Neal Huntington says Pirates ‘still working through’ whether to be deadline buyers or sellers
Neal Huntington might have been playing coy, or the Pittsburgh Pirates longtime general manager might have been skillfully dodging the question.
But when Huntington was asked whether the Pirates would be “buyers” or “sellers” at the trade deadline late next week, he had a philosophical and pragmatic answer.
“The interesting part about that is actually you’re buying either way,” Huntington said from PNC Park moments before his team began playing the Philadelphia Phillies. “Are you buying for the present or are you buying for the future?”
The Pirates entered Sunday at 46-51 after losing six of their first eight after an All-Star break that they entered having won 12 of 17. They began the game against the Phillies 4 ½ games out of a wild-card spot and 7 ½ out of first place in the National League Central division. Only three teams in the NL had a worse record.
Has the optimism of the hot stretch earlier this month and of a 12-6 start faded enough that instead of adding, say, a starting pitcher and bullpen arm, will the Pirates think about peddling the likes of Melky Cabrera, Corey Dickerson – or even Felipe Vazquez – to the highest bidder?
“We’re still working through that,” Huntington said. “We’ve got players that we believe will help us win games this year. We’d love to be able to add to this group, and we’ll see where we go and we’ll see what the market allows and where we can move this market in one direction or the other. That’s the interesting part about it – are you buying now, or are you buying for the future?”
Between now and the 4 p.m. EST deadline July 31, the Pirates host the St. Louis Cardinals (four games ahead of the Pirates) for four games and play three games each at teams behind them in the standings – the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .