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MLB Winter Meetings notes: Pirates interested in Scott Kazmir

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Again, the Pirates didn't do anything all that concrete today, but here's the latest from the Winter Meetings:

-P- The Pirates will meet with Scott Kazmir's agent this week, Travis Sawchik tweets. While there's a big difference between meeting with someone like Kazmir and actually signing him, this is a good sign that the Pirates probably do have some money with which to address their rotation problems. They signed Francisco Liriano last year for three years and $39 million; they'd probably have to reach a bit further this year to sign Kazmir.

Incidentally, I thought Kazmir would have been a good fit for the Bucs a couple years ago when he signed with the Athletics. That would have been a nifty signing. Feel free to ignore my other suggestion that the Pirates should have signed Corey Hart, though.

-P- The Astros are reportedly considering Mark Melancon as a trade option (along with a couple other high-profile relievers). There isn't much sense speculating about that until we know something more specific, but if the trade market for Melancon does pick up, watch out for Houston.

Of course, Jayson Stark reported last month that the Astros' main priority was acquiring a dynamic closer with tons of strikeout ability. As good as Melancon is, that's not him, and Astros closer Luke Gregerson is similar to Melancon in that he's very good despite not racking up whiffs.

But perhaps the Astros' priorities have changed. One of the key patterns this offseason -- from the Dodgers' interest in Aroldis Chapman (which might be scuttled now that it's become clear Chapman was allegedly involved in an incident of domestic violence in October) to the Red Sox' addition of Carson Smith to a bullpen that already included Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara, is teams loading up, Royals-style, on potentially terrific relievers. Melancon obviously fits into that category, strikeout stuff or no.