Pirates Emerging As Dark-Horse Candidate For Jon Lester; Josh Bell Involved?

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a big rumor, saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates are emerging as a dark-horse candidate for Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester. He also says that one name at the center of trade talks is Josh Bell.

As we learned with last year’s Bud Norris situation, and the revelation of the Astros’ trade talks this year, having a guy like Bell mentioned in this rumor doesn’t necessarily mean the Pirates would deal him. Last year we heard a rumor that the Astros and Pirates were discussing Bud Norris, and that Tyler Glasnow made sense. We eventually found out that the Astros just wanted Glasnow, and the Pirates said no.

In Bell’s case, we don’t know the backstory, although the Red Sox have liked him in the past. In fact, they wanted him in the 2011 draft, but passed on him because they believed he was un-signable. Now that he’s starting to live up to the hype that he had on draft day, it only makes sense that they’d still be interested.

Bell would be a lot to give up for two months of Lester. I calculated Lester’s trade value at $12.9 M, using the same value that Jeff Samardzija received. Lester is only a two-month rental, and there’s no chance the Pirates will re-sign him, since he’ll probably cost over $20 M a year on the open market. Bell is emerging as a top 50 prospect, getting ranked in the 26-50 range. That gives him a trade value of $18.12 M, which is more than Lester. The Pirates could kill two birds with one stone by adding Andrew Miller, and that would be worth Bell from a value standpoint. But it would be a horrible move in the long-term.

With Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco in the outfield, Bell’s future is likely at first base. That could be as soon as next summer, depending on how quickly he adjusts to the upper levels. He’s off to a slow start at the Double-A level in his first 51 plate appearances, although Gregory Polanco didn’t exactly dominate in his time in Double-A last year, with a .263 average and a .762 OPS. Whether he arrives in 2015 or 2016, you could make the case that Bell is the first baseman of the future, with the upside to hit .300 and 25-30 homers per year. He’s got the potential to be a special bat, and that’s not the type of player the Pirates should be trading, especially for a two month rental.

UPDATE 3:41 PM: Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston says that any deal with the Pirates doesn’t necessarily revolve around Bell.

UPDATE 3:46 PM: Passan says that the Red Sox don’t seem likely to re-sign Lester. So if you were wondering whether the Pirates had a chance, this should answer it.

UPDATE 5:24 PM: Rob Biertempfel says that the cost for Lester would likely be two of the top 10 prospects. He mentions Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow as an example. As I pointed out above, Bell would be a high price for Lester. Bell and Glasnow? That would be getting close to the value for David Price, who you’d have for 14 months.

UPDATE 8:42 PM: Tom Singer says that the Pirates are making their top guys off limits, mentioning Glasnow, Nick Kingham, Jameson Taillon, Bell, and Austin Meadows. He says the Pirates are trying to drum up the Red Sox interest in Alen Hanson, JaCoby Jones, and that Jose Tabata is a wild card in the talks. An interesting point tonight is that Tabata was a late scratch from the lineup in Indianapolis.

  • Any trade for Lester better revolve around Rojas…and not much more.

  • 8 games and possible???? The playoffs for an absolute future star? No No and No…. Bell could be the best of the bunch and this makes no sense. The Pirates as is could win but in two years they could dominate all of baseball. Period!

  • People are talking about Tabata being pulled by Indy but nobody’s mentioned Pedro not starting vs. a RHP or Hurdle saying Marte will not be in the lineup tomorrow when he clears the 7-day concussion list?

    I can see Neal dealing all three of them instead of his top seven prospects. Could be in addition to pitching, he wants Brock Holt back!

    • Marte isn’t going anywhere!!! They are making sure the kid is healthy, not some mystery trade! They signed him for 8 years for a reason.

      • I thought the same about McCutchen. If someone signs a long term team, friendly contract and you trade him away almost immediately, what does that say in future negotiations?

        • Exactly! Marte isn’t going anywhere! It makes me sick to see so many people on here calling for it! I could just see him being a gold glove super star center fielder on another team. He hasn’t even played 2 full years or hit his prime. We haven’t even come close to seeing the best of what Marte will be!

