Kind of a slow pre-deadline day for the Pirates, although I don’t think it’s just them. The relief market hasn’t really opened up, and there’s a lot of hold up on Ubaldo Jimenez. Here’s a few updates on some players the Pirates are looking at:
–Jon Paul Morosi mentions that he spoke to a source who downplayed the idea that Jason Kubel or Michael Cuddyer would be moved by the Minnesota Twins. Seems kind of strange to hold on to the soon-to-be free agent Kubel when you’re in fourth place, six games out, and with a losing record.
–Jon Heyman of SI says that the Cubs inquired on Carlos Pena, but sensed that the Cubs weren’t motivated to move him. Yesterday, Peter Gammons on the MLB Network said that the Cubs wanted to keep Pena, as they thought they had a chance to sign him in the off-season. That doesn’t make much sense, as trading him wouldn’t prohibit them from being able to sign him in the off-season.
-Heyman also adds that the team isn’t sure if Derrek Lee is an upgrade.
-Josh Willigham’s wife, who follows all of the trade rumors, mentioned on Twitter that, at this point, she would be very surprised if they were traded.
-Charlie Furbush, a left handed pitcher, was traded from Detroit to Seattle today in the Doug Fister deal. According to Troy Renck, the Pirates had interest in him. He’s got a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings this year, with a 7.2 K/9 and a 3.9 BB/9 in the majors.
Overall, the first two don’t add up. The Twins aren’t really contenders, and the Cubs definitely aren’t contenders. Trading Pena would make perfect sense for the Cubs, and wouldn’t block them from re-signing him in the off-season. The Twins would have to make up a lot of ground over the final two months, and the fact that they’re six games out makes some sense with their reasoning. Hard to tell if these teams are just trying to drive up value.
4:00 PM: Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the field for Ryan Ludwick seems to be between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, with Cleveland more likely.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Minnesota has been 33-19 since starting out the season 17-37. If they keep it up at this pace, they could challenge for the AL Central title in a pretty weak division. If they were still tanking like they were earlier in the season, then I could see them making trades at this point.
You’re right, they have a lot of ground to cover. But the AL Central is pretty wide open like the NL Central and they could still make it. The same thing with the Reds who are pretty much in the same place as the Twins.
As for the Cubs, they’ve made a lot of bad decisions in the last century, this would just be another one.
They are on the verge of sending Denard Span to the Nationals for Drew Storen and maybe roger Bernadina. I think that might end kubel speculation as well