Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe mentioned in his weekend column yesterday that there's "mutual interest" between the Pirates and Kendrys Morales and that the Pirates would "love [Morales] on the right contract."
I don't really expect much to come of this, if we're being honest. However much money Morales may cost, he'd also cost the Pirates their first round pick. Given that Morales turned down his qualifying offer and that his agent is Scott Boras, it's really hard to see the Pirates giving either $10+ million or a multi-year deal plus a first round pick up for a player that will be 31 mid-season, can't play defense, and has been uneven offensively over his career. For one year and $7 or $8 million dollars without an attached draft pick, Morales would make a ton of sense for the Pirates. For more than one year or for more money than that with the pick attached? It's a dicey proposition.
I suppose the real takeaway from this story is that the Pirates are, in fact, still looking for a first baseman. Cafardo himself acknowledges that they might be more likely to swing a trade than to sign Morales. I suppose at this point they may end up sitting on their hands until roster cut-downs start in spring training. Given the Mariners run of acquiring 1B/DH types this winter, for example, it's certainly possible that they could be looking to trade Justin Smoak at some point in the spring. There's not really any urgency for teams to act now on a trade, though, with camp starting up soon. They've waited this long, why not wait a bit longer so that they can evaluate how all of their options look in camp before making any sort of trade?