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The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed right-fielder Jose Tabata on the trade block, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune. But will there be any takers?
#Pirates shopping RF Jose Tabata. Will be interesting to see if there are any takers with three years, $12.25M left on contract.
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) March 18, 2014
The big issue at hand is whether another team wants to inherit Tabata’s contract, which still has three years and $12.25 million remaining on it. Tabata, 25, batted .282 with a .771 OPS to go along with six home runs and 33 RBI in 106 games played last season.
Tabata did not progress as the organization may have hoped for in 2013. After stealing 35 bases in his first two seasons, he had only three last year. He also has an injury riddled track record. Between 2011 and 2013, he has missed 77 games while on the disabled list.
However, Tabata has yet to “win” the right-field job during Spring Training. Tabata has batted .120 in 25 at-bats, while Travis Snider entered Sunday’s game with a .308 batting average in 26 at-bats.
The Pirates reportedly are very high on top prospect Gregory Polanco, who the organization believes is close to major-league ready. Polanco had an impressive winter and is currently playing at Triple-A, but remains an option to possibly come up to bigs at mid-season. Hunting offered a glimpse of clarity on the club’s plans.
“The game plan is at some point for Gregory Polanco to take over right field,” Huntington added. “Is that this year or next year? Earlier this year, later this year?”
Polanco, 22, is Baseball America’s No. 10 overall prospect. In the minors, he racked up a .285 batting average with 12 home runs and 38 stolen bases — which is probably closer to what the team expected Tabata to accomplish — and alongside Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen could give Pittsburgh a very talented, athletic outfield unit.
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