Some of us are probably still having a tough time grasping this whole "Pirates as buyers" thing, but as we get closer to the deadline it's becoming more and more of a reality. At 49-44, the Pirates are currently just a half-game out of first-place in the NL Central, and even though they're battling essentially three other legitimate contenders for the division crown, they likely see additional value in finally ending their brutal streak of losing seasons, which stretches all the way back to 1992.
We'll cover all of the latest Pirates rumors for the day here, but for now the big talk out of Steel City today regards the possible addition of Astros right fielder Hunter Pence.
- As noted before, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is currently reporting that the Pirates have scouted Houston outfielder Hunter Pence in preparation for possible trade talks regarding the Astros' star player. Pence, 28, is one of the top bats on the market, particularly given that he's under team control through 2013. He's currently hitting .321/.363/.489 on the year while playing solid defense in right field, although the batting average is likely to drop soon given that his BABIP is currently 57 points above his career average. The Pirates would likely need to give up a major haul in order to add Pence into the mix given that he's a long-term asset, so it remains to be seen how far these talks are going to get.