Pirates trade rumors: Bucs asked Mariners for Taijuan Walker in Garrett Jones deal

Justin K. Aller

The Pirates wanted top prospect Taijuan Walker for Garrett Jones -- not that trading Walker makes any sense from the Mariners' perspective.

Rob Biertempfel reports that the Pirates asked for top starting pitching prospect Taijuan Walker from the Mariners in return for first baseman Garrett Jones.

This deal makes no sense for the Mariners -- Walker is a legitimately excellent prospect who just held his own in Class AA as a 19-year-old, and Jones is a role player who doesn't hit lefties or get on base.

Still, this at least makes sense from the Pirates' perspective. The previous rumor, which had Jones and Joel Hanrahan going to Seattle in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak, catcher John Jaso, and pitcher Hector Noesi, really didn't work for the Bucs, who now already have a catcher (Russell Martin) and would have little use for Noesi.

Despite Jones' shortcomings, his power bat is an important part of the Pirates' lineup, and the Bucs shouldn't be in rebuilding mode anymore. If they're going to give Jones up for a prospect, it needs to be a really good one. But that doesn't mean it makes any sense for another team to hand one over. If the Pirates are going to trade Jones, a more likely scenario is that they wind up dealing for a player who can help right away.

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