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Pirates scouting Nationals prospects in advance of potential McCutchen trade

A trade seems to be coming soon.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates and Nationals are still discussing a trade involving outfielder Andrew McCutchen, and Pittsburgh is scouting Washington’s prospects in preparation for a potential deal, according to Stephen Nesbitt of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh seems to be seeking outfielder Victor Robles as the primary prospect in a trade involving McCutchen. MLB.com ranked Robels, who batted .280 in Class-A last season, as the 29th-best prospect in baseball.

McCutchen, 30, might benefit from a change in environment after batting .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs and 79 RBIs. Still, the 2013 National League MVP is a career .292 hitter who would add power to Washington’s lineup.

The Nationals could have McCutchen on the roster for up to two years because he is under contract for one more season and has an option for 2018.

Pittsburgh doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to move McCutchen, but the fact the Pirates are scouting prospects could indicate a deal remains a strong possibility. The Pirates could also consider Joe Ross or Reynaldo Lopez.

If the Pirates are able to land McCutchen, the Nationals could move Trea Turner back to shortstop. They might be forced to part with minor league depth but would be adding a former All-Star outfielder in the deal.