The Pirates are now a half game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. They are playing two more games here in this stretch, but the real question is whether or not these two teams will look the same by the time this series ends. The trade deadline looms, and both teams are probably going to make some moves.
The Cards are clearly going to move some pieces and have been attached to a lot of players in rumors. However, the Pirates have seemingly been rebuffed. They were interested in Alex Rios from the White Sox, but the Sox want multiple top prospects plus another. It appears Rios will be a White Sox for the rest of the year. The Marlins have been just as negative if not more so on trading Stanton. These are the two most consistent names I have seen connected to the Pirates. You read the occasional long shot connection to someone like Cliff Lee, but that is not going to happen. Jimmy Rollins basically said he was not going to wave his no trade clause, so that rules him out. I do not think that any trade is going to happen this year.
In the end, I think that this is best. We have some great prospects that I would rather see as Pirates than playing for someone else. Gregory Polanco for example is one that teams would be asking for and inquiring on. He is the future in the outfield, I don't think that the Pirates need to leverage the future right now. We seem likely to make the playoffs, but I honestly don't think we are going to be able to make a run at the World Series. And no matter who we add, I don't see any of that changing.
The trade deadline is an over rated thing. Sure, we have a holes at first base (left hand hitting), short stop, and one corner outfielder. It would be great to upgrade, but trade deadline deals have just a big a history of not working out as they do of putting people over the top. We did make some good trades two years ago, and they all fell through. The team got worse, when the talent actually got better.
If the Pirates were to make a minor move for someone like Justin Morneau, I would be okay. He would take a prospect like a Matt Curry, which is not destroying future plans. He would be a one year rental, but then that is all we need. Mid level prospect for aging vet for one year. Anything more than that, and I will be back in panic mode.