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Pirates, Orioles discussed Neil Walker trade

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates and Orioles discussed a trade involving Neil Walker, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. The Bucs apparently wanted more than the O's wanted to give up, and the talks didn't advance particularly far. The Orioles also wanted to know whether the Pirates planned to tender Walker a contract, and it certainly sounds like they will (which seems like a no-brainer to me).

Kubatko writes that the Pirates were "assumed" to be interested in young pitchers. I'm not sure who was doing the assuming or why, but if the Bucs really were asking about younger pitchers, that's interesting. Perhaps the Pirates asked about Kevin Gausman, but the Orioles don't really have any younger players who could hop straight into the Bucs' rotation. That could mean the Pirates were asking about potential relievers, or that they were looking for prospects. A trade of Walker for prospects would probably be massively unpopular in Pittsburgh. It would also signal that the 2016 Bucs would be very different from last year's team.

It's probably unwise, however, to speculate about this too much, since talks didn't go anywhere. It's possible the Pirates had no serious intentions of trading Walker (although Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweeted earlier tonight that it was "pretty evident the Pirates are trying to move" him) and asked for some exorbitant return that they knew the Orioles wouldn't meet. I'm sure the Bucs will consider moving Walker, just as they'll consider moving any player heading into his last year before free agency, but judging from their talks with the Orioles, it doesn't sound like they'll trade him for just anything.