A Beatles take on Trade Deadline (and it’s not Help!)
Interesting coincidence late Sunday: On opposite sides of the country, two players on two surprising contenders simultaneously made the same point.
The Bucs’ Pedro Alvarez and the Oakland A’s Coco Crisp, on the subject of whether their respective teams needed reinforcements, both quoted The Beatles: No, not Help! Let It Be.
El Toro and Coco had the identical message: We’re confident in the players here, and any changes might affect the good chemistry.
Problem is, I don’t think there is a single GM with a degree in chemistry. So they’re always pushing the cart through the Trade Deadline market aisles.
Guys like Neal Huntington face a major dilemma. Tinker with something not broken? Or, if the season goes south, do they sit there in late September asking themselves, “What if …?”
Huntington, of course, has another dilemma, one to which he fessed up on Sunday:
“At the end of two months, we would have absolutely felt we needed a bat after two months of historically bad offense. At the end of four months, after leading baseball in offense for the last two … it’s been an interesting dynamic to work through,” Huntington said while taking a brief break from “working the phones and staying in contact with our scouts.”
Remove “bat” from the must-get list … and there is no list.
“Our starting pitchers continue to do well. Our bullpen continues to do very well,” Huntington said. “You can never have enough arms — but we also have a lot of guys in Triple-A we feel good about. So it’s nice that we don’t have to go get someone specific; we can pick what we want to get — and if the acquisition cost is exorbitantly high, we can stay with what we have and continue to play winning baseball.”
The Pirates are would-be buyers. So are 21 other teams within a hot week of a playoff spot, although some of those appear to be straddling the fence.
“More teams are starting to reach out with two-way,” said Huntington, canvassing the market. “They’re still looking to add — but the reality is setting in that they may need to sell.”
The Pirates approach the Trade Deadline in a situation eerily similar to a year ago — when they did acquire Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick, but passed on some “bigger” names available (i.e., Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn).
“We still feel good about the passes based on the asking price and on what they’ve turned into,” Huntington said, candidly.