Pirates exploring outfield, pitching options
Pirates GM Neal Huntington remains active in trade discussions, leading up to the 4:00 p.m Trade Deadline.
Huntington continues to covet an outfielder, most notably top target Jason Kubel of the Minnesota Twins who the Pirates have turned their attention to for several days.
Any deal for Kubel is expected to go down to the wire.
Adding a reliever or even a potential starter also remains on the Pirates radar.
However, there are not a lot of expectations among the Pirates brass that they will land a true impact 8th inning reliever to team with Joel Hanrahan.
A worry for the Pirates today though could be Derrek Lee. Lee is not joining the team today, and although manager Clint Hurdle said that Lee is “anxious” to join the Pirates, word around the league is that Lee is not too high on joining the Pirates.
Among the outfield options the Pirates are monitoring beyond Jason Kubel, includes Casey Kotchman and Ryan Ludwick.
The Pirates have not been that high on Ludwick but could move on him, if the price is right and other options fall through. The Indians are considered the favorites.
Ludwick, 33, is hitting .238 with 11 home runs – 64 RBI’s. He has hit well at PNC Park in the past, batting .306 since 2008 in 72-at bats.
Meanwhile, in Oakland, the Pirates have been hot and cold on both Josh Willingham and David DeJesus for several weeks. Regarding possible interest in Willingham, it depends on who you talk to. The consensus is that the Pirates are lukewarm on him but others say they haven’t ruled him out, completely.