  • Monsoon Harvard
    July 29, 2014 9:53 pm

    I hope they don’t trade Jacoby Jones. But I wish we had 5 more Jose Tabatas because they could have all of them and I’d throw in a barrel of baseballs.

  • Scott Kliesen
    July 29, 2014 8:31 pm

    Pirates are legitimate NL Pennant contenders, maybe even favorites, with Lester. And as such, I’m in favor of acquiring him if the price is in the zip code of reasonable. Only untouchables in Pirates system for me are Glasnow, Meadows, McGuire and Taillon. I’d definitely trade Bell and one of our SP depth for him in a heartbeat. But no way if we have to give up one of the above 4.

    • None of things are true about the Pirates if they trade for Lester. The truth remains that they’re still about a 1.5 GB of the division with about 56 games to play. After some of the duds we’ve brought in from other teams, we can’t assume that even Jon Lester fixes all of their problems and makes them a better team than the Dodgers, Brewers, Nationals, or Braves. That’s a fools notion.

  • I do not want a 2 month rental at almost any price.

  • So let’s get this straight – EVERYBODY know the sox can’t sign Lester, but their GM still thinks he should be able to command fairy tale prices in terms of prospects….. Maybe if he was trying swing a trade with the Phillies, but most GMs in this league aren’t dumb enough to give up 1 top 50 prospect for two months of rental (let alone two of them)

  • Monsoon Harvard
    July 29, 2014 7:38 pm

    Saw the Giants dfa’d Tony Abreu. As a utility infielder he’d be far better than Michael Martinez. Bucs should snap him up and dfa martinez immediately.

    • Anyone is better than Martinez! I can’t believe he is still on the roster.

  • Another ridiculous demand… “The Dodgers recently inquired about Phillies starter Cole Hamels, and were asked for a return that included all of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias. Los Angeles indicated it had no interest in a deal with that framework, but Philadelphia has not move yet from that asking price.”

    Hope these idiot big market GM’s continue to ask for ridiculous returns and get nothing but another disaster of a season… Amaro should be fired after this season if the Philly owner has a clue

    • Haha, Amaro should have been fired 3 years ago!

    • Amaro should have been fired the minute he decided to sign Howard to that monstrosity of a contract and let Werth walk.

  • Monsoon Harvard
    July 29, 2014 6:40 pm

    Ain’t gonna happen. I’ll eat my pipe if they get Lester. I could see them getting Lackey though. But not for Josh Bell.

  • Lester has been a top 10 pitcher over the past few years, and the very best in the post-season. IOW, he’s a sure thing. Bell, on the other hand, is a mere AA prospect, who’s batting only. .217 and will need to find a new position if he has any hope of making the bigs in the next few years. Moreover, why can’t the Pirates sign him to a longer term deal? He’s worth every penny of $20M/year and the Pirates should be able to afford him, given the huge increase in attendance and concession sales over the past few years, ongoing league revenue sharing, and a boom in brand (and team value). Enough of the small market belly-aching… If Cincinatti, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc., can sign top FAs, so can the Buccos. We fans should not excuse-make for stingy ownership.

    • Please!! The Pirates can NOT afford 20 mil a year for any player and you know it!!

  • Steve Williams
    July 29, 2014 6:08 pm

    Trading Bell for Lester would be a bad trade. Trading Bell plus another good prospect would be a good reason to stop rooting for the Bucs. No way Bell and Glasnow should even be traded for Price.

    • I agree! The only trade I would make involving either of them would be for Cole Hamels and I would make the Philies eat half of his money due. However, there is nothing that would make me stop rooting for the Bucs!!!

  • Wonder what Theo Epstein is thinking about how easy it will be to trade for quality pitching right about now?

  • Wilbertmatthewsw
    July 29, 2014 5:52 pm

    No, no, no!

  • Bell for Lester? No way. That’s as dumb a trade proposal as I could imagine.

  • Tim,

    One thing about trading for Lester – we would be safe in giving him a QO unless his arm falls off, so we would get a comp pick back for sure. I would be OK including Bell and Sampson or Creasy for Lester and Miller if we could get Rafael Devers included in the deal.

