Meanwhile, the Pirates’ primary trade target in Indianapolis will be Tampa Bay shortstop prospect Reid Brignac. The Pirates tried to get Brignac in a trade for Jason Bay last year and his name cameup in trade talks last month when they eventually landed second baseman Akinori Iwamura for reliever Jesse Chavez.
Perrotto adds that the Pirates are willing to part with left-handed starter Zach Duke or closer Matt Capps. Any package for Duke would certainly cost the Rays more than Brignac and according to Perrotto, the Rays don’t seem interested in Capps.
Capps posted a 5.80 ERA (4.90 FIP) with 27 saves in 57 appearances. He had 46 strikeouts to only 17 walks. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.
Duke was 11-16 with a 4.06 ERA (4.24 FIP) in 32 starts. A 2009 All-Star, Duke made $2.2 million last season and is arbitration-eligible for the second time. He will be eligible for free agency following the 2011 season.
It is no secret the Rays are in the market for bullpen help, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays added a young starting pitcher like Duke. A 2.0 and 2.5 WAR pitcher the past two seasons, Duke is still relatively cheap and would represent an improvement to the rotation. Acquiring somebody like Duke would also make a pitcher like Jeff Niemann expendable and a potential trade piece in an attempt to upgrade the bullpen and/or catcher’s position.