see what happens on the trade front. He still has 2 arbitration years ahead of him so the Pirates will roll the dice and hope for more of the same offensively from their new left fielder.
He could be a mid-season trade if the offer is good enough to land a gold glove center fielder.
Texas has shown a lot of interest in Duke, but I doubt there will be much of a return. If Duke goes anywhere, look to the Lone Star State.
I look for the Pirates to be active in the rule 5 draft this year. Huntington wants to get some talent in the minors and the drafts are the way to do it. It would not surprise me if the Pirates actually took multiple players in the Major League portion of the draft and also be quite active in the minor league portion of the rule 5 fiasco.
That's it for now. I'll start doing some "off-season" posts going over rumors and such.
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