The Pirates are having a great season, which is unfortunately being overshadowed by the St. Louis Cardinals and their remarkable dominance over the rest of the league. Pittsburgh is currently 50-35, and have one of the most dominant rotations in baseball. Offensively, they're slightly more challenged, and rank 17th overall in fWAR; and recent injuries will make it much harder to sustain their production.
Super-utility man Josh Harrison, unfortunately tore the UCL in his left thumb in an awkward head first slide while stealing second base on Sunday.
That slide will cost Harrison at least seven weeks, and could force the front office into action they weren't originally planning on.
Clint Hurdle said just yesterday that,
"We'll look at internal options, and this time of the year there are other options to consider and to pursue. Whether the waiver wire, or being aggressive with an early opportunity to add [prior to the Trade Deadline] ... there's different ways to get it done."
One of those internal options is Jung Ho Kang, who will likely get the bulk of the playing time for the immediate future. If Kang cannot prove to be a viable solution, the front office could turn to players like Chris Johnson, Gordon Beckham, Aaron Hill, or potentially even Ben Zobrist. Nothing is imminent however, and the Pirates will likely try to sort out this issue with their own players currently in the organization before turning to the trade front.
Their GM, Neal Huntington, is "committed to striking balance between now and the future in the trade market" and won't dish out prospects just to try and win it all this year. That stance would seemingly rule them out of a player of Zobrist's caliber, and makes a Johnson or Hill much more likely. The trade rumors are starting to pick up, and with recent injuries to several key players across the league, we could finally start to see some trades in the near future.