I’m still hearing far too much complaining that Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t go all in at the trade deadline, but while it would have been nice to add an established hitter, it takes two teams to make a trade.
The Pirates not landing Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence or others, wasn’t from a lack of trying. There were just no deals to be had.
To illustrate, here’s what was on the table for the Bucs as the deadline neared (all of the following are attributed to reports from Dejan Kovacevic)
Alfonso Soriano: Soriano turned down a potential trade to the Pirates. No one knows how far the talks went, but the Chicago Cubs left fielder was unwilling to come to Pittsburgh, so there is nothing the Pirates could do there.
Shane Victorino: The Pirates made several offers to land Victorino but the Phillies price tag was way too high as Philadelphia was asking for Brad Lincoln, Bryan Morris and a third piece for Victorino. That’s way too high of a price tag for a rental player having a bad season.
Hunter Pence: The price tag on Pence was even steeper as Philadelphia was asking for Starling Marte, Lincoln and a third piece depending on money involved. They also wanted an infielder the Pirates didn’t have to give up according to Kovacevic. I like Pence as a player, but acquiring him wouldn’t have guaranteed the Bucs a playoff spot and at that cost it wouldn’t have been worth one year of Pence, who would likely make close to $15 million next season.
Chase Headley: Here’s one I may have been more inclined to accept if I were the Pirates, but it still would have come at a cost. The Padres’ asking price for Headley was a top-5 prospect, Lincoln or the lottery pick and an additional piece. I like Headley as a player a lot and depending on what the other piece was, that’s something I think should have been considered and maybe it was. He would have been under team control until 2014 and can play either corner outfield or infield spot. In addition it would allow the Bucs to keep Marte and their top pitching prospects.
You can criticize Neal Huntington and Pirates management all you want for not going “all-in,” on big name bats, but for one there weren’t many big names on the block and secondly, as you can see there really weren’t many big deals to be had.