Are the Pittsburgh Pirates Going to Go Big at the MLB Trade Deadline?

Zak SchmollAnalyst IJuly 8, 2012

DENVER, CO - JUNE 08:  Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a two RBI single off of Esmil Rogers #48 of the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning during Interleague Play at Coors Field on June 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Hunter went 3 for 5 with 6 RBI's as the Angels defeated the Rockies 7-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates have enjoyed a great deal of success so far this season, and according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, former GM John Hart said that the Pittsburgh Pirates might "go all in" at the trade deadline.

Of course he does not have any position of power in Pittsburgh, but he does know the business of baseball and how trade dynamics work.

He didn't elaborate any more on what exactly that means, but the Pirates are obviously in a strong position at the trade deadline. According to Baseball America, they have the 11th-best farm system in baseball.

While that is somewhat average, it does show that they have some depth there with which they can make deals. Their major league roster is relatively young as well, so they can afford to trade prospects without compromising their future too much.

Of course the obvious question in this situation is what the Pirates might want to trade for.

One rather self-evident concern is the offense. The Pirates have scored the sixth-fewest runs in all of baseball. For a team that is fighting for a playoff spot, that is way too low.

The next obvious question regards what powerful bats are going to be on the market.

There had been speculation a while back as to whether or not Carlos Quentin would actually become available, but I have not read as much about that lately, after news came out that the San Diego Padres really didn't want to trade him a few weeks ago.

Carlos Lee could have been a nice fit as well, but he has a new home and won't be moving again.

Justin Upton speculation had heated up in the past few days, but his price tag is going to be something incredible that Pittsburgh might not be willing to pay. While he definitely could help Pittsburgh now and for quite a few years and would be the definition of "going all in," this would be somewhat surprising.

So, what do I think is possible?

In the right package, Torii Hunter could actually be a great fit.

By "the right package" I mean one that brings some money along with it to help pay the remaining portion of the $18 million owed to him over the remainder of the season, according to Baseball Reference.

Although he is getting older, Hunter has proven throughout his career that he can drive in runs and contribute in a productive offense.

On top of that, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim still have an overcrowded outfield. They would definitely want to move someone, so I guess Hunter fits that qualification.

Again, until we have a clearer indication of what "going all in" means, it is hard to judge exactly what the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to do at the trade deadline.

However, if Justin Upton proves to be too expensive, they should seriously consider adding Torii Hunter as they compete for a playoff spot.


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