Ben Cherington: Trade talks for Pirates have started to 'pick up'

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The Pirates are destined to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline, and the phone is starting to get busy.

In a session with reports over the weekend, Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said trade talks are beginning to heat up about five weeks ahead of the MLB trade deadline.

“It feels like it has picked up a little bit,” Cherington said, per MLB.com. “I think, obviously, there are going to be players we value extremely highly and we see as a big part of our future. I think you want to keep the phone on, but that doesn’t mean that you’re actively marketing players. We’re responding to interest and, in some cases, it just doesn’t go very far. In other cases, it might.”

Pittsburgh has multiple players who are destined to draw interest on the market, most notably Adam Frazier, who leads the league in doubles and is sporting an .839 OPS. He’s under contract through 2023, which only adds to his value.

Cherington acquire numerous high upside prospects this offseason, in an apparent attempt to rebuild the farm system. Outfielder Hudson Head (Joe Musgrave trade) and 19-year-old shortstop Maikol Escotto (Jameson Taillon trade) highlight the list.

The Pirates could also shop some hurlers next month. Setup man Richard Rodriguez and lefty Tyler Anderson could provide bullpen and rotation depth for contending teams.

Gregory Polanco might be a good buy-low option for teams, due to his power potential. The struggling outfielder has club options for 2022 and 2023.