Last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates captured the attention of the nation. Their summer run of success was
improbable and exciting. For a team that has not finished a single season with a record over .500 since 1992, last year represented real progress. Ultimately, the Pirates finished under .500. However, this season, the team is battling again. And much like last season, Pittsburgh will be buyers at the trade deadline.
While the Chicago Tribune, in their team report about the Pirates, thinks the surprising offensive output the Pirates recently showed – 25 runs in three games – will lessen the team’s urgency to trade, they struggle in offense and clearly could use some pop. Pittsburgh ranks 30th in runs scored this season. They’re 21st in home runs. They rank 28th in batting average. They are bad offensively, and they need some help.
Tom Singer and Mike Emery of MLB.com think the Pirates are on the lookout for offense. According to Manager Clint Hurdle, “We’d like to first look for ways to impact the offense.”
As further proof that the Pirates need some offense, Jon Anderson of Trib Live Radio pointed out that the Pirates would be 30 games over .500 right now if they averaged five runs per game. They’ve averaged five runs per game in June. To sustain that type of offense, the Pirates need help.
Some likely bats on this year’s market include Carlos Quentin, Carlos Lee, Kevin Youkilis (if he can be considered an upgrade), Chase Headley (if the Padres would just admit they plan to trade him), and Cody Ross. The Pirates could be interested in any of these names.
At 36-32, the Pirates are just two games back of first place. Then spent some time in first place this summer, and they have a chance to do so in the near future. The team wants to turn things around, and it can taste success. The fans have supported the club more in the last two years than any other time in recent memory. They will, by all accounts, be buyers at the deadline.
For more on the Pirates, be sure to check our Rum Bunter.