The team with the best record in baseball reportedly made a serious offer for the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, who has a career average of 39 home runs per 162 games played. However, the asking price was too high and the Pirates made no significant trades by Wednesday’s deadline, deciding to stick with a line-up that is just 20th in the majors in runs, but is backed up by a dominant closer and trio of starting pitchers.
GM Neal Huntington said in a post-deadline press conference that he made many offers leading up to the trade deadline, but the Pirates were asked to give up too much. He said he was “willing to do something stupid … (but not) insane.”
Players like first-round draft choice Austin Meadows were just too valuable in the long run to give up, according to Pirates Prospect.
“There’s no question we forced the issue,” he said. “I made offers that made me incredibly uncomfortable.”
The Pirates failed to make a trade Wednesday while beating the Cardinals for the sixth time in a row in a match-up of the top two teams in the NL Central Wednesday. The top four teams in baseball are now in either the AL East or NL Central with the Pirates (65-42), Boston (65-44), Tampa Bay (64-44) and St. Louis (62-44 and 2 ½ games behind the Pirates).
The Pirates could have tried to add a fourth strong pitcher to their incredible trio of sub-3.00 ERAs:
Francisco Liriano is ranked 26th in Value Add despite missing almost half the season,
All-Star Jeff Locke is ranked 24th with a team best 2.36 ERA
A.J. Burnett is ranked 71st and has only given up more than three earned runs in one out of 19 starts, though he typically can only go five or six innings per game.
The Pirates could have tried to get a new set-up man after Mark Melancon (0.88 ERA in 52 appearances) had to move to closer due to All-Star Jason Grilli’s season-ending injury.
More likely, they would have moved for a bat to bolster a team that is only 20th in the majors in runs with a .244 batting average.