With the Pirates temporarily taking Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez out of the trade mix by offering extensions, that would appear to significantly lessen the likelihood they will make a significant deal with anyone by Major League Baseball's July 31 deadline.
And, to hear general manager Neal Huntington explain it last night at PNC Park, that would be OK by him.
"Because we've made two trades already and because we have a losing record, everyone thinks