Pirates and Phillies need to talk

With the Phillies searching for middle infield backups, thanks to injuries to Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, and current utility infielder Michael Martinez, it may pay for GM Neal Huntington to lob a phone call to GM Ruben Amaro, Jr.

The Pirates made a bold, yet subtle at the same time, statement this offseason by signing Clint Barmes to a 2-year guaranteed deal.  While it did not say that they were giving up on the current crop of SS candidates in the system, it did say that they were not waiting for them, either.

In recent days, we’ve heard and read articles about how Chase d’Arnaud will be the starting SS at AAA Indianapolis and Jordy Mercer will be the 2B at Indy, even though Huntington himself said that Mercer is the more developed defensively of the two.

At the major league level, Yamaico Navarro is making a strong case to be the middle infielder backup, possibly at 3B, SS, and 2B (similar to Brandon Wood last year) with Josh Harrison also getting reps at these positions.

There is also the phantom Rule 5, Gustavo Nunez, floating around the 60-day DL ether, plus Brock Holt who seems consigned back to AA Altoona to at least start the year.

The Phillies are in win-now mode and do want to develop a guy on the fly in the majors, even for a backup position, so none of these players (definitely not Nunez) may be all that appealing to them.  However, the Pirates do have a backlog of borderline starters/middle infield backups to sift through.

Prospects are like bananas — you want to make sure you use them up, one way or another, before they turn brown.  Neil Walker is going nowhere and Barmes is signed through 2013, so it may behoove the Pirates to effectively utilize an asset if they can fill another organizational need.

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About Kevin Creagh

Kevin Creagh resides in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and has been a Pirate fan since the mid 1980′s. Kevin joined Pirates Prospects in July 2010 and enjoys writing about the economic side of baseball decisions. Many of Kevin’s articles focus on the long-term decisions that the Pirates and other organizations may need to make in the future, in order to balance escalating player salaries with built-in payroll limitations. Kevin also enjoys following prospects throughout the Pirates’ minor league system and forecasting their potential to help the major league team.
  • http://twitter.com/rinsana11 Ross

    yeah but if we gave away one of those guys, what would we ask for in return??? John Mayberry Jr to be our first baseman?? i dont think so

    • Kevin_Creagh

      It wouldn’t be anything great — simply trading one overstocked position for whatever position is overstocked in the Phillies system.

      My personal opinion is that they should just get a low A level player that has any modicum of hope for upside.  We don’t need another reliever at the AA/AAA level or a middle infielder or outfielder above AA.  Not saying that our AA/AAA teams are stacked solid with prospects, just that they need to sift through what we have, not add to the mix at those levels.

  • j1066

    Cant they just trade Barmes to be the Phillies backup

    • scrappy2499

      Leaving the pirates with whom to start at SS?