Seems Like the Pirates Are Serious About Buying – Could Want Multiple Pieces from Orioles
Having gotten blistering hot this month, the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone from 12.5 games back in the NL Central earlier this month to just 7.0 games back today. That’s still probably too far for them to make a serious run at the Cubs (and Brewers, who are also ahead of the Pirates), but at 4.0 games out of the Wild Card, it might be time for strategic buying.
That is to say, going after controllable pieces, aiding the Pirates not only if they happen to continue their miracle run, but also in the future, when they could quickly turn the corner on another competitive season as soon as 2019.
To that end:
With Brach deal done, #Orioles likely now will pivot to mulling offers for their controllable guys. If #Pirates continue to chase Gausman, perhaps they'll expand parameters to see if Mychal Givens can be part of a package.
— Rob Biertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) July 29, 2018
Gausman and Givens are both having down years, though there are certainly things to like in each pitcher’s peripherals (especially Givens, who seems to be extremely unlucky this year – playing in front of one of the worst defense in baseball probably doesn’t help). Adding them now to the Pirates probably would be a significant upgrade.
The real story here, though, is that the Pirates are unlikely to be selling. That will mean that the NL Central is home to four non-sellers (unless the Cardinals quickly unload additional pieces), leaving them at a modest disadvantage in the Wild Card race relative to the NL East and NL West, each of which *might* have two sellers. Thanks to unbalanced schedule, that would mean – again, this is modest and in the aggregate – a slightly easier final two months schedule for the Wild Card contenders in those divisions.
Hopefully that wouldn’t matter to the Cubs in any case, as they are 1.5 games up in the Central. The Cubs, by the way, still have 10 games remaining against the Pirates – they’ve played the Pirates the least so far out of their fellow NL Central teams – starting with two on Tuesday and Wednesday.