  • Jason Kaatz
    July 29, 2014 5:40 pm

    I would counter that latest request of Bell and Glasnow with a hot cup of STFU

  • Another report just said it would take Glasnow AND Bell. That takes it from a 90% no to a 126474% no

    • well hamburgers that would be a little silly.

      • Ben Cherington is too smart for that rumor to be a demand, assuming he’s actually trying to trade Lester. He’s not getting that from anyone, and he knows Huntington well enough to know it would be a pipe dream.

  • Aaron Phillips
    July 29, 2014 5:21 pm

    Trading Josh Bell for 2 months of John Lester would be STUPID STUPID STUPID! We would be like the White Sox when they got Jose Deleon and we got Bobby Bonilla. He is the best switch-hitting power prospect to come through the Pirates organization since Bonilla and one of the better ones in the past decade. I watched him play multiple times this year in Bradenton since I live here and he is a monster. One other interesting note about him. He was originally drafted as a SS/3B and regularly takes grounders at 3B. I truly believe that is where he would end up in the big leagues with the Pirates.

    • Fascinating comment on Bell taking regular grounders at 3B! You saw that at pre-game or practice? I haven’t heard that from anyone else. How does he look? Agile? Accurate, strong arm?

      • Aaron Phillips
        July 29, 2014 6:20 pm

        I have seen it pre-game. I will put it this way…..it seems more serious than players randomly shagging balls during batting practice, but less serious than the regulars taking infield. In watching him play down here, he moves real well, but he’s not even in the same speed class as Cutch, Marte, Polanco, or even Harrison. I have not seen him make throws so I can’t offer an opinion on that. However, unless he was borrowing a glove, he has an infielder’s glove. If you listen to his interviews, he has openly said (and even hinted) that a position change would be openly received given the state of the current outfield. He was an excellent infielder when drafted and projected by some clubs as a 3B.

        • Well, if he can perform defensively, Bell at 3B would be a fantastic fit offensively when they have to move Pedro. Glad to hear this is even feasible!

          • Aaron Phillips
            July 29, 2014 10:30 pm

            I think they should start the process now. Pedro is either gone in 2 years or a 1B anyway. By the way, I have seen Glasnow throw three times this month. The guy is filthy! He throws 95-96 with no effort and it looks like he is still growing into his body.

    • I had that thought about Bell but I didn’t realize he actually had some time there at all. That would be awesome. Thanks for the insight.

  • Would it be stupid to trade Bell for Lester? Probably.

    Would it be insane to trade Bell for Lester? No.

    Remember their 2013 Mantra.

    “We were willing to do something stupid. We just weren’t willing to do something insane”

  • lonleylibertarian
    July 29, 2014 4:43 pm

    I have always liked Lester – and maybe this would have made sense early in July – 2 or 3 more starts. It does make some sense if they can make it Miller and Lester by adding a piece or two. I also keeps him away from the Reds/Brewers/Cards – who all could use the upgrade.

  • pilbobuggins
    July 29, 2014 4:26 pm

    Two teams that the pirates may make a deadline trade with that nobody is talking about are , Houston and Texas. Both are definitley sellers and all three teams ( pirates) have pieces the others want and need. Just saying don’t be surprised if nh goes stealth and pops up somewhere unexpected.

  • What about Will Middlebrooks in there with Lester, knowing there would have to be other sub pieces but……? Boston has Garin Cecchini knocking on the 3B door. Personally hate the whole idea with rentals involved and that you absolutely have no chance in signing. Rather keep that $$$ to resign Martin next year. Burnett will be there after the trade deadline anyway……it you would want him back. 3B is our Achilles heel now.

    • pilbobuggins
      July 29, 2014 4:20 pm

      Agree about third base, I think texas is a good partner if your looking for corner infield prospects.

    • Middlebrooks isn’t really any good, he controls the strike zone as well as Alvarez and has been a worse hitter overall.

      • Debatable on the ML level; not enough AB on his resume just yet. But Pedro has Steve Sax disease and we need to find a 3B which we do not have in the minors. Again, don’t like the whole Lester rental rumors anyway. Just a discussion of need and we have a few more needs than we needed last year.

