Life After Littlefield: Huntington stands pat at deadline


Jarrod Blumer, Contributor

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went Wednesday without the Pirates front office making a much talked about trade to try and bolster this team down the stretch.  Some people preached about team chemistry at the deadline, while others made their case for an improvement in right field.  But in the end we saw Huntington put all his eggs in his current team’s basket.  It’ll be interesting to see if it pays off.

It will also be interesting to if Huntington tries to make a deal before the waiver trade deadline on August 31st.  The difference between this deadline and the non-waiver deadline is that for a player to get traded, he must pass through waivers where every team has a chance to claim him.  While some teams claim guys because they are interested in acquiring them, other have claimed players in the past to block other teams from acquiring them.  This could very likely happen to the Pirates because as of right now, every other team in the league has a chance to claim a player before the Pirates, including division foes St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Just because the Pirates did not make a move, does not mean Huntington didn’t try.  Early in the day they were rumored to be in on Astros’ starter Bud Norris.  While he would have been nice to have for the next couple years, it would be tough justifying giving up a top prospect to get him, given the market this summer.  There were also the relentless Alex Rios and Nate Schierholtz rumors throughout the day.  It was rumored that Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn asked for either Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco in return for Rios.  Huntington is in the running to win Executive of the Year for a reason, and that is for making smart moves, not insane ones.

Huntington had some telling things to say following the deadline, saying that the team made offers that made him uncomfortable.  He also said that they were willing to do something stupid, not something insane.  While he can’t come out and say that the team tried to acquire Giancarlo Stanton, one can assume that Stanton was more than likely the player that Huntington made a “stupid” offer for.  Other high-end players the Pirates were rumored to in Wednesday were Los Angeles Angels Mark Trumbo and San Francisco Giants Hunter Pence.  Any of those 3 would have fit nicely in right field for the Pirates.  But Huntington has a plan and I am not one to question it.  If he thinks this current team is playoff-bound, then that’s what we have to go with.

The Pirates did however make a roster move today when they activated RHP Jared Hughes from the 15-day DL.  To make room for him on the roster, rookie Vic Black was optioned to Triple-A Indy.

After taking 4 of 5 from the Cardinals, the Pirates are 1.5 games ahead of them in the NL Central and look to continue their success against the Colorado Rockies as they come to town for 3 games.  Gerrit Cole takes the ball for the Bucs tonight. First pitch at 7:05 P.M.