PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — The Pirates, as they sat an MLB-best 64-42, one-and-a-half games ahead of the struggling St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central entering Wednesday, decided the best move they could make at Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline was none.
Prior to the fourth game of five-game series between the two clubs at PNC Park, Pirates radio/television broadcaster Greg Brown joined SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan to say that the team standing pat was not for a lack of effort–or bravado–by its front office.
“I know [Pirates GM] Neal Huntington worked extremely hard, and threw some stuff out there to a lot of clubs, and offered some big-time names,” Brown told “Starkey, Miller and Mueller” (2:00-6:00 p.m. weekdays on The Fan). “He was willing to, in [manager] Clint Hurdle’s terms, go ‘all in,’ and these teams just were not biting. But I applaud him for really going after some guys.”
Going forward, trades may still take place during the entire month of August if the players in question first clear waivers, or are not on 40-man rosters, and, on Sept. 1, teams are allowed to expand said rosters from 25 to 40 players.
Therefore, Brown believes the Pirates may still try to upgrade, be it internally or externally, before the end of the regular season.
In the meantime, he says the expanded MLB playoff format, while it has increased the Pirates’ odds, has also been somewhat counterproductive to the team’s efforts to address needs such as right field and an underwhelming bench.
“Without a doubt, this second Wild Card has forced these GM’s, in their minds, not to make moves, because they’re contenders for the second Wild Card,” he explained.
Listen to the full interview to hear Brown elaborate on why he thinks this particular trade deadline was more universally quiet than recent ones, citing one of the Pirates’ would-be trade partners as an example:
In other Pirates news, the team announced backup catcher Michael McKenry had left knee surgery. KDKA-FM’s Jeff Hathhorn reports McKenry will be out for the remainder of the season.
His replacement will be 2009 amateur draftee Tony Sanchez, a 25-year-old, right-handed hitter who made his first-ever Major League start in the nightcap of the Bucs’ doubleheader sweep of the Cards Tuesday night, and also collected his first-ever Major League RBI in that contest.
Sanchez helped spot starter Brandon Cumpton to a 6-0 victory, his first Major League win.
Stay tuned to 93.7 The Fan, your flagship home for Pirates baseball, for the latest.