By: Noah Wright
The deadline is slowly approaching. We’re already in July, and have already heard multiple rumors about multiple teams and players. So far, we haven’t heard very much about the Pirates approach to the deadline. They said that they don’t think they’ll be sellers, but I don’t think it’s time to sell off tons of prospects.
The team should not sell of the controllable pieces, namely Starling Marte and Felipe Vazquez. While both are having good seasons, especially Vazquez, the farm system isn’t in desperate need for prospects. Mitch Keller, is looking like a star in AAA, and showed some decent promise in his first few starts. Travis Swaggerty is starting to heat up, with a .415 BA in his past 41 at bats. While Hayes’ bat has yet to wake up in AAA yet, his glove is definitely top notch, and there’s still a good chance the 22 year old’s bat will heat up. After a foot fracture, infielder Oneil Cruz came off the IL in a big way, and has slugged 2 home runs in his past 3 games. Outside of these 4, there is still a good amount of talent throughout the organization. Kevin Kramer, Luis Escobar, Will Craig, Lolo Sanchez, J.T. Brubaker, Santiago Florez, Cody Bolton, and Mason Martin are all showing promise at their respective levels.
Plus, it’s not like their rental pieces are really worth selling. After Corey Dickerson missed most of the season, and now being pulled after the game vs the Brewers on the 6th, his value isn’t really high. The same goes for catcher Francisco Cervelli. While they do have Melky Cabrera, who is batting a solid .314/.349/.451 with a 109 OPS+ in 239 PA’s, they may have to keep him around with the injuries to Gregory Polanco and Dickerson.
The team instead should look for short term, and cheap options. They’re currently 3 games out of the division, despite being below .500. In the close race that the NL Central is, there really isn’t any risk in buying. Making a trade for short term guys such as Todd Frazier, Tanner Roark, or Howie Kendrick isn't really going to set them back. At most, they might have to give-up a few mid level prospects.