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Pirates, Nationals discussed Andrew McCutchen trade involving Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates and Nationals discussed a potential Andrew McCutchen trade that involved Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and a third player, Jon Heyman tweets. It's not clear who rejected who, but either way, the deal didn't happen, and the Nationals traded Giolito and Dunning to the White Sox as part of the Adam Eaton deal. (UPDATE: Hat tip to Marauding Buccos, who finds this tweet from Joel Sherman, who makes it sound like it was the Nationals who balked.)

Giolito and Dunning are both pitchers, and young pitching is risky, but I would have been awfully tempted by this offer. Giolito has legitimate ace upside, and while there are reports that the Nationals had soured on him somewhat, there isn't much in his performance record to worry about, and he still has an plus-plus fastball and an outstanding curveball. MLB.com rates him as the third best prospect in all of baseball, with Victor Robles (the guy the Nationals reportedly wouldn't include in the McCutchen deal) at No. 10. Dunning was a first-round pick last season and could emerge as a future big-league starting pitcher himself.

In any case, the Nationals have now filled their hole in center field, and the Rangers, too, added a center fielder this week when they re-signed Carlos Gomez. It's now somewhat unclear where McCutchen might go, should the Pirates continue to pursue the idea of trading him. They'll now plan on keeping him, Heyman writes, and they'll talk with him about moving to a corner outfield spot. There's plenty of offseason left, so we'll see if circumstances lead the Bucs to abandon that plan, but for now, it looks like McCutchen will remain a Pirate in 2017.