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The seller’s market, trade deadline predictions, and Andrew McCutchen plays like a star


SOUTH HILLS COMMAND CENTER – We’re less than four hours from the trade deadline and all is quiet – thus far – from Pirates central command.


Clint Hurdle has a theory that with the second wild card added it’s become harder to make trades as a buyer at the deadline, because there are more buyers in the market. And of course the second wild card was added not just to make winning the division more meaningful, but to keep more teams in the hunt and more fans interested.


“I think it’s really changed the challenges for the general manager. People are going to hang on longer,” Hurdle said. “There are some doors that aren’t opening. The asks just really don’t make sense for us (as of 4 p.m. Tuesday). As the clock continues to click you never know what might happen. No one wants to seem like they are dealing from urgency or desperation. It gives teams an opportunity to stay in play longer.”

It’s a great seller’s market. (It would be an ideal year for the Phillies to trade Cliff Lee, for instance). And, moreover, ESPN’s Jason Stark can’t remember there being a deadline where there were so few impact pieces for sale. The Pirates might have to overpay for a marginal upgrade, which as Hurdle hints toward, which might mean their best option is to do nothing at all.


There’s still some time left. Perhaps asking prices will come down. But there’s nothing imminent.




As of right now, the most likely outcome seems to be this: nothing happens.


But I could see the Pirates picking up a Nate Schierholtz for, say, Nick Kingham. That’s my called shot. We’ll see.


Jon Heyman said the Pirates are in on Justin Morneau and a left-handed bat would make sense given the dimensions of PNC Park and the righty-heavy rotations of the Reds and Cardinals.


Kendrys Morales would make some sense but I haven’t heard any buzz surrounding him recently.


What’s your prediction?


(Jake Peavy is no longer an option for the Pirates, which I think is a good thing, but Bud Norris might still be in play per Houston Chronicle.)




In a period of 14 minutes during Game 1, yesterday, Andrew McCutchen used four of his tools: glove, arm, legs and bat.


In the first, McCutchen dived to rob Carlos Beltran of an RBI hit, popping up to throw out Matt Holliday retreating to first base for a double play.


In the bottom of the inning, McCutchen lashed a Lance Lynn pitch into the corner, cruising into second base with a double. Pedro Alvarez followed with a double to score McCutchen.


In the second game he displayed his fifth: power, a pivotal two-run shot.


Some have questioned Cutch’s clutch abilities – he actually has a slightly higher career OPS in high leverage situations – he played like  a star in one of the biggest moments of his career yesterday. He’s one of the best players in the game and he was the best player on the field last night.


– TS




  1. Derek Smith says:

    Good piece, TS. The latest rumor I heard was Marlon Byrd. I would really like them to pick him up. He had issues with drugs last year, but he has had a really strong year and I think he would come up at a reasonable price. I say Marlon Byrd. I don’t know who they would give up because I don’t know his price or what the Mets are looking for.

  2. Jeff Z. says:

    who ? cutches tool box?? We who live in Pittsburgh see everyday and game what he can do….

  3. Dan Finnegan says:

    Schierholtz would seem to be the logical choice, but I could see Morales, Ibanez or Byrd as fallback options.

  4. chethejet says:

    Teams are asking to much. They are the ones that are pricing themselves out of the market. I like Byrd but the Mets are just wanting far to much for a him. Same for other bats out there. Williams has to be nuts to think NH will give up top prospects for Rios? Do nothing since no one else is doing anything..

  5. WVBurghFan says:

    Would have been OK with adding a bat, but Neal Huntington has shown he’s willing to trade and if he didn’t make a move it must not have made sense. Bottom line is by standing still the Pirates widened the gap on the Cardinals today when Molina went on the DL and they didn’t add anything.
    Rios also would likely clear waivers, so he still could be added if the price drops.

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