By Jason Shetler
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pirates have made Alen Hanson and Jared Hughes available for trade.
Hanson has been in the Pirates organization since 2009 when he signed with them out of the Dominican Republic. The 24-year-old switch-hitter entered 2013 as the Bucs top middle infield prospect. Last season, Hanson was mostly with AAA Indianapolis, posting a .707 OPS, along with 36 stolen bases, which were second most in the International League. He also played 27 games with Pittsburgh, mostly as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. Hanson is out of options, so he would have to make the club, or be available for teams to claim off waivers. The fact that Hanson is on the trade block would indicate that the Pirates are seriously considering having Jose Osuna on the Opening Day roster.
Hughes has spent parts of six seasons pitching in the Pirates bullpen. 2016 was a down year for the sinkerball right-hander, as he posted a 4.68 Fielding Independent Pitching, and struggled to strand inherited baserunners. Hughes has allowed a ton of batters to reach base this Spring Training, with a 2.32 WHIP in eight appearances. The idea of trading Hughes doesn’t really make much sense. He has options remaining, so the Pirates could just simply send him to Indianapolis to begin the season. In addition, Hughes’ trade value is low right now, meaning the return would probably just be for cash considerations.