Pirates expect high prices in trade market
SAN FRANCISCO — Any team that wants to make a significant move before Thursday's non-waiver trading deadline must be willing to pay a hefty price.
It's a seller's market. Going into Monday's games, 23 of 30 major league teams still were very much in the hunt for either division titles or wild-card playoff bids.
Greater competitive balance and the recent addition of a second wild card in each league has made things more challenging for most general managers. One way to readjust the market would be to move the non-waiver trade deadline back a few weeks into August.
“That's something to think about it, although I kind of like it the way it is,” commissioner Bud Selig said last week during his visit to PNC Park. “I heard somebody grumbling on TV the other day that there aren't many sellers and the prices have gone up, and I thought to myself, ‘Well, that's good. That's what we set out to accomplish.' We can talk about extending the deadline, but I'm happy with where it is.”
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington wishes the market had played out this way a few years ago, when his team was rebuilding. Instead, Huntington has listened to outrageous demands from other clubs who want the Pirates' high-end prospects, even in exchange for relievers.
The Pirates need more production from first base than what they've gotten from Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez. There is uncertainty in the starting rotation, due to Gerrit Cole's injury and Francisco Liriano's struggles.
Upgrading those two areas would be costly, in terms of prospects and salary dollars. Huntington might have more options (and success) if he tries to beef up the bullpen.
“It's an invaluable asset,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “I think everybody's going to try to find one more guy, if they can, to add to that mix in the back — especially if they get a closer or an eighth-inning guy — to get one more guy involved.”
Huston Street, one of the Pirates' early targets, already has been dealt to the Los Angeles Angels, but he wasn't their only choice.
Even after moving Street, the San Diego Padres might be willing to give up Joaquin Benoit. The right-hander can fill either back-end role but is due $8 million next season. His contract includes an $8 million team option for 2016.
Adding a left-handed reliever would give the Pirates insurance in case Justin Wilson scuffles down the stretch and could allow for more down time for Tony Watson.
Boston Red Sox left-handed setup man Andrew Miller is being eyed by several teams and would demand the biggest return. Teammate Burke Badenhop is a reliable righty who's making $2.15 million and will be a first-time free agent after this season.
Three Red Sox relievers in the bargain bin are Felix Doubront, Craig Breslow and Edward Mujica. Doubront would be a reclamation project after flopping as a starter. Mujica ($9.5 million over two years) is too pricey, given his sub-par performance. Breslow is 33 years old and has an unhealthy 1.75 WHIP.
Colorado closer LaTroy Hawkins, 41, is another possibility. The righty can pitch in any role, has playoff experience and worked with Hurdle with the Rockies in 2007.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Harrison’s day cut short by ankle injury
- Pirates look to put more pressure on opposition with better baserunning
- Spring training breakdown: Blue Jays 4, Pirates 1
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Rossi: Pirates better with Maz on scene
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after pitcher experienced elbow discomfort
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 8, Blue Jays 7
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Pirates willing to consider high salary to keep star McCutchen
- Pirates starting pitcher Worley is in right place, right time with team