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Pirates Rumors: Nate McLouth, Wilson Betemit Likely Targets

The Pirates could be bringing back a familiar face.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates are "moving closer" to signing third baseman Wilson Betemit and former outfielder Nate McLouth. The McLouth deal, in particular, appears especially likely, according to Dejan Kovacevic.

I like the idea of signing Betemit - Pedro Alvarez remains the Pirates' third baseman of the future, but if he continues hitting the way he did last year, the Pirates may need someone to take a bunch of at bats at third, and right now they don't have anyone. Betemit looks like he'll be a capable hitter, and even if Alvarez hits well, Betemit can be a good bench player.

As for McLouth, the Pirates don't have a lot of outfield depth behind Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Alex Presley, hopefully along with Garrett Jones, who might be non-tendered. At this point, though, McLouth is basically a replacement-level player, and there's no good reason for the Pirates to offer him a major-league deal. He's performed badly since the Pirates dealt him a couple years back, and he's not the same player he was in his first go-around in Pittsburgh.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.