Fans should lower expectations going into the MLB Trade Deadline as the likes of Hunter Pence, Carlos Quentin, BJ Upton, Carlos Pena won’t be coming to Pittsburgh.
The Pirates are buyers for the first time in almost two decades and in the Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntington era.
The team is getting killed by fans for not making a move for an impact bat but the team is making several inquiries.
However, sources close to the situation tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports that the Pirates braintrust has been met with surprise on the trade market. The Pirates have gone into the market willing to take on significant salary for a rental, a strategy they felt would net them a rental bat.
The Pirates though have been caught off guard by rival GM’s insistence on prospects, instead of “salary relief” for marginal somewhat overpaid veteran rental players.
Two prime examples of this happened last week in trade talks with Oakland.
The team had made trade efforts for both David DeJesus and Josh Willingham to a lesser extent, with intentions of taking most if not all of the remaining salary for either player.
However, A’s GM Billy Beane is seeking an adequate prospect or prospects for both players. If Beane doesn’t get the type of return he wants, he’s even told GM’s that he will hold onto both players or look to move them in August.
Both players who were early targets are now considered pretty big longshots. In fact, there’s been rumblings for a few weeks, that the Pirates have soured on Willingham. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, reported today that the Pirates interest in Willingham is lukewarm.
What the Pirates are also running into is GM’s not having an urgency to move some of their rentals. One scenario is in Chicago with Carlos Pena.
The Pirates inquired about Pena, informing the Cubs they would be willing to take on his remaining salary but were told “no thanks” from the Cubs and that the Cubs want to hold onto Pena.
The Pirates have now backed off of Pena, according to Jayson Stark.
Meanwhile, an outfielder on the move that is not on the Pirates radar is San Diego’s Ryan Ludwick.