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Pirates trade rumors: Bucs looked into Jeff Samardzija, John Danks, but trades seem unlikely

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have done "due diligence" on trade targets Jeff Samardzija and John Danks, but do not appear likely to trade for either, Rob Biertempfel writes.

Neither part of that tidbit is surprising. Samardzija only has a year remaining before free agency and would presumably cost a ton; the Bucs would only be likely to deal for him if they got a bargain, and particularly given how much Billy Beane gave up to get him, that seems unlikely.

Unless the Pirates had amazingly counterintuitive and promising scouting information on Danks, I don't know why they would want him. He's owed $28.5 million over the next two seasons, but this doesn't look like a spot where the Pirates could get the White Sox to pay a big chunk of that and come away with a bargain, the way they did in the A.J. Burnett trade. Danks' average fastball was below 89 MPH last year, and his walks were way up, so unlike Burnett before the 2012 season, Danks doesn't appear to have much upside. He also isn't really a ground ball pitcher of the sort the Pirates generally prefer. The Bucs need to aim higher.

Biertempfel also adds that both the A's and the White Sox would want big-leaguers, rather than prospects, in return for their pitchers, which would make trades for either Samardzija or Danks all the more difficult.