The Pittsburgh Pirates Neal Huntington will have to make a difficult decision in two weeks

Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline: Starting Pitching

The Pittsburgh Pirates trade deadline countdown continues today.  We have to believe Neal Huntington had his ears cleaned out at the All-Star Game and discussed many possible deals.  In a recent article on ESPN, by Jerry Crasnick this interesting quote was used.

“I think there’s going to be action,” a National League executive said. “But there are so many teams still in it, you’re not going to see as many early trades. I think you’re going to see an intense week from July 25 to the deadline. A lot of teams are going to wait.”

Looking at some of the names on the list of potential talent available, some are simply uninteresting to us, some tease, some please.

From the uninterested column comes right hander Jason Marquis. 

As it stands right now, we’re not interested in seeing what Marquis would look like in black and gold at PNC Park.  However, play the what if game about the Pirates starting pitching for a moment, and then come back and read this in two weeks.  A lot could change with the Pirates starters.

What if Pirates starter (fill in blank) struggles in his starts the next two weeks?  Let’s say the Pirates feel a need to make a move for an experienced pitcher because of (blank’s) struggles, who would the Bucs feel confident in acquiring at the deadline?

We say a name to watch if the Pirates pitching staff should hit that bump in the road is Jason Marquis.   A couple of reasons for that belief follow.

Clint Hurdle blushes when he speaks about Marquis.  There is an avid fondess of him during his time with the Rockies.

He’s athletic.  He handles the bat well.  Marquis could get the bunt down easily.

The Nats seem unlikely to want to keep Marquis and his weekly paycheck around after the season, $7.5 million per year seems steep to an organization that has talented young pitching in their system.   But the Nats are far from out of the mix themselves.

Two weeks will tell a great deal for baseball fans in both Washington and Pittsburgh.  Each of those ballclubs have surprised.  We trust Pittsburgh will have a few more healthy players on their roster in a couple of weeks when the tough decisions need to happen. 

But if the Pirates are contenders headed into that heated trade deadline in two weeks, and have a struggling starter and a resurgent offense, they could eat some of that Marquis contract.

Neal Huntington even said on his radio show this week, that he felt many deals will get done later this season.  With that in mind, it could be that the Pirates will actually make a move after the dust settles which could be a potential steal.  Just keep that in your memory bank.

The bottom line is that it seems  unlikely that Marquis would land in Pittsburgh, but Hurdle knows Marquis well and we believe that Hurdle will be the ultimate decision maker on it.   But damn the speculation is fun, isn’t it?

Two weeks should provide a barometer for the Pirates starters.  Will the success continue, or were NL teams able to make adjustments over the break? 

Will the Pirates start to see solid offensive performance from players such as Steve Pearce, Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez that back the solid starting pitching?

It’s going to be damn fun to watch.  Much more fun actually than this speculation.  When do the games start again?  We’re losing our minds.

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Photoshop Flashback: Marquis de Suck created by Kurt when Marquis was in Chicago…


Tags: Jason Marquis Pittsburgh Pirates

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