MLB Trade Speculation 2011: Profiling the Pittsburgh Pirates' 6 Best Prospects

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MLB Trade Speculation 2011: Profiling the Pittsburgh Pirates' 6 Best Prospects
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Former Pirate prospect Moises Alou

As we approach the end of the month of July, the MLB trade rumors and speculation starts to kick up. For those that follow the NL Central, there could be a lot of noise made over the next few weeks since there is a logjam at the top of the standings.

The Milwaukee Brewers fired the first shot of the trade season, by acquiring closer Francisco Rodriguez from the debt-riddled New York Mets. Time will tell if the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates follow suit.

In Pittsburgh, you have to go back to 1992 to find the last season that the Buccos made it to the All-Star Break with a record above .500. Currently, the team is one game out of first place with a 47-43 record.

That record has GM Neal Huntington in a position he has not been in before: potential buyer at the trade deadline. For most of the past 20 years, the Pirates have been sellers at the trade deadline.

One of the last impact "buys" made by the team was the August 1990 deal that brought pitcher Zane Smith to town in exchange for a few prospects. One of those prospects was Moises Alou, who went on to a long career himself.

If the Pirates are looking for something at the deadline, they would likely have to give up one of the team's top prospects. When you look at this list from PiratesProspects.com, you can see some names that the Pirates are not going to give up for a rent-a-player.

The question you have to ask yourself as a Pirates fan, is it worth giving up one of these players to get a bat for the rest of season? Personally, there are not many players on the list that I would give up, but at the same time the NL Central seems to be as winnable as it could possibly be for the foreseeable future.

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