MLB Trade Rumors: Hunter Pence Will Make the Pittsburgh Pirates Favorites

Jeffrey SchmidtCorrespondent IIIJuly 24, 2011

HOUSTON - JUNE 13:  Hunter Pence #9 of the Houston Astros receives congratulations from Clint Barmes #12 after a hitting a home run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park on June 13, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Baseball hasn't been worth talking about in the city of Pittsburgh since the days of Barry Bonds. The Pirates have consistently been one of the worst teams, if not the worst, in baseball over the past 18 seasons, and this season seemed no different. 

However, all Pittsburgh is talking about right now is baseball. The Pirates are now in a three-way tie for first place in the NL Central, after being an average of 23.3 games out of first at the end of each season in that 18-year span. 

So now Pirates fans are asking themselves what's next.

Most fans are still skeptical about this team, believing that this is just a hot run that will have cooled off by the end of the summer. 

I think not. 

This team is one of the youngest and most fundamentally sound teams in baseball, which means a bright future is on the horizon. Bringing in another All-Star to complement Andrew McCutchen would be the perfect solution to keeping this team in contention for the coming years. 

The Pirates should be aggressive at the deadline. Their fans have waited long enough for this day to come, and a drastic fallout could cause some fans to lose interest in the team forever. 

Hunter Pence would be the perfect addition to the Pirates. He would make their outfield one of the youngest, and best overall, in the game today.

General manager Neal Huntington would have to include one of his top two prospects in this deal, considering Pence made the All-Star team this season and is considered a cornerstone of the Houston Astros franchise.

Brad Lincoln, Jameson Taillon, and Stetson Allie could all be potentially pieces in a deal.

Taillon is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, and would most likely be high on the Astros' wish list. 

Trades between division rivals are always rare, so look for that to be an obstacle if talks of a deal were to occur. 

A deal such as this would propel the Pirates' offense to new heights, and could potentially power them back to the playoffs for the first time since 1992. 

Pence has an impressive stat line. He is batting .309 with 11 home runs, 61 RBIs, 118 hits and a .474 slugging percentage, and he's only 28 to boot. If the Bucs want to produce a winning product, then what better way than to make a move for one of the best young players in the game?