According to Rob Biertempfel, the Pittsburgh Pirates have Jason Kubel as their top target on the trade market, with about four hours remaining before the trade deadline. Jenifer Langosch adds that the Pirates are still in on Ryan Ludwick, but that he’s not the primary target right now. She also adds that they continue to look for pitching, but that offense is the priority.
Kubel seems to be the best option for the Pirates, as his offense would be a huge boost to the lineup. He’s hitting for a .306/.358/.460 line this year, and has hit 20 or more homers in each of the last three seasons. The downside is that Minnesota doesn’t seem to want to deal Kubel. The Twins are currently 50-57, but they’re six games out of the AL Central. The Tigers, Indians, and White Sox are all ahead of them in the standings, and all three teams have added at the deadline, so it would seem foolish for Minnesota to keep Kubel, who is a free agent after the year, in hopes of making a move in the standings. Of course, this could all be a ploy to drive up Kubel’s value before the deadline.
UPDATE 12:38 PM: Jon Paul Morosi reports that there are no serious talks right now between the Pirates and Twins.
UPDATE 1:31 PM: Morosi mentions that a source tells him the Twins are not trading Kubel. He adds that this is the strongest he’s heard it this month.