By Jared Lankes
The Pirates sit at 52-49 but are still in the mix for a playoff spot. However, their playoff chances are low according to whatever percentages you read, even though they mean little. In any case, this puts the team in a tight jam as we approach the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday at 4 pm ET. Between now and then, all the front offices around the league will rattle their heads thinking of the best route to success. One front office that figures to work exceptionally hard is the Pirates. GM Neal Huntington has a ton of evaluations to do about this team and future Pirates’ teams that should make this a very interesting deadline for him and the organization.
The feel around is that the Pirates will be buyers. However, there is also a feel that they may trade off short-term assets if they get the right return. Players like David Freese, Matt Joyce, Sean Rodriguez, Jon Niese, John Jaso, and even Mark Melancon would be considered. Guys like Jeff Locke and Jared Hughes maybe too based on ineffectiveness alone. So, all in all, Neal Huntington has a lot on his plate, and it will all play out within the next couple of days.
One thing the Pirates can’t afford to do is stand pat at the deadline. The reason for this is because they are in such a weird situation that standing pat would be dumb. Standing pat will lead to the same results for the most part. The results the team is getting now isn’t good enough to mean much. If they keep going like this, they will more than likely miss the playoffs and be barely above .500. That just ends up being a waste of many resources.
I don’t think teams should really stand pat in nearly any scenario. Not many teams are ever in a position to do nothing at the deadline, and that’s what makes it fun. The Pirates are a team that is certainly in no position to stand pat either. They are stuck in a situation where they have enough but too much at the same time. It’s a really strange situation for a team to be in. I don’t have the answers as to how to fix that because I’m not a GM, but I do know it won’t be fixed by sitting around while the deadline passes by.
That being said, I fully expect a flurry of deals made, not just involving the Pirates, but throughout the MLB over the next couple of days. It’s certainly shaping out to be an exciting deadline, and I’m intrigued to watch it all unfold.