PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching, and the Pittsburgh Pirates appear to be major players with one of the top targets on the market.

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Pirates are “emerging as (a) serious bidder for Justin Upton” of the Arizona Dimaondbacks.

Stark says general manager Neal Huntington is willing to include outfield prospect Starling Marte in a trade. However, it appears pitching prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are off the market as far as a trade goes.

Upton, 24, is one of the top young outfielders in Major League Baseball. He hit .289 with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs last season with the D-Backs. He’s hitting .268 with seven homers and 37 RBIs this season.

If the Pirates were able to acquire Upton it would fill a valuable need for a power bat at a corner outfield spot. Jose Tabata and Alex Presley have struggled with consistency this season and Gorkys Hernandez, who struggles at the plate, has been a regular reserve off the bench.

Pittsburgh has been interested in possibly adding a left-handed bat in the outfield, but Upton would be about as good of an acquisition as possible in the outfield.

Chris Gates | Bucs Blog

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