After Rodriguez, Marte Moves, What is Next for Pirates?

If the Pirates were to make another major acquisition in 2012, Chase Headley would make sense, as he is not eligible for free agency until 2015.

A month ago, we suggested the Pirates go out and solidify the starting rotation.  Hello veteran left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez.

We also suggested that a home-grown player could help rectify a struggling outfield.  Finally, welcome to Pittsburgh Starling Marte.  In that same article, we suggested that the Pirates should not stop after those two additions have been made.

Pittsburgh will be looking to add either a first baseman or outfielder before the July 31 trade deadline.  It seems more likely that an outfielder would be acquired at this point, as both Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones have seemed to find their strokes as of late.

Over the last 30 days, Jones has five home runs, 18 rbi and is batting .296 with a .318 OBP. In that same span, McGehee has hit five home runs with 19 rbi, but only is batting .244 with a .284 OBP.  Despite the recent surges by Jones and McGehee, it is still possible the Pirates would consider to upgrade first base.

Pirates Have Checked In On

Justin Upton, OF- After putting Upton on the trade block a few weeks ago, the Diamondbacks did not get nearly the attention that management had wished.  While the Pirates seemed very interested in Upton, they were not willing to part with the top prospects needed to land such a player.

The Diamondbacks now seem as if they will not trade Upton this season.  Part owner Ken Kendrick was quoted as saying “it’s a reasonable assumption” Upton will be a Diamondback the rest of the season.

Shane Victorino, OF- The Phillies have decided to trade away some of their players in 2012.  Victorino has been made available and According to Rob Biertempfel from the Tribune Review, the Pirates offered Jared Hughes and a minor league player, but balked at the Phillies request for Brad Lincoln.  Talks are not dead, but nothing new to report as of now.

Chase Headley, 3B, OF- Headley has garnered much attention on the trade market, but the Padres asking price for the 28-year-old slugger is high.  Headley has played third base primarily in his career, but can also play left field.  In 2008 and 2009 combined, Headley started 193 games in left field.

Even though Headley’s asking price is high, he fits the mold of a player that Huntington seek.  If the Pirates are to surrender more top prospects, it would only be for a player that is under control for multiple seasons.  Headley becomes arbitration eligible in 2013 and can test free agency in 2015.

B.J. Upton, OF- Since being the number two overall pick in the 2002 draft, Upton has not lived up to expectations.  Upton is set to become a free agent in 2013 and the Rays are looking to move him.  The asking price for B.J. Upton would certainly be lower than some other options available to the Pirates, but would not be much of an upgrade.  Upton is currently batting .244 with nine home runs, 36 rbi and owns a .307 OBP.

Billy Butler, 1B- Butler, 26, is the Royals designated hitter and has only played first base 21 times total in the past two seasons.  The Royals asking price for Butler is said to be outrageous.  Do not look for the Pirates to go in that direction.

Other Players Still Available

Alfonso Soriano, OF- Soriano, 36, is enjoying a nice season with the Cubs, as he has 19 home runs and 53 rbi to go along with a .274 average and .324 OBP.  The Cubs are willing to take on a considerable amount of Soriano’s $18 million per season contract that runs through 2014.  In taking on salary, the Cubs hope to receive better prospects in return.  The market does not seem too hot for Soriano, so the asking price should not be that high at this point.

Hunter Pence, OF- After signing Cole Hamels to a long-term contract, it is believed that Hunter Pence is now available in trade talks.  Pence, 29, is batting .267 with 17 home runs and 59 rbi in 2012.  Pence is eligible to become a free agent after the season, so it is unlikely the Pirates would give up any prized prospects in return.

Gaby Sanchez, 1B- Sanchez is in the midst of a down season, batting .202 with three home runs and 17 rbi through 55 games played for the Marlins.  Sanchez has hit 19 home runs in each of the past two seasons.  Since the Marlins acquired Carlos Lee, Sanchez was sent down to AAA, where he’s hit five home runs and drove in 18 runs in only 33 games.

Sanchez would not be a big acquisition, but potentially an upgrade over other bench options and it would not take much to get him at this point.  Sanchez ranked second in fielding percentage among first baseman in 2011 and defense in the middle of a pennant race is always welcomed.

Justin Morneau, 1B- The former MVP has not been able to regain form since suffering a concussion in 2010.  Morneau, 31, is batting .253 with 11 home runs and 41 rbi in 2012.  Morneau is signed through 2013, but the asking price is high for the former MVP.

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  4. Pittsburgh Pirates - Houston Astros Series Preview
  5. Karstens, Pirates Start Second Half in Houston

About John Friend

NL Central and Pirates writer for Baseball News Source, along with contributor for Slew Footers. Follow me @Slew_John37. Thanks for reading! Find Slew Footers Sports and Baseball News Source on Facebook as well.