I don’t really buy this, but Jon Morosi has tweeted that the Pirates have “some interest” in Neil Walker.
Of the available free agents whom the team could plausibly sign, Walker probably presents the best chance for an infield upgrade. He’ll undoubtedly have interest from other teams, though, so that will eliminate the Pirates. And Neal Huntington has said the Pirates are “comfortable” with their existing infield options thanks to the acquisition of Sean Rodriguez. If he really believes that, he shouldn’t be working in a major league front office, much less running one.
In other news:
— The Cardinals, who apparently are not comfortable with a team that was eight wins better than the Pirates, are looking at Rays’ closer Alex Colome. Despite their loaded outfield, they’re also thinking of going after Carlos Gonzalez.
— Baseball America has posted their list of the Pirates’ top ten prospects (sub. req’d). Not surprisingly, Mitch Keller ranks first. The most interesting ranking is probably Ke’Bryan Hayes, who’s fourth. Whatever scouts they’re talking to obviously were impressed by Hayes, who also ranked high in the Florida State League top twenty. (The league and team lists are done by different people and don’t always agree.) The power isn’t there yet, but Hayes won’t turn 21 until January and he’ll be in AA in 2018. The strangest thing about him is that he went from being a below-average to an above-average runner, which is not a transition you see a lot, even at his age. If you read the chat, the BA guys clearly liked the Pirates’ GCL roster a lot.