That’s what ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark believes. Color me skeptical.
#Pirates so serious about Justin Upton they're sending signals they could include Starling Marte in an Upton deal -- but not Cole or Taillon—
Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 15, 2012
That doesn’t seem very serious to me. Marte is a fine prospect — the 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .286/.349/.490 for Triple-A Indianapolis this year — but he’s probably not a future star and he doesn’t fill one of the Diamondbacks’ biggest needs.
Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are the Pirates’ top two prospects. Cole ranks as one of the game’s top five pitching prospects, and Taillon, while lacking polish, possesses the same kind of top-of-the-rotation upside. The Diamondbacks would almost certainly hold out for one of the two in an Upton deal, particularly since the Pirates lack the kind of infield prospects the Diamondbacks are looking for.
Cole’s name also came up in Nick Cafardo’s Boston Globe column today. Cafardo talks about the Red Sox possibly dealing Jon Lester, with Cole as one of their top targets in such a move.