Today was a big day for Pittsburgh Pirates fans. The team is contending for a fourth straight season and they were again buyers at the trade deadline. They were linked to several players throughout the day but ended up trading for none of them. This is very disappointing news for any Pirates fans.
Most of the NL Central made upgrades today. The St. Louis Cardinals upgraded their rotation by adding John Lackey. The Milwaukee Brewers found a platoon partner for Khris Davis in Gerardo Parra. The Pirates got absolutely nothing. For a team in the heat of a divisional race, it’s not a good thing when all of the teams surrounding you improve while you stand pat.
Much of the day was spent hoping for an ace like Jon Lester and David Price but this is not the most disappointing part of the day. No one realistically expected the Pirates to trade for either player but they expected to receive at least an upgrade in the bullpen or the bench. And when that did not happen this became one of the most disappointing trade deadlines in recent memory.
The Pirates have been surrendering leads late in games most of the year and the bullpen has no one trustworthy beyond Tony Watson and Mark Melancon. The Pirates also have not been able to hit against left-handed pitchers. Finding either of these two options was not too hard of a task. The Atlanta Braves fixed this similar problem by adding Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell from the Chicago Cubs for a minor league catcher. Now no one knows what the Pirates were working on but it is hard to imagine that the Pirates couldn’t have afforded that for two players they needed.
Maybe the Pirates will get a trade done in August like they did last season, but if you’re a team with championship aspirations, you have to upgrade your team in these situations and bottom line, the Pirates didn’t. This will be a very disappointing trade deadline for many Pirates fans but hopefully the team is able to continue to compete in the NL Central even with the other teams upgrading around them.