Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has his work cut out for him the next few days, leading up to Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Huntington would like to acquire a bat for sure, but there’s a couple problems. For one, there aren’t many impact bats on the market and secondly, the ones that are available are ridiculously priced bat the moment. I wouldn’t blame Huntington one bit if he elected to not deal for a bat at the deadline.
That thought was echoed by Ken Rosenthal, who noted that Huntington isn’t optimistic about acquiring a bat.
#Pirates not currently optimistic about their search for a hitter. Few available, prices high. Plenty of time for that to change.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2012
But there’s still a few days for team’s asking prices to go down and if it does, I would look for Huntington to make a serious play for the Philadelphia Phillies’ Shane Victorino, as Jayson Stark reports that the Bucs are among a handful of teams still interested in the “Flyin’ Hawaiian.”
Phillies still listening on Victorino. Reds, Dodgers, Pirates & Giants among teams interested. But no indication they’re ready to deal him
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 27, 2012
Victorino isn’t having the best year of his MLB career, but sadly, his .321 OBP on the year is a huge upgrade over the likes of Garrett Jones, Alex Presley, Drew Sutton and Josh Harrison.
He’s a guy that can get on base and the more people the Pirates have that can get on base in front of Andrew McCutchen, the better.
Plus, an outfield of Starling Marte, Cutch and Victorino will be much better defensively than the current group.
Victorino also adds the weapon of an accomplished base stealer as he’s swiped 23-of-26 bags on the year.
Not to mention the final reason trying to acquire a guy like Victorino makes sense is the fact that he’s had some very big at bats in August and September for the Phillies in recent years. The Pirates are entering uncharted waters and adding a veteran with playoff experience could go a long way into paying dividends down the stretch.