        • I get the larger point, (though didn’t Steve Sax recover,) but Middlebrooks has never controlled
          the strike zone, he is all power, no walk hitter, and right handed power comes to die at PNC

          • Agree with you on Middlebrooks, but Deven Marrero could be a nice throw-in. I don’t think the Pirates should be falling in love with their current shortstop options.

            • Agree on the shortstop issue but is two arbitration years of Alvarez going to get you an MLB ready middle infield prospect.

    • “Rather keep that $$$ to resign Martin next year.”
      And there is the elephant in the room…
      Generally speaking, this type of trade isn’t a good idea. We can almost all agree on that. But where is this team going to be on the win curve in the next 3 or 4 years WITHOUT a 4-WAR catcher behind the plate? If Huntington & Co honestly don’t believe they’ll be able to resign Russell Martin, then you have to seriously entertain the idea of making a run this fall.

      • Hate to agree with you but you are absolutely correct in your assessment

    • Harrison is an above average third baseman- once Marte is healthy, Harrison is a better option than middlebrooks defensively and offensively. Trading for that is pointless

  • pilbobuggins
    July 29, 2014 4:12 pm

    Bell is a bit much, hanson and herdia is more than enough for two months and a shot at the world series.

  • For Boston, this would be a steal. They get Bell and don’t give up anything, they probably lose Lester anyway because they can’t sign him know.

    • The asking price is not what a player is worth on paper, it is what teams are willing to pay for him in a trade. Is Lester worth Bell? YES, if Boston has similar offers from other contenders. NO, if no other buyer bites on the high price and they are forced to lower the ask. I think Boston has lost some leverage in that they most certainly want to trade Lester. that should lower the ask all around. Which is where Edes is coming from in his tweet.

      I do agree with whomever posted the Kennedy fit and I think John Lackey fits this also.. SD and Bos are said to want a major league starter in those deals.. we are better off trading Locke than Bell, by a country mile.

      • We have no need for a starter right now. this is a stupid conversation. We need 1 very strong setup type reliever- preferably with 1 more year of control. And a first baseman- That’s literally all. Otherwise we just need our players to stay healthy and play to their talent level.

  • The Pirates should never trade Bell for a two month rental of anybody.

  • why does an extension have anything to do with what you trade for him?

    an extension is 100% separate from the trade. You don’t trade for the extension. You trade for what’s left on his current deal.

    This is because you can let the guy walk at the end of his deal, have money earmarked as “ace”, and go get a pitcher, whether it is the lester you just let walk, shields, scherzer, etc.

    you can trade for lester, let him walk, and theoretically go get Scherzer. you’d be in the same exact position as a team, but you didn’t extend the guy you traded for.

    the price in a trade should 100% be based on how good the player is and how much time is left on his deal.

    • Dude, the Pirates don’t have anywhere close to enough money to sign those guys!

      • I know. that’s not the point..

        i was just explaining why all the “this is only worth it if Lester signs an extension” stuff was not the way to think about this.

        • I think Boston wants too much for 2 months of Lester. I would understand if the Bucs did send Bell because the outfield is set for years and they would be going all in. Personally I wouldn’t do it. I would move Bell to first and keep him.

    • …and therein lies the rub; his deal expires after the season, and the notion that the Pirates could sign him ( or Scherzer, or whoever) to a new deal given the dollars and term that would take simply isn’t realistic. So you’re trading Bell for two months of Lester, and if the Pirates don’t win a World Championship, you’ve got one lousy deal.

      • i wasn’t arguing for or against the deal… just that teams shouldn’t be trading for a player and factor an extension into it.

        if i have money to buy a steak, but the steak goes rotten, i can just go buy some lobster intead. or maybe two slightly lower quality steaks.

        • I understand what you’re saying…but I completely disagree with it. If you’re trading Bell for two months of Lester as opposed to Bell for Lester for this year and perhaps several years beside, there’s all the difference in the world in those two scenarios. A general manager has to look at this season and ithe future as well–he can’t simply disregard the question of whether he can extend a Lester or not.

