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Pirates trade rumors: Bucs, Athletics have discussed Rich Hill

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY: Hill ended up being traded to the Dodgers, so the Pirates won't be getting him.

SUNDAY: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Pirates are one of five teams known to have had discussions with the Athletics about the possibility of trading for lefty starter Rich Hill.

The A's placed Hill on the DL on Saturday due to a blister, although that move is retroactive to July 20, so he could be able to return shortly. When healthy this season, he's been terrific, using his plus curveball to generate a 2.25 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 28 walks in 76 innings. (You might recall that he had a strong start against the Pirates in early July.) He's eligible for free agency after the season, although the A's are reportedly discussing an extension with him even as they negotiate potential trades.

The Pirates' genuine level of interest in a rental remains to be seen at this point, and personally, I'd be awfully surprised if they traded for Hill. The Athletics will surely want good prospects in return, and the Bucs' recent trade of Mark Melancon to the Nationals suggests that they're prioritizing the future at least as much as they're prioritizing the 2016 season. Their recent sweep at the hands of the Brewers might increase their motivation to plan for 2017 and beyond.