Talk about aiming high.
The Pirates, in preliminary talks with Toronto regarding shortstop Jack Wilson, inquired about the Blue Jays' power-hitting third baseman, Troy Glaus, according to two sources intimately familiar with the matter.
Yes, the same Troy Glaus who is due $12.75 million next year -- plus an $11.25 million player option for 2009 -- and has a universal no-trade clause that was included in his contract largely because of his long-standing wish to play on the West Coast.
The Pirates' inquiry was rejected, one of those sources said.
Toronto remains in playoff contention and, as previously revealed, its management is interested in Wilson as an offseason acquisition rather than in the short period leading up to Major League Baseball's July 31 trading deadline.
The Blue Jays are entertaining offers for Glaus, but only with the approach that they would have to be upgraded immediately.
Glaus, 30, has 272 home runs, including 15 this season in 74 games. He is batting .284 with 47 RBIs and a .382 on-base percentage.
Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said yesterday that any trade he might make before the deadline likely would be akin to the Adam LaRoche-Mike Gonzalez deal, with neither a buyer nor seller component to it.
"It would be more like an offseason trade, where it's needs fitting needs," Littlefield said.
Asked what he saw as being his team's needs, he replied, "We need to score more runs, and we need better quality from the starting pitching. Now, we have internal candidates for the starting pitching, but we need better performance."
Torres' suitors shop Pena
The Boston Red Sox, the team seen as most interested in reliever Salomon Torres, is actively shopping enigmatic outfielder Wily Mo Pena.
Pena has exceptional power, with 66 career home runs at age 25, but is batting .202 and has struck out 12 times in his past 17 at-bats. He is making $1.8 million.
Mets unlikely for Castillo
Even though the New York Mets have lost second baseman Jose Valentin to a major injury, and even though the Pirates apparently have little use for Jose Castillo, the teams do not appear to be lining up for a trade.
Omar Minaya, New York's general manager, said his team will stick with youngster Ruben Gotay for now.
"I'm pretty sure teams are going to call me. I'm going to listen," Minaya told reporters in Los Angeles. "But we're comfortable with Gotay."
Kata over Castillo again
Castillo remained on the Pirates' bench in favor of Matt Kata at third base for a third consecutive game.
Manager Jim Tracy said Kata had earned the playing time after going 3 for 9 with two doubles and an RBI Friday and Saturday. He was 2 for 4 yesterday.
"Based on what he's done the past couple of days, he seems like a pretty good guy to put over there," Tracy said. "He's got a very professional air to him, carries himself like a big-league player."
Castillo was 4 for 18 after taking injured Jose Bautista's place at third in the past week.
Cesar Izturis finally made his Pirates debut, spelling Wilson at shortstop and going 1 for 3 with a sixth-inning fielding gem in which he ranged to the right side of the infield for a putout. Tracy said Wilson will be back at shortstop tomorrow in New York.
Littlefield clarified that the player to be named later in the Izturis trade cannot be on the current 25-man roster or disabled list. The reason, he explained, is that such a player cannot have accrued any major-league service time from the time of the trade until that season ends. Being on the disabled list counts as service time.
Houston center fielder Hunter Pence, a favorite for National League rookie of the year with a .330 average, left the game after batting in the fourth inning because of a sprained right wrist.
INDIANAPOLIS (50-50) lost to Durham, 13-1. RHP Runelvys Hernandez (0-6, 3.84) allowed 11 runs, seven earned, and eight hits in 1 1/3 innings. LHP Juan Perez (5.50) pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and struck out eight. 2B Jose Hernandez (.243) went 2 for 3 with a double. SS Brian Bixler (.293) went 1 for 4.
ALTOONA (51-47) won at Harrisburg, 9-2. RHP Kip Bouknight (8-3, 3.71) allowed two runs in seven innings. 1B Steve Pearce (.333) went 3 for 4 with a walk, three RBIs and a steal. He tied C Ronny Paulino's Curve record by reaching base in 33 consecutive games. CF Andrew McCutchen (.245) went 2 for 5 with an RBI. 3B Neil Walker (.287) went 0 for 5 with a sacrifice.
LYNCHBURG (42-53) lost to Wilmington, 6-3. LHP Kyle Bloom (8-8, 4.51) allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings. 2B Shelby Ford (.280) went 2 for 5 with two doubles.
HICKORY (46-52) beat Hagerstown, 6-3. RHP Brad Clapp (5-7, 5.64) allowed three runs, two earned, in 6 2/3 innings. RF Jonel Pacheco (.299) hit his 16th home run, a two-run shot, and went 1 for 4.
STATE COLLEGE (16-16) lost at Staten Island, 4-3. RHP Moises Robles (1-6, 4.70) allowed three runs in four innings. 1B Justin Byler (.311) hit his second home run and went 2 for 5.
BRADENTON (12-15) was off.