No juicy rumors tonight, at least not that I've found. One blog wants to throw some cold water on us - the Pirates aren't really offering much, and even the good players in these rumors (such as Craig Wilson and Roberto Hernandez) are only rentals. The price for Wilson may go down as a result of Shea Hillenbrand recently being dumped by the Blue Jays. Hillenbrand is probably a jerk, but he'll probably offer some team production only slightly worse than Wilson's for what one would think would be a very low price.
Tonight's opponents, the Marlins, offer a different model for handling trades. This winter they were proactive, dumping players even though they didn't absolutely need to, including players who weren't up for free agency in a matter of months. As a result, they now have a nucleus of really good, young, interesting players, and their record is already better than the Pirates'. Unfortunately, Dave Littlefield makes few such bold trades as the one that brought Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez to the Marlins.
This is tangential, but I have a weird idea. The Reds are acting insane and desperate and trading important puzzle pieces for relievers. The Bucs have relievers. The Bucs don't exactly have a permanent answer at third base, and all the good options they do have can be moved elsewhere. The Reds have Edwin Encarnacion, a third baseman with talent out the yin-yang who is already playing well in the bigs at a young age. But recently, and inexplicably, they haven't been starting him. They probably wouldn't trade him, and the window to exploit the Reds' insanity has probably closed. But if you're the Pirates' GM, why not make a call?
Even more tangentially - a tangent of a tangent, really - what the Reds are doing to their lineup is unfortunate. This offseason, they had Adam Dunn, Junior Griffey, Austin Kearns, Sean Casey, Wily Mo Pena, Encarnacion and Felipe Lopez. They got rid of Pena and Casey in moves that were entirely defensible from their standpoint. But now they've dumped Kearns and Lopez for next to nothing, and they're sitting Encarnacion. In the places of all these guys they've got rookies and scrap-heap types. A couple, like Brandon Phillips and Scott Hatteberg, have outperformed expectations, but how long will that last? I can easily see the Reds being a well-below-average offensive team next year.