Pirates GM Neal Huntington sounds like he’d prefer to trade Jose Tabata

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Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata has spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Indianapolis and has done a decent job thus far, batting .338/.416/.397. And though the Pirates could use another outfielder capable of contributing on offense, it doesn’t sound like they’re considering calling him up anytime soon.

In fact, according to Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, GM Neal Huntington sounds like he’d prefer to find a trade partner for Tabata:

“We were aggressive with [Tabata] in what we believe he needed to do to in order to get back to the big leagues,” Huntington said. “And he is working hard to make that adjustment and as important, he is playing hard and showing up every at bat.

“We have been very open with Jose that while we hope his return to the big leagues with us, he is a guy who may need to get somebody else’s attention and have somebody come get him. If that happens we will be happy for him.”

Tabata was once a well-regarded prospect, both before and after coming to Pittsburgh in the Xavier Nady trade with the Yankees in July 2008. However, in 1,724 career major league plate appearances, he has posted an OPS just below the league average after adjusting for league and park effects, and has compiled only 2.1 total Wins Above Replacement over parts of five seasons, according to Baseball Reference. Average players, despite the description, do have value and are tough to come by, but Tabata has not met the lofty expectations set when he came up through the Yankees’ system.