#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
This shouldn't be a surprise; some teams are treating the current trade market like nothing has changed even though compensation picks for traded players have been eliminated and others have realized the realities of the new CBA and signed their hitters to extensions. It's been clear for a while that the Pirates won't overpay for a rental and their pool of players to get a non-rental was pretty depleted by the Wandy Rodriguez trade.
That said, there's still plenty of time left and there are despite Rosenthal's assertions, I think there are quite a few players left to be dealt. At this point, I think it's safe to assume that there's a ton of posturing going on right now, and there will continue to be until a few more deals happen.
When they brought Marte up, it really struck me as a "NH is sick of people asking for Lincoln or Taillon for Willingham/Victorino" type of thing. I still say the Pirates should look into Alfonso Soriano. Word is the Cubbies are dying to move him and even willing to eat a lot of his ridiculous (2 more years/$18 mill per) contract to make it happen. We just saw the dude can still hit and if we can play Sutton in RF, we can live with Sori. If the Pirates pick up about 1/3 of his contract, they could probably get him rather cheaply (something like Locke/Wilson and a lesser prospect like Polanco.).
@Carnegie Chip Maybe I'm overrating him but I don't think Polanco as a lesser prospect. Obviously only in low A right now. But I have a feeling he'll be on all the Top 100s this year and will be one of the Pirates top prospects in a few years. His terrific K/BB ratio, power, and speed have me very excited.