By: Mike Vukovcan

Pittsburgh (KDKA)- The rumor mill continues to connect the Pirates with potential outfielders.

Yesterday, the names of Connor Jackson and Josh Willingham surfaced and today we have a new one.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Pirates have been scouting Houston outfielder Hunter Pence.

Pence, 28, is making $6.9 million this season and has two years of arbitration eligibility left.

On Friday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Astros would have to be “overwhelmed” to part with Pence.

Pence is one of the better hitters in the National League and would be a perfect #3 hitter in any lineup.

Pence is currently batting .321 with 11 HR’s and 61 RBIs.

Pence has hit 25 HR’s the last 3 seasons but keep in mind Minute Maid Park has that short wall in left field.

No word yet on what the Astros are asking for in return but I’d imagine it begins with AA outfielder Starling Marte, a top pitching prospect (Brad Lincoln?), and another player.

The MLB trade deadline is July 31st.

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