  • So… Boston gets Josh Bell for Lester… and then Boston gets to resign Lester in the off season… Explain to me how there would be anything reasonable about this. Pirates need to stay far away from this swindling.

  • Trading 6 years of value of a top 30 prospect is a terrible price for 2 months of a pitcher that has already said that he wants to go back to Boston. Not to mention that they’ll want more than Bell. Please don’t do this to us NH, you’ve been disciplined don’t throw away your justified principles now

  • BostonsCommon
    July 29, 2014 3:47 pm

    ‘The Padres have told teams they can’t leave the next GM with no rotation, so they’d need a big league starter, plus a second prospect, if they’re going to move Ian Kennedy, who’s under control for next season, too’…

    Okay… How bout something like Cumpton and Rojas?

    • pilbobuggins
      July 29, 2014 4:16 pm

      Good thought I like that better than mine of hanson,heredia ,kennedy has been my top choice from the get go. He fits the need and the budget. Lester would be great at the right price for a run this year, kennedy would give you two shots.

      • BostonsCommon
        July 29, 2014 4:28 pm

        Ya, until Heredia at least sniffs some form of progress/improvement/success, I don’t know how much value he has to other teams… I’m not really interested in moving Hanson at this point either, even if he doesn’t stick at short. His bat plays just fine @ 2B for me, and the throw is much easier.

        There are just other blocked guys in the system with MLB futures that I’d rather move.

        • pilbobuggins
          July 29, 2014 4:41 pm

          Hanson is an expendable piece,the bucs have mercer in front of him and jones then tucker behind him. If a trade comes off it would not surprise me if it involved hanson.

    • what about Locke?

      • BostonsCommon
        July 29, 2014 7:08 pm

        I think the difference between the two is not that great, Locke just has the higher ceiling IMO. And really, I’m trying to add to the rotation right now, not take away from it.

        Cumpton would be in almost any rotation in MLB right now.. Just so happens in Pittsburgh, he’s a depth option.

    • Pimentel and Rojas, lets keep cumpton, he has options. Lets lighten the load on players without options. They can have Tabata too

  • I agree with Tim that Bell is too much to give up even if from a value perspective equal for Lester and Miller. Bell at 1Bin future with the OF setup provides a great core to the lineup that I would not trade for 2 months of Lester.

  • Isn’t it kind of a waste to make Bell a 1b though? That seems like they’d be really devaluing an asset.

    If they do keep Bell, i feel like it would be more efficient use of resources to trade Marte once Bell is ready and find a 1b platoon that actually works.

    • Not if most of his value is with his bat, and not to this team when the average 1B for Pit hits 13 HR and about 235

      • i dunno man… i think a lot of what makes bell special is the fact that he’s an outfielder with that bat.

        look at Dan Vogelbach. his bat projects similarly to Bell, but he’s a 1b/dh type. he’s not in any prospect lists or anything because 1b who hit aren’t nearly as valuable as OF who hit.

        Actually, downgrading him to 1b might be as much cutting of value of the asset as trading him in a seller’s market.

        • Leefoo Rug Bug
          July 29, 2014 4:04 pm

          Was Joey Votto or Anthony Rizzo devalued?

          • i’m saying that if you put Votto’s career triple slash line of .310/.417/.533 into an adequate right fielder’s body, we’re talking about a 9 WAR player instead of a 6 WAR player.

          • oh jeez. ya added in Rizzo late there haha.

            if you put Rizzo’s .283/.388/.525 line into an adequate RF’s body, we’re talking about an MVP candidate this year instead of just an all star.

        • The value of the asset is irrelevant if not traded, its only important how many games it helps us win over and above what we have now. If Bell gives us a war of 3 per year and our current first base platoon gives us 1, then that’s whatever $ value you put on 2 wins plus the value of an additional free roster spot. That is way more important than the difference in trade value for an outfielder vs. first baseman. The argument is silly

          • “what we have now.”

            But it’s not about what they have now. It’s about what they could have then. the future 1b doesn’t have to be in the farm system right now.

    • Again with this baloney! Marte is signed LONG term and cheap! He should go nowhere!

