A while back I wrote in this space that I thought Jacque Jones would be a solid, last ditch addition for the Pirates in right field. Jones will turn 32 this year but he isn't the typical older, plug-in player the Pirates usually go after. Over 162 games Jones averages 23 home runs and 80 RBI's. His last three years he has gone deep 24, 23 and 27 times while playing for the Twins and Cubs.
The main reason I thought Jones would be an above-average addition was because he would come at a fairly cheap price and would have a small enough contract to just keep the position warm until the Pirates could rightly fill it. Now the Chicago Tribune reports the Pirates are the most likely destination for Jones, if he his traded before the season starts, and the asking price would include either Chris Duffy or Nate McClouth.
Anyone who reads Internet blogs or rumor mill sites understands that sometimes things are written without actual substance behind them, but in this case, this is one of the top newspapers in the country, so you would think there has to be something to this report. DL has already made it clear that Chris Duffy is not likely to be included in any trade that doesn't blow his socks off, so would the Pirates deal McClouth for Jones?
This is an interesting proposition. If the Pirates believe Duffy is the answer in center, would the plan then be to trade McClouth for Jones who could keep right field warm until McCutchen is ready? Would the Pirates then keep Duffy in center and put McCutchen in right to fill out the outfield with Jason Bay?
I guess we should stay tuned.