Winter Meeting Notes on Marte Trade Talks and the Catching Search

Earlier today we posted an article on the rumored talks between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates. Jon Heyman noted that the two teams planned to meet during the Winter Meetings this week to discuss a possible Starling Marte trade. He also noted that the Pirates were looking for young/controllable catchers. There are updates tonight on the trade talk and a possible catcher in their sights.

Heyman notes tonight that the Pirates and Mets are indeed talking now, though he offers no extra details, other than “names have been discussed”.

The second note is also from Heyman, who mentions that the Pirates are one of five teams interested in free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos.

I’m not exactly sure why the Pirates would be showing interest in a 35-year-old catcher. Granted he had a terrific season, posting a career best 3.8 WAR according to Baseball-Reference. Those two things mean that not only will he be in line for a nice deal this year, but he’s also at an age where most catchers are on the downside of their career.

Chirinos is helped by the fact that he didn’t start catching until he was 24 years old, so he doesn’t have the usual wear and tear, but it’s still an advanced age for a backstop. With the Pirates looking more like sellers right now, there really isn’t a need for an expensive, aging catcher. They do need catching, but that’s not the direction you would expect them to go.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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