Despite nearly acquiring the trade deadline's crown jewel, David Price, the Pirates remained silent on Thursday, failing to add talent to a team in the thick of the NL Central playoff race. The team swapped Jason Grilli for Ernesto Frieri on June 27 and sent outfielder Chris Dickerson to Cleveland on July 7, but that was it as far as trading went for Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals' big day might have been discouraging for Pirates fans, but as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Bill Brink explains, the non-waiver trade deadline likely doesn't signal the end of the Pirates' moves this season.
Last year, Pittsburgh made a few key pickups in late August, acquiring Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau and John Buck. That was an exceptional haul of players for waiver trading, but it's not unreasonable to expect the Pirates to once again be aggressive on the market this August.
As Brink notes, the Pirates are ninth out of 15 NL teams in the waiver selection order, which means any National League player put on waivers will have to pass through eight other teams before the Pirates get a crack.
The good news, conversely, is that the Pirates are at the bottom of the contending teams on the selection order (perhaps not good news in the grand scheme of things), meaning they'll pick before the Brewers, Cardinals, Nationals, Dodgers and Giants.
Of course, that could change at any given point because of the small gap between the teams. (The Dodgers have the best record in the league, and they're only 3.5 games ahead of the Pirates.) But as it currently stands, the Pirates are in prime position to be active on the waiver wire, and they might have to be in order to grab a spot in the playoffs.