Does Pirates' general manager Neal Huntington (above) have another waiver trade up his sleeve?
As the end of August approaches, so too does the deadline for waiver claims. On Tuesday, we saw the Pittsburgh Pirates acquire Marlon Byrd and John Buck to bolster their lineup and bench for the final month of the season, and possibly the playoffs.
However, there are still moves to be made, as the playoff races tighten up and teams look to do everything they can to make it into October. Here's a look at some players who may be moved before the deadline:
Despite making the trade with the Mets, there are rumors swirling that the Pirates may not be done shopping the waiver wire. Justin Morneau has become Pittsburgh’s next target, via CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman:
Morneau, the former AL MVP, would appear to be their next target following the trade with the Mets that netted them Byrd and catcher John Buck, as the Pirates continue to address offensive needs as they battle the Cardinals atop the NL Central Division.
I expect Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington to find a way to bring Morneau to Pittsburgh, despite Minnesota’s high asking price (via Heyman). As we have seen with the Washington Nationals this season, a team cannot take a playoff appearance for granted. Just because Pittsburgh is alive in the playoff race now, does not mean that they will be at the end of September.
Enter Morneau. The former AL MVP provides Pittsburgh with a solid bat and strong glove at first base, while Garrett Jones can move to the outfield. This move would significantly improve Pittsburgh’s depth and increase their chances of making the postseason.
While it is not certain which team has claimed Seattle Mariners’ first baseman Kendrys Morales, one thing is certain: whichever team did claim the slugger would add a very solid bat in the middle of the order if they manage to acquire him.
If a trade does occur, it will happen this week, according to Jon Morosi (via Twitter):
Kendrys Morales has been claimed on trade waivers, source says. If a trade is coming, it will happen this week. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 26, 2013
Morales has always been a solid hitter (.281 career batting average) and will help any team that may acquire him. There have been rumors circulating for some time that the New York Yankees may be interested in Morales, but since their signing of corner infielder Mark Reynolds, a deal seems unlikely.
Jon Heyman suggested that the Baltimore Orioles may be a fit for Morales (via Twitter):
Morales is a solid hitter who will almost certainly help whichever team claims him. While I believe Morales will be moved, it is impossible to know until we figure out which team claimed him.
Who is more likely to be moved?
With both playoff races heating up, it is almost certain that some teams will try to gain an edge. Pittsburgh has already made a splash, but will they do it again? Will Morales be moved? With just three days of August left, we will find out soon enough.