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Gaby Sanchez has owned left-handed pitching in 2013.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are en route to making their first playoff appearance since 1992. After a 20-year draught, it’s likely the Pirates will have a “win now” mentality at the deadline.
While the knee-jerk reaction might be to acquire a closer to replace the injured Jason Grilli, setup man Mark Melancon can easily slip into the familiar role. Melancon owns 24 career saves and has posted a lights-out 0.93 ERA (versus park-adjusted 384 ERA+), 0.80 WHIP and 8.00 K/BB in 2013.
The Pirates will instead turn their attention to upgrading right field. The team currently sports a respectable three-way platoon (in right field and first base) between Garrett Jones (park-adjusted 116 wRC+ against right-handed pitching), Gaby Sanchez (179 wRC+ versus left-handed pitching) and Travis Snider (83 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching).
But according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, the Pirates heavily covet Alex Rios. Rios would provide the Pirates with a big-name player, but his park-adjusted 104 OPS+ in 2013 has been pedestrian.
There’s little chance the Pirates would part with pitching prospect Jameson Taillon for Rios, but outfielder Gregory Polanco is not as untouchable as perhaps he should be.