5 Players Pittsburgh Pirates Should Target Before 2014 Trade Deadline

5 Players Pittsburgh Pirates Should Target Before 2014 Trade Deadline

Jason Hammel Chicago Cubs
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates are having a disappointing season, but they have been hot lately. Assuming they are in position to buy at the trade deadline this season, here are five players they should consider making a move for.

5. Nick Franklin

Nick Franklin Seattle Mariners
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5. Nick Franklin

Nick Franklin Seattle Mariners
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The current shortstops on the Pirates' roster, Jordy Mercer and Clint Barmes, aren't performing. Acquiring Nick Franklin will get the Pirates a young shortstop who can hopefully hit better than their current duo. In 133 Triple-A plate appearances this year, Franklin is hitting .376/.481/.633.

4. Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius Arizona Diamondbacks
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

4. Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius Arizona Diamondbacks
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

If the Pirates choose to move on from Mercer/Barmes and don't want Franklin, Didi Gregorius is another obvious upgrade. Gregorius is a major defensive upgrade, unlike Franklin, whose value comes in his bat. Gregorius can also contribute a bit offensively. In 260 plate appearances at Triple-A, he's hitting .310/.389/.447.

3. Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel Chicago Cubs
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel Chicago Cubs
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates' rotation hasn't been the same bright spot that it was in 2013. In fact, it has struggled for much of the season. Adding Jason Hammel and his 2.78 ERA, 3.04 FIP and 7.82 K/9 for the rest of the 2014 season would be a solid move for the Bucs.

2. Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy Arizona Diamondbacks
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

2. Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy Arizona Diamondbacks
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon McCarthy's numbers don't look very good on the surface, but he does have a solid 3.88 FIP. He has a 54.8 ground-ball percentage, and he walks very few batters. The Pirates could feel he is an arm worth acquiring before the deadline.

1. Dallas Keuchel

Dallas Keuchel Houston Astros
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dallas Keuchel

Dallas Keuchel Houston Astros
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Is Dallas Keuchel really as good as his 2.70 ERA suggests? Probably not, but the Pirates wouldn't need him to be. They need him to be a solid back-end of the rotation starter, and that is something he could do. Also, lefties generally perform fairly well at PNC Park because right-handed hitters' power is negated by a deep left field.

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