With scouts from the Pittsburgh Pirates in attendance at yesterday’s series finale against the Brewers (as they have been for a month), Carlos Pena had one of his best games in a while – picking up a couple hits, including a double, and a walk.

Whether that was a tipping point is unknown (seems unlikely that one game would make a huge difference), but it appears that the two teams are still in discussions about Pena. The Pirates are still hoping to add offense, and Jayson Stark confirms that the team’s primary focus at the deadline is to pick up a “professional hitter.”

Stark says the Pirates have backed off of Pena, but a tipster tells me that the two sides are in fact still in contact. One of the names possibly being discussed coming back to the Cubs is Matt Curry, a 23-year-old first baseman currently at AA. Curry is in his first full professional season, and, after destroying A-ball in the first half, he’s adjusting to AA. He’s a good looking player, but doesn’t appear to be considered one of the top prospects in a very good Pirates’ system.

  • Mike S

    Of course the Cubs would get a “potential decent prospect” in return for a solid major league player. That has been the Cubs’ bag since I can remember. When was the last time the Cubs made a trade and actually received major league help?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Isn’t that what Hendry tried to do in trading Lilly/Theriot for DeWitt and Maddux for Izturis? I would have preferred prospects (I know they got two “prospects” in the Lilly deal, but they weren’t top ones because the Cubs insisted on DeWitt)…

    • Hogie

      The Gorzelany/Grabow deal.

  • BOOO

    The Cubs will find some way to screw this up. Pena for some low class A bat boy.

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  • CubFan Paul

    Brett, have you came across a scouting report on carlton smith? everyone keeps saying Abreu is the key prospect in the Fook trade but his .244/.294/.429 12 homers, 35 RBI and 19 stolen bases this season seems 2-3yrs away at best ..maybe late next year with the teachings of Rudy “the Guru” Jaramillo

    but unless Smith has a devasting slider, curve, cutter, slurve or 97mph heat I cant believe we would pay $4million for Abreu’s potential..

    • spear

      Hendry’s good at spending others peoples money!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Smith supposedly has improved this year (it shows a bit in his peripherals, if not his ERA), but he’s merely decent. There’s no upside there that scouts can presently see. This trade is almost exclusively about Abreu and the $700k the Cubs got.

      • CubFan Paul

        thanks ..well lets hope Abreu learns some plate discipline & consistent power