LATEST PIRATES RUMOR ROUNDUP
As it’s been mentioned for a number of weeks, if there’s a hitter available, the Pirates are looking into him.
It’s now no surprise to see the Pirates getting mentioned as a teamÂ that mightÂ look into Phillies RF Hunter Pence who the team briefly pursued in a trade last summer from the Houston Astros but balked at the 4-to-1 swap the Astros were seeking.
Pence, 29, is hitting .277 with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs. He’s making $10.4 million this season is arbitration eligible for the 2013 season.
One thing is clear though and that’s the Pirates would have to make a dramatic shift and go away from their current “buy-low frame of mind” (which is possible as the deadline inches closer) if they’re to emerge as a serious player for Pence.
Here is Jayson Stark’s take on Pence today and some tidbits on the Pirates pursuit of Billy Butler, which we reported about yesterday:
“He [Pence} can’t be a free agent until after next season, so this is the optimal time to move him. But he and Carlos Ruiz are their only productive right-handed bats. And if they deal Pence and Shane Victorino, it would mean having to reconstruct their entire outfield by next Opening Day. So if the Phillies have a rough week, they’ll almost certainly listen on Pence in the days before the deadline. But they’d need a major haul in return to pull the trigger. One club that could make a run at Pence: the Pirates.”
More from Stark on the Pirates:
“If there’s a hitter who might have even a remote shot of getting traded, the Pirates have asked about him. One surprising name they took a run at: Kansas City’s favorite All-Star folk hero, Billy Butler. But the Pirates are still in a buy-low frame of mind. And the Royals have told a few clubs that inquired that they’d have to be blown away to deal their All-Star.”
Check out a slew of other rumblings from Stark at ESPN.com