Bucs listening, but without urgency
General manager Neal Huntington hasn’t promised that the Pirates will be entirely inactive on the trade front through the end of the month, but it’s obvious that the urgency to deal away players for prospects is not like it has been in each of the past two seasons.
“This year, we’ve got some guys that we’re not real motivated to move,” Huntington said. “If we get a good baseball trade, then we’ll make it. But we’re beyond the prospect collection mode, and we’re trying to move forward with this group.”
Veterans Paul Maholm, Zach Duke and Ryan Doumit have garnered interest in the past, and all three could be asked about again over the next 11 days. Doumit and Duke haven’t had particularly strong seasons, though, which could affect their value. And without the need to have to make deals, don’t expect the Pirates to sell low.
Relievers Brendan Donnelly and D.J. Carrasco are other potential trade pieces given how valuable reliable veteran relievers are for clubs looking to make a postseason push. And then there is closer Octavio Dotel, who perhaps has as much value as anyone that the Pirates would be willing to part with midseason.
Dotel’s name has already surfaced as a potential fit on a number of clubs, though there have been no indications that it has fostered into anything more than speculation at this point. So why does Dotel seem as likely to go as anyone else in the Pirates’ clubhouse?
To begin with, he comes at a reasonable price given his experience, which has spanned 12 seasons. Dotel’s $3.5 million salary is plenty affordable, and his $4.5 million club option for 2011 becomes a mutual option if he is dealt.
Furthermore, the Pirates might not need the 36-year-old right-hander beyond this season. They seem to have a closer-in-waiting with Evan Meek, and if the club is planning to hand that job to Meek next year, this would be the time to try and get something for Dotel.
— Jenifer Langosch