The rumors have been increasing in recent days as baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches. Because the Pirates are five games below .500 and in fourth place in the National League’s Central Division they are considered to be in selling mode. Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole are the names most often mentioned in discussions about the Pirates’ bargaining chips on the trade market.
The biggest problem for general manager Neal Huntington is figuring out if his team is still in playoff contention or not. The NL Central is a division filled with flawed teams. The Pirates are seven games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. It might be wise for Huntington to have some patience before deciding if the Pirates will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.
There is still reason to watch baseball, especially for the next week, when the Pirates play NL Central opponents. Pittsburgh opens the season’s second half with seven home games against division rivals, three this weekend against St. Louis and four next week against Milwaukee.