    • What sense does that make, Marte is almost as young, he is faster, way better defensively, has a great arm……. and using 2 players for 1 position isn’t an efficient use of resources either. Keeping Marte, and using one player to fill a position of need is WAY more efficient. What are you talking about?

      • i’m talking about how Marte is worth much more in a trade than Bell is because marte is an established major leaguer and Bell is a prospect. even if they’re equally talented, Bell is worth less.

        If they believe in Bell, they can trade Marte once he is ready. Like what they did with McLouth and McCutchen.

      • To be honest, I would move Marte this year if someone overvalued him enough. My reason is because all of the good qualities you listed have nothing to do with his ability to hit. I have trouble seeing him as that 5 tool guy when he swings at literally everything. That lack of plate discipline will always depress his hit and power tools. So if someone like the Mariners wants to give up elite prospects or very good major leaguers for that, then yes please.

        • Thank god you aren’t the GM of the Pirates!!!

          • What’s wrong with my idea. Its not that hard to find a defensive specialist in the outfield that is an okay baserunner. He’s not producing at the plate because he has no discipline. If someone wants to severely overpay for that, then I stand by my comment. Please trade him

            • Please, now he is a defensive specialist as an okay base runner???????? The guy hit 280 with 30 doubles 10 triples, 12 hr’s and 41 steals in his 1ST full year. That is hardly a DEFENSIVE specialist! I’m done debating with you.

              • Okay, you lose the debate then. He’s hitting 250 with, 5 HRs, the highest K rate among Pirate starters, a pitiful walk rate, and a 70 pt drop in OPS in his 2nd full season. As of now, he’s only performing like a defensive OF that runs the bases okay. His plate discipline will hinder his abilities to hit, and he’s going to struggle a la Pedro Alvarez. His success last year was more luck than anything which is supported by a ridiculous BABIP. Why not trade him if he brings back a great return

                • I think not! You lose and will lose every time! The guy has been hurt off and on all year. He was still on pace for 10 homers and 40 steals before injury. Yeah lets just trade him away a half year in to an 8 year team friendly contract! So he strikes out some, so what! His walks are improving, twice as many as last year. You think he isn’t going to get better?? He is still a couple years away from his prime. A healthy prime could equate to .280 30 2B 15 3B 15 HR and 50 steals plus Gold Glove defense! Yeah lets just trade him away now LOL

                  • Yeah 10 HRs is great from your corner outfielder. And a lot of people exclaimed about how awesome Jose Tabata’s team friendly contract was at the time. They expected Tabata to develop a little more power and to keep hitting 290, and right field shouldn’t need another player for 8 years. How’d that work out?

                    Marte doesn’t strike out some, he’s going to challenge league leader boards. And so what if his number of walks have doubled. Going from 5 walks to 10 doesn’t make him Kevin Youklis.

                    He might get better, that is the risk with moving anyone. But he’s nearly 26 so his prime is upon us. I’m not talking about giving him away for nothing, I’m talking about being impressed with a great offer and pulling the trigger. Clearly he has talent but it really doesn’t mean much if he can’t stop swinging at bad pitches. Please look at Pedro Alvarez, they’re nearly the same type of player

  • Kevin_Young
    July 29, 2014 3:39 pm

    Literally anybody but Bell. He is our one top prospect that will fill a true position of need.

    • I agree, not for a 2 month rental. Cole Hamels is a different story.

    • Scott Kliesen
      July 29, 2014 8:49 pm

      Taillon, Glasnow, Meadows and McGuire are all higher rated than Bell. And they are at more premium positions, too. I disagree with your opinion, Kevin.

  • Weren’t the redsox one of the teams most pissed about the Pirates signing Bell in the first place?

  • I’d do Bell + a solid pitching prospect (Sampson?) for Lester AND Miller. Just getting one though isn’t worth it in my opinion.

    • That is terrible long term!

      • Cole could get tommy john next year. Cutch could break his wrist. Martin could sign elsewhere. Bell might never pan out.

        Obviously you have to set up for the future, but when you have a chance sometimes you gotta go for it.

        • And there’s a chance josh can’t play first. I agree with you, this should be done

        • “Cole could get tommy john next year. Cutch could break his wrist. Martin could sign elsewhere. Bell might never pan out.”

