Buyers or Sellers
Everyone was excited about the Pirates last year when they led the NL Central as late as the middle of the July. That was a great story, but this feels completely different. This year the Pirates are 20 games over .500 and were the first team in MLB to win 50 games. Of course, last year they were sixteen games over .500 on August 1st – and STILL managed to finish below .500 for the 173rd consecutive year.
So they’re buyers, but they don’t have a ton of needs. That might work out well, since they’re reportedly hesitant to give up too much of their farm system. Limited expectations work out well when considering a trade with the Twins.
What They Need
Offensively, like last year, the Pirates have been in the lower half of runs scored in the National League. Things have been particularly ugly in right field with a batting average of .227 and an OPS of 656. By ways of comparison, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier has a 684 OPS. So it would be nice if the Twins had a corner outfielder to offer, especially if he was a right-handed slugger to team up with left-handed hitting Pedro Alvarez.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop taking prozac.
There is also some thought that they could use starting pitching, because they aren’t sure if AJ Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez will be returning soon.
What Might Work
It’s going to have to be a small deal, probably involving a starting pitcher. But don’t expect it to be Kevin Correia – he was a Pirate last year and was demoted to the bullpen by them. I guess that leaves Mike Pelfrey, though I suppose they might be interested in a cheaper younger option like Scott Diamond or Sam Deduno. After all, this is the team that turned around Francisco Liriano, who has a 2.23 ERA with the through 10 games.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
As for the outfielder, the other name that might have made sense is Ryan Doumit – except that he was also a Pirate and I doubt there’s more appetite there for him. The best fit I can come up with is sending them Trevor Plouffe and move him to right field.
On TwinsDaily.com, we're also listing a few sleeper targets the Twins might target from the Phillies organization and one "Dream Target." You can find them here.