Pirates reportedly interested in Nate Schierholtz, Alex Rios

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I was traveling this weekend, so I missed Rob Biertempfel's report that the Pirates are looking into Nate Schierholtz and Alex Rios as potential trade targets.

Rios would be a terrific addition, but he makes a bunch of money and will likely require a fairly good package of prospects to acquire, so the devil would be in the details of any move the Pirates might make for him. He'd be an obvious upgrade in the corner outfield, but beyond that it's hard to say whether or not the Pirates should actually acquire him.

Trading for Schierholtz, who doesn't make much money and isn't a big name, would be simpler, and if the cost isn't prohibitive, I'd be all for it. He would fill the "What We Wish Travis Snider Was" spot on the roster, hitting against righties and playing solid defense in right field. I wrote about Schierholtz earlier this week for MLBTR and looked into which contenders might need him. He's so clearly a better fit for the Pirates than for any other contender that if he's traded (and the Cubs control his rights for 2014, so it's not automatic that he will be), I'd say it's about even money that the Pirates will be the team that winds up for him.

The summary: Besides hitting lefties (which he won't have to do, since righty Jose Tabata is the half of the right-field platoon that has actually played well), there isn't much Schierholtz does poorly. He can hit for average, he can hit for power, and he plays above-average defense. He just doesn't do any of these things exceptionally well, and he doesn't play center, which makes him a little bit like Nate McLouth, but with a surer glove.

Snider has 185 at bats as a right fielder so far this season, and has posted a .644 OPS; Garrett Jones, who has been disappointing, has 54 at bats with a .654 OPS. Snider is still a little too interesting to dump completely, and Jones will still be needed at first. But it won't be hard to upgrade them for the stretch run, either, and Schierholtz, who's very good against righties, is just the sort of low-cost player who could help them do it. Biertempfel suggests someone like Nick Kingham could be in play in a trade for Schierholtz, but I think that might actually be a bit much. The Pirates should certainly have to give up something, but they shouldn't need to give up a prospect that strong. If the Bucs aren't going to go really big with a right field upgrade, Schierholtz could provide a lot of bang for relatively few bucks.

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