          Or, none of things happen, and the Pirates win 105 games in 2016.

          “…when you have a chance sometimes you gotta go for it.”

          Huntington should weaken the organization to improve the 2014 team’s chances to make the playoffs? Why bet big on an inside straight draw?

          • It’s ONE prospect. It’s not going to weaken the organization. They’ll still have 6 top 100 prospects, well above the average of 3.33 per team. And it’s not like trading Bell is going to end all chances of being good in 2016.

            All I’m saying is they have a chance for playoffs this year, that’s all we know for sure. Nobody knows what will happen in 2016 from a personnel standpoint. So why not go for it and figure the rest out later.

            • “It’s ONE prospect. It’s not going to weaken the organization”

              So, if Littlefield had traded McCutchen back in the day, the trade of that ONE prospect would not have weakened the organization?

              ” Nobody knows what will happen in 2016 from a personnel standpoint. So why not go for it and figure the rest out later.”

              Well, then, Bell and Glasnow for Lester; Meadows and Kingham for Hamels; Taillon and Hanson for Papplebon; etc. These trades make sense because we do not know what will happen in 2016.

              • Well now you’re just being childish.

                I say trade ONE prospect for a rental…you turn that into me saying trading all our top prospects for a 1 year run.
                That’s just stupid. Nobody is suggesting something that dumb. Quite a large difference between trading ONE prospect and still having a top 5 system and trading all the prospects to destroy the system.

                You’ve gotta have a balance. My opinion is that trading 1 guy to improve our playoff/WS chances this year is a good deal. Your opinion is to not worry about this year and hope Bell pans out for long term success, which is fine, but don’t bring this “well if you trade one guy might as well trade them all” crap into it.

                • There was nothing childish with my reply. I merely applied your position that I quoted so that a reasonable person would see that I had not distorted your claim. The future will take care of itself and is unknowable in any case. So, any trade is sensible as long as it augments the team’s ability to win this year. The trades i suggested fit that bill. Are you retracting the statement I quoted above?

          • I don’t mind trading prospects to make a splash, but not unless we at least have that player for next year. If you are going to go for broke, do it with Price, not Lester. This isn’t our year to go all in

          • The Pirates contending year after year is the inside straight draw. This is only the 2nd time in the last 22 years we were in the playoffs race this time of the year. Gotta go for it. Trade for Kemp and Lester. Especially outfield prospects with all the talent we have there. Maybe even a 1st basemen too.

            • The Pirates will contend till late in the decade and, perhaps, beyond that.

        • Steve Williams
          July 29, 2014 6:09 pm

          The Bucs likely will have a “chance” for many of the next 6-8 years. The problem is that no trade can give them a good chance to win in any given year – but a bad trade can assure they will have no chance to win down the road.

          • This

          • agreed. We need Bell with the sorry crop of 1st baseman available on the market and what we have internally. Meadows makes more sense to deal if need be, and that would be for something more than a 2 month rental. No top 100 prospect is worth a rental period

          • Scott Kliesen
            July 29, 2014 8:46 pm

            Really? One bad trade? With top farm system in MLB, a team that won 94 games last year and has best record in NL over last 3 months, one bad trade is going to sink the organization for years to come?

            You and the 9 people who liked your comment may want to re-think that one Steve.

            • You need to rethink Scott! You don’t trade a top prospect for a rental when you are a small market team like the Pirates.

              • Scott Kliesen
                July 29, 2014 9:57 pm

                That’s debatable, but not anything to do with my comment. I said he was wrong for saying “one bad trade” could derail any chance for Pirates to compete for years to come. Pirates are too good w too deep of a farm system for any one trade, no matter how it fails, to have that big of an effect on franchise.

        • Lester does not make us better enough to be a world series contender, sorry

  • How about Tazawa in place of Miller?

  • coloneldickweed
    July 29, 2014 3:25 pm

    good to see they came off their initial proposal of Marte.

  • Whether or not everyone agrees on the price to pay for an extra win or 2….

    you gotta admit it’d be fun to get Lester.