Niemann's name popped up in trade rumors at last July's deadline when Tampa was reported to have interest in Jason Bay. It's easy to see why Huntington would come calling: Niemann is nearly 7 feet and 280 pounds of right-handed power, fitting squarely within the team's mold for the ideal pitcher.
Still, making a trade with Tampa seems difficult. What do you get the team that has everything? I'd offer up impending free agent John Grabow, a more natural fit for the Rays' 'pen than Niemann. Grabow would complement incumbent southpaws J.P. Howell and Brian Shouse -- he's a talented left-handed reliever also capable of getting righties out. Grabow would deepen the Rays' staff, allowing Joe Maddon to play matchups against the Yankees and Red Sox.
With Price primed to tear up the American League, and with Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson et al. arriving sooner rather than later, the Rays can afford to deal an arm with some upside for another piece of a championship contender.
In Pittsburgh Niemann would take the rotation spot that Jeff Karstens or Virgil Vasquez is currently slated to fill.
1. Maholm, LHP
2. Snell, RHP
3. Duke, LHP
4. Niemann, RHP
5. Ohlendorf, RHP
The bold is mine. How many "nearly 7 feet and 280 pounds of right-handed power" pitchers do the Pirates have that fit "squarely within the team's mold for the ideal pitcher"? And how many more can they acquire for a 30 year old LOOGY like John Grabow? My guess is that it will be difficult, best of luck with that.