Figure on the Pirates being in the center of many trade rumors between now and the end of August.
General manager Neal Huntington has already pulled the trigger on two big trades this season, sending Nate McLouth to Atlanta for right-hander Charlie Morton and two minor-leaguers then dealing left fielder Nyjer Morgan and left-handed reliever Sean Burnett to Washington for right-handed reliever Joel Hanrahan and outfield prospect Lastings Milledge.
Huntington has made it clear to other GMs around the major leagues that he is not done dealing and is willing to listen on any and all of his players as he continues trying to rebuild a franchise that has gone through 16 straight losing seasons.
The Colorado Rockies, making a big push for the National League wild card, is interested in trading for Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez.
The Pirates love Class AAA Colorado Springs second baseman
Eric Young Jr., who is hitting .290 with a .379 on base percentage and 50 stolen bases in 79 games.
The 24-year-old would fit quite nicely with the Pirates’ new organizational philosophy of trying to build their team with speed and defense.
However, the Pirates are said to want a second player beside Young and that could be a holdup since the Rockies would almost certainly be assuming a year-and-a-half of Sanchez’s contact as he needs only 600 plate appearances this season for his option to vest in 2010.
The Cubs, Giants and Twins have also expressed an interest in Sanchez. In brief talks with the Cubs, Pittsburgh is eyeing Class AA pitcher Jay Jackson.
Meanwhile, the Florida Marlins are making a play for Pirates closer Matt Capps after failing to land Baltimore closer George Sherrill in trade talks.
The Pirates would like a right-handed hitter with power to balance a lineup that leans to the left and the Marlins would be willing to trade first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who is hitting .289 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs in 49 games at Class AAA New Orleans after missing a month because of a sprained knee.
The Pirates, though, want more than just Sanchez, who is becoming a little old for a prospect as he turns 26 on Sept. 2, in return for Capps.
The Pirates would gladly trade Class AAA Indianapolis right-hander Ian Snell to anyone willing to assume the rest of his contract, which runs through the end of next season.
However, Philadelphia is the only team reported to have much interest and that is said to be very mild.