Jul 13, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios (51) walks onto the field in the eleventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game one of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park. The White Sox defeated the Phillies, 5-4 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors: Why Pirates should stick to long-term plan

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is just a little over eight hours away and the plan should be a very simple one for Pittsburgh Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington.

He should simply stick to the plan he has had all along.

July 24, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly (left) and Pirates general manager Neal Huntington (right) observe players at the batting cage before playing the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While Pirates’ fans everywhere would like to see Huntington make a major splash before the deadline, it is something that realistically shouldn’t happen.

The Bucs hold the National League Central lead and have the best record in baseball with the team they have in place. That should mean one thing: all of the Pirates’ top prospects should be out of play as the clock ticks down to 4 p.m. Eastern.

There is no need to mortgage any major part of the future for what appears to be simple short-term.

For one, the type of player that would impact the organization in a big way is simply not on the market. The only way Huntington should part with any of his top prospects is if he gets a legitimate star that is under control for at least three years. The only name that comes to mind is Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton and while I’m sure Huntington will try and pry him away once again today, all indications are that he is simply not available.

If it’s not Stanton, names like Gregory Polonco, Nick Kingham, Andrew Lambo, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Alen Hanson, Alex Dickerson and other should simply be off limits.

Add to that the fact that the Bucs are finally beginning to develop some hitters through the system and it doesn’t make much sense to let them go now.

Huntington has built a good thing in Pittsburgh and the future looks very bright. You simply can’t part with major parts of that future for players such as Alex Rios or Hunter Pence.

That’s not to say that Huntington shouldn’t be interested in guys like that, but they will have to come at a cheaper price.

With that being said, I do expect Huntington to add to this current group. A guy like Chicago Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz or Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau makes sense as they should come at a cheaper price and would offer up upgrades that could contribute down the stretch.

With the Bucs where they are right now, it is tempting that Huntington goes out and makes splashy moves.

But the goal has always been the same and that is to compete for a division title on a yearly basis. It makes little sense to abandon that plan now.

Tags: Alex Rios MLB Trade Deadline Mlb Trade Rumors Neal Huntington Pittsburgh Pirates

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