A few notes from Neal Huntington, via an interview this morning on 93.7 The Fan:
-P- Huntington confirms that the Pirates would "be interested in moving some pitching," presumably meaning Jon Niese or Jeff Locke.
-P- Upon promoting Josh Bell, the Bucs expected to carry him during the period in which the club only had to have four starters on its active roster. With Gerrit Cole returning tomorrow, they'll have to make a decision. Gregory Polanco's health could also affect Bell.
-P- Perhaps most interestingly, Huntington reflects on his decision to trade for Niese. "Given the thinness of the starting pitching market, given the dollars that we had available, we thought that that was our best return," Huntington says of the Niese trade -- a weird comment, in my opinion, since last year's starting pitching market wasn't thin at all, not even on reclamation-project types who would have been better than Niese has been.
"In hindsight, maybe the two fringe prospects and trying to reallocate the money [Neil Walker's salary] might've been a better return," Huntington says. "That's where the results take us. But at the time, Jon was one of the better starting pitchers available on the market given what we can typically do in this revenue stream."
Of course, Walker shouldn't have been traded for "two fringe prospects" either. The takeaway here, though, is that "two fringe prospects" would have had little value to the organization, so Huntington is essentially saying that Niese, given his contract, has little value.