As if yesterday wasn't crazy enough, today we move right into the trade deadline. Here's where things currently stand:
Early in the day yesterday, we heard the Pirates were very interested in Bud Norris and "close" to a deal on Alex Rios. By the time the second game started, there were reports out that the Pirates' interest had cooled on both fronts. Jeff Passan, who first linked the Pirates to Norris yesterday, said last night that the Pirates wouldn't move Tyler Glasnow for Norris (which we already could've guessed, but, thank goodness anyway), but that they were still interested and that they were interested in Rios, too. Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago says that the Pirates are still interested in Nate Schierholtz, too.
I think it's also worth noting that Bill Brink had an update on Travis Snider's toe injury last night (two tweets: one and two) and that it sure seems to me that it's a real and fairly serious injury that's required a PRP injection and could keep him out of action for quite a while. I don't think the Pirates see Alex Presley as a viable big end of a right field platoon (they let an ineffective Snider play hurt for a long time, apparently, rather than disable him and call Presley up) over an extended period, and they obviously don't think Andrew Lambo's ready for that. That means that they're going to deal for some kind of corner player today. I honestly don't know who, but it seems to me that Schierholtz, Hunter Pence, Rios, and maybe Justin Morneau are all reasonable guesses.
I've been crusading for pitching depth for a while, but I don't think that Bud Norris is a good answer there. He'd be the Pirates' sixth best starter the second he was acquired, and while I think that maybe the coaching staff can help him find his missing strikeouts and return him to more effectiveness, that seems like more of a spring training project than a trade deadline acquisition. Jake Peavy was the one guy that I thought could be a big difference-maker, but he was shipped off to Boston last night. I think I'd rather take my chances with the current five before making a deal for someone like Norris at this point in time. The bullpen could certainly use help, though; Bryan Morris has awful peripherals and has been a roller coaster every time he takes the mound lately, and Victor Black's outing on Monday was pretty rough around the edges, too. I think that the 'pen would be mostly fine with Melancon, Wilson, Watson, and even Mazzaro until Grilli comes back, but one more arm wouldn't hurt things at all.
If I had to make a prediction right now, at 8:30 AM, of what the Pirates were going to do today, I'd say today ends with Nate Schierholtz and some unnamed and inexpensive reliever. The Pirates are in a good place right now, obviously, but there's definitely room for some shrewd, smaller moves to help the team out. I do also think it's interesting that names like Taillon and Glasnow have popped up in more than just the fever dreams of opposing team's fans. It was damn near impossible that Taillon was going to get dealt for Peavy or Glasnow for Norris, but hearing those names makes me wonder if it's possible that Huntington has something unexpected up his sleeve for today. I think that's ultimately a pretty long shot at this point, but Huntington rarely telegraphs his biggest moves.
The deadline is at 4 PM. I'll be at work all day, obviously, but I'll do my best to put posts and updates up as warranted.
Thank goodness they didn't trade Taillon -or any other top prospect. What these writers don't seem to get is, the Pirates do not, and Can not, operate the same way the big money clubs do. Their prospects are everything. Getting those guys to the majors and getting multiple years out of them before they are too expensive, that's the way the Pirates have to operate. We're not Boston. Trade our prospects and we trade away our future.
At his best, Nate Schierholtz is a rich man's Alex Presley, and his career triple-slash line is, with the exception of a few more walks, is Presley-esque. If the Pirates traded anything more than a sammitch from Primanti's for him, it's not worth the time.