Pirates have inquired about Didi Gregorius

The Pirates and Diamondbacks have had preliminary trade talks regarding shortstop Didi Gregorius.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had trade discussions with the Arizona Diamondbacks over a deal for shortstop Didi Gregorius, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

Despite starting 97 games at shortstop for the Diamondbacks in 2013, Gregorius was made available for trade after Chris Owings won the battle for the shortstop position this spring. The Pirates, for their part, are heading into 2014 with Jordy Mercer penciled in as their starting shortstop. But, if Morosi's report is accurate, they could be looking for an upgrade at the position.

The 24-year-old Gregorius batted .252/.332/.373 for the Diamondbacks in 2013 in his first full big league season. He was traded to Arizona last offseason as part of a three-team, nine-player deal that saw Shin Soo-Choo move to the Reds and Trevor Bauer end up with the Indians.

A year later, Gregorius is available on the trade market yet again. The Netherlands native has also been linked to the Yankees and Tigers, with Detroit searching for shortstop depth after losing Jose Iglesias for most of the 2014 season. The Tigers did trade for Alex Gonzalez on Monday, but considering Gonzalez's age (37) and recent injury woes, the club could still be in the market for a more dependable solution at shortstop.

For the time being, however, just the Pirates appear to have legitimate interest in Gregorius, as neither Mercer nor back-up Clint Barmes is a great option for a team with playoff hopes. Last season, Pirates shortstops batted .236/.283/.347 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI, as Mercer ultimately beat out Barmes for the job. The 27-year-old Mercer hit .285/.336/.435 with eight home runs in 103 games for the Pirates in 2013 and is currently penciled into be Pittsburgh's starting option at short to begin the season.

For now, the Pirates are keeping tabs on Gregorius. They might just be looking for better production at shortstop than either Mercer or Barmes can provide.

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