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Pirates odd team out for Beltran?

Published on July 24, 2011 by in Rumors

The Pirates really aren’t players for Carlos Beltran and for good reason as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, but some news came out tonight that is pretty interesting.

Beltran has said that he will not accept a trade to an American League team and that he will only accept a trade to 7 National League teams. Looking at the standings, it is easy to see that there are 8 contenders in the National League at the present time: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Arizona.

So, who is the odd team out that Beltran is unwilling to go to? Bobby Valentine said on ESPN this evening that he thinks it is Pittsburgh.

This also stirs up memories of back in 2009 when Beltran and then-Pirates’ 1st baseman Adam LaRoche got into it about Beltran not having any class and not respecting the Pirates after a series sweep of the Mets.

Who is on the 7 team list is not yet confirmed. But if it is true that the Bucs were left off, then hopefully he is traded to Milwaukee and makes the final out of the game the Pirates win to clinch the NL Central.

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Xavier Paul leads Bucs to walk off win

Published on July 24, 2011 by in Game Recaps

Final: Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

WP: Joe Beimel (1-1)
LP: Jason Motte (3-2)

Xavier Paul entered the game in the 9th inning as part of a double switch. It would prove to be a great move by Clint Hurdle.

Any time the Cardinals would score, the Pirates had an answer as the Cards gave up 3 different one run leads throughout the game, none of which lasted more than 2 innings.

Eric Fryer played an exceptional game behind the plate as he picked off Gerald Laird at 2nd base on a failed bunt attempt and also caught John Jay stealing 2nd thanks to a pitch-out. He also went 2 for 4 at the plate with 2 infield singles. Ronny Cedeno also went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs following both of his hits, which were both opposite field doubles.

Morton didn’t have his A-game today and was doomed thanks to 5 walks and 2 wild pitches. He ended up giving up 3 runs over 5 1/3 innings.

The Pirates’ bullpen really did their part as Jason Grilli, Chris Resop, Joel Hanrahan, and Joe Beimel would combine for 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

As mentioned before, Xavier Paul was the deciding factor in this game thanks to his hustle and speed. With 1 out in the 10th inning, he hit a chopper to 1st and beat pitcher Jason Motte to the bag. He then stole 2nd base and advanced to 3rd as the throw went into shallow center field. Chase d’Arnaud would then hit a line drive to shallow center, which Paul would tag up and score on to end the game.

If there ever was a must win game, this one was it. It capped off a 3-3 home stand and tied the Cardinals for 2nd in the NL Central. If Milwaukee loses later today, there would then be a 3-way tie for first place.

The Bucs travel to Atlanta tomorrow to face the Braves. The game will be on ESPN for those who can’t get Root Sports. It will be the start of a huge road trip where they will face two red-hot teams as they go to Philadelphia after 4 with the Braves.

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Game 99: Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals Live Blog

Published on July 24, 2011 by in Live Blogs

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Bucs suffer blow out loss

Published on July 23, 2011 by in Game Recaps

Final: Cardinals 9, Pirates 1

WP: Jaime Garcia (10-4)
LP: Kevin Correia (11-8)

Ok, first things first. Calm the **** down, everyone.

This was an ugly game. But jeez, this will be the first series the Pirates have lost since June 17-19. Try to find another team that can say that.

Ok, just a quick recap, because the game really did suck…

Kevin Correia was lit up, as he has shown to do so at PNC Park this year. I don’t quite understand his crazy home/away splits, and I am wondering if it is now getting to his head. At times tonight, it looked like he was just throwing the ball up there with no command of the pitch whatsoever, thus leading to all the runs he gave up.

There was one huge bright spot from the pitching staff, though, as Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings and looks like he is settling in nicely to the long relief role.

Chase d’Arnaud and Matt Diaz each had 2 hits as d’Arnaud was a late entry into the lineup. Alex Presley was scratched just before the game due to a contusion on his thumb. He hasn’t received any x-rays on it yet and it doesn’t seem too serious.

Steve Pearce played in his first game since his activation from the DL. He went 1 for 4 and made a pretty impressive leaping catch in right field.

The Bucs will look to salvage game 3 of the series tomorrow afternoon as Charlie Morton takes the hill against Kyle Lohse.

Oh, and Pedro Alvarez went 2 for 4 with a homer tonight for AAA-Indianapolis. He is now hitting .350 with a .994 OPS. But apparently, he has more to work on…

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Game 97: Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals Live Blog

Published on July 23, 2011 by in Live Blogs

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Pirates’ front office in a tough spot

Published on July 23, 2011 by in Features

To make a trade, or to not make a trade? That is the question.

Obviously, most fans will say the Pirates need to make a trade. There are quite a few holes in this club that could definitely use improving. However, making a trade isn’t as easy as saying, “Let’s go get this guy.” It takes two to tango. And at this time of the year, teams that are shopping players around have a lot of dance suitors.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that the Pirates should not trade any of their top level prospects (Taillon, Allie, Marte, etc.) for anyone. Remember, winning in 2011 isn’t the goal. Winning every year is the goal. There are many reasons why the Rays are still playing meaningful baseball 3 years after bursting onto the scene in 2008. One of those reasons is they have not sacrificed players who can help them down the road for short-term Major League help.

So if the Pirates are unwilling to move top level prospects, as they should be, what can be done to make a move. If you’ve been following Twitter today, you have witnessed some intense debates about what can or can not be done. Some believe the Pirates front office needs to join the team’s fans by shelling out cash for the players they need. This is a good thing, if it is possible. Let’s look at some possible big time trade candidates, though.

The Mets have made it known that they are willing to eat salary when it comes to Carlos Beltran, who is owed about $6 million the remainder of the season. Beltran is the hottest commodity on the market right now and just about every team that is a contender has inquired on him. If other teams are willing to deal top prospects for 2 months of Beltran, and the Mets are looking for just that instead of salary relief, the Bucs can’t compete with the other clubs.

When it comes to Hunter Pence, he would probably demand more of a haul than Beltran in that he is still under team control until 2013. Houston simply won’t take money for Pence because they don’t need money for Pence. They need players, and they will be good ones. So the question is, do you trade someone like Jose Tabata, who would HAVE to be included in a deal that would bring back Pence? One could argue (I won’t) that trading Tabata for 2 years and 2 months of Pence may actually be worth it. If Pence is acquired, that will be over $20 sunk into one player over the next 2 years where Tabata over those 2 years would cost less than $1 million over that timespan. Is it really worth $19 million+ for the Pirates to have Pence for 2 years than Tabata for those same 2 years? That’s $19 million that can go towards other things that would provide more value (like extending ‘Cutch for example). Pence is out of the question.

We could go on and on with these examples. But the truth is that if the Pirates are going to be able to offer salary relief and C to D level prospects for players, the return will not be enormous. That doesn’t mean, though, that upgrades can not be made. Someone like Carlos Pena, who is also owed a significant amount of money over the rest of the season is the type of player the Bucs will have a chance at getting. However, don’t expect anything like that to happen until July 31st as the Cubs will attempt to gauge the market interest and maximize his value.

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