Pirates serious about a Justin Upton bid?

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That’s what ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark believes. Color me skeptical.

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.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.