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Pittsburgh Pirates Actively Shopping Jose Tabata, Could Look to Move Travis Snider, Vin Mazzaro

March 18th, 2014 at 4:14 PM
By Allan Smith

'Jose Tabata' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to trade a member of their crowded outfield, and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted earlier Tuesday that Jose Tabata was actively being shopped.

He later noted that Travis Snider could also be available, and that Vin Mazzaro was the most likely to get traded from the crowded bullpen, which is full of relievers who are out of options.

Tabata is set to make $12.25 million over the next three seasons, which may make him difficult to trade, although he did post a 1.1 WAR last season.

He is due $3 million this year, $4 million in 2015, and $4.5 million in 2016 with a total of $750,000 in buyouts. There is an option for a $250,000 buyout for each of the three seasons.

If the Pirates are willing to listen on offers for both Tabata and Snider, it's a sign they are willing to promote top prospect Gregory Polanco to the majors sooner than expected. The team was very impressed with his performance in the early stages of Spring Training before he was cut.

The team seems to value Snider more than Tabata, and Snider seems the likelier of the two to see the majority of the action in right field until Polanco's promotion. While he has done poorly for the Pirates since he was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays, Snider is fully healthy for the first time since the trade, and has displayed the ability that once made him a top prospect in Toronto's system this spring.

In addition, if the Pirates were to trade either Snider or Tabata, it would open up a spot for a backup outfielder. That spot would likely go to Chris Dickerson, who has impressed the Pirates this spring and is in camp on a Minor League contract.

As for Mazzaro, he is in competition with Jeanmar Gomez, Bryan Morris and Stolmy Pimentel for three jobs in the Pirates' pen. All four are out of options, and the Pirates seem set on keeping Pimentel and Gomez. While Mazzaro outperformed Morris last season, the latter is younger and has shown better stuff this spring, although Mazzaro has the ability to start.

If packaged, Tabata and Mazzaro could net a decent return, especially from a team looking for an outfielder capable of playing all three positions. Both players are capable of filling a variety of roles.

Tags: Baseball, Chris Dickerson, Jose Tabata, MLB, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates, Travis Snider, Vin Mazzaro

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