Report: Pirates made serious offer for Giancarlo Stanton

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The Marlins made it clear to everyone that they weren’t interested in trading their star right fielder, but according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviews’s Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates made an offer for Giancarlo Stanton that “caught the attention of the Marlins’ front office” before being rebuffed.

With either Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon to headline a deal, the Pirates had the ability to put together a pretty enticing package. Other players they could have used include shortstop Alen Hanson, right-hander Luis Heredia and outfielders Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell. It’d probably take four top prospects just to get a foot in the door with the Marlins, and when the team does make Stanton available, it’s a safe bet that at least a half dozen teams will chime with serious offers.

The Pirates, though, came up empty on all of their inquiries before Wednesday’s deadline. They also had varying levels of interest in Alex Rios and Nate Schierholtz for right field, and they made a run at the Angels’ Mark Trumbo.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.