Should the Pirates get ready to sell?
After the team went 14-7 leading up to the All-Star Break to pull with 2.5 games of both first place in the division and the second NL Wild Card spot, the Pirates appeared to be sure fire buyers. Well, as a week of play can do this time of year, just ask the San Francisco Giants, the Pirates now appear to be sellers.
The team is done in the division. They’re 6.5 games behind the Cubs. They are not making up 6.5 games on the games in just 62 games. On top of the mathematical difficulty, the Cubs are just flat out better than the Pirates are.
Wednesday night, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the Pirates are open to moving players on expiring contracts. Jordan Lyles, Corey Dickerson, and Melky Cabrera were the three players Heyman mentioned. Francisco Liriano should be shopped, too.
Heyman added the Pirates do not appear interested in moving core players controlled past this season such as Felipe Vazquez. This is the right approach to take. The Pirates still have a strong core and should be in a position to contend in 2020 if they get healthy and bolster the rotation and catcher.
Barring a 5 or 6 win home stand, Neal Huntington should be readying to sell. Even if the Bucs go 5-2 or 6-1 on their upcoming home stand, moving players on expiring contracts may still be the team’s best option.