PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – As we approach Monday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, are the Pirates going to be buyers or sellers?

MLB Baseball Analyst and former general manager Jim Bowden joined “The Cook and Poni Show” on Wednesday to discuss what the Pirates might be looking to do.

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First, Cook and Poni asked how they can get more out of their star players in Andrew McCutchen and Francisco Liriano.

“You just might have to deal with the fact that he might be going through the first legitimate slump of his career,” Bowden said. “By the way, most superstar players actually have one of those in their career. He is a guy if he gets hot in August or September can be a difference maker.”

Bowden says despite his slump and issues with the starting rotation, the Pirates are not supposed to be in a race but they are. They sit today just 2 1/2 games from a Wild Card spot.

“The fact that McCutchen is having a bad year, Liriano is having a bad year and your starting pitching has been as poor as it has been. Pittsburgh is actually in a good spot right now,” Bowden added. “Especially if Neal (Huntington) can go out on Monday and add a starter or two and give you guys a little bit of a jump.”

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So, what could be out there for the Pirates and are they willing to make a splash?

“I think you have to do something. You look at Miami, you look at the Mets, you look at the Cardinals, and you look at the Dodgers, you gotta be realistic here. I would put the Pirates behind all of them basically because their starting pitching is so far behind all of them,” Bowden said. “The hard part is going to be are you going to give up Meadows or Bell to get it done because the obvious match is with Tampa Bay. You’re not getting Chris Archer, but you could get Jake Ordonizzi or Matt Moore, but it’s going to cost you Meadows or Bell and the question is in the small market of Pittsburgh, are you willing to do that?

Pirates closer Mark Melancon has been a possible discussed trade piece, but Bowden says the Pirates would be “foolish” to move him, saying they would have no shot at the post-season if they do.

Listen to the full interview here including his World Series prediction:

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