MLB Trade Rumors: Pirates to Listen on Andrew McCutchen?

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 07: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a three-run home run in the fifth inning to tie the game at four against the Houston Astros during the game on September 7, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Last year, leading into the Winter Meetings, we heard that Diamondbacks new GM Kevin Towers would listen to offers for his young, power hitting outfielder Justin Upton. Nothing ever came of it, but it kept us writers busy for a week or so leading into the Winter Meetings.

This season, we have a very similar situation arise, as the Pirates apparently will listen on offers for their young outfielder Andrew McCutchen. SB Nation's Pirates blog, Bucs Dugout, posted this story today with a tweet from ESPN's Keith Law, who is the source of the rumor:

On Rumor Central, for all you brand-new Insiders: I heard the Pirates would at least listen on Andrew McCutchen ... I rarely post rumors, & wouldn't have posted this one if I didn't believe this was serious.

McCutchen is still under team control through 2015, so any offer they receive better be loaded with young pitching prospects who are major league ready. More on that after the jump:

The Pirates have discussed an extension with McCutchen ever since last summer, and one has to wonder why McCutchen wants to wait. This may just be a negotiation ploy by the Pirates, or they could be serious. Maybe they have received an offer they like and want to see if another team can top it. 

Anyhow, this rumor got my mind wondering who would make a good trade partner for the Pirates. I traded emails with a friend about this rumor, and mentioned that the Braves would be a good fit because they have so many young, major league ready pitching prospects, they don't what to do with all of them, and the Pirates are a little short on good, young pitchers, so it would make sense for them to work out a deal.

How about Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Tyler Pastornicky and Christian Bethancourt for McCutchen? Sure, that is a lot to offer, but the Braves need a centerfielder who can lead off. You have to give up a lot for a young, team controlled All Star who has yet to hit his arbitration years.

ESPN's Jim Bowden mentioned he would be a good fit for the Nationals, and I agree, but they don't have the young, major league ready  pitchers that the Braves could offer.

I don't think the Pirates will deal McCutchen as it would send the wrong message to a fanbase that started coming back to the ballpark last summer. What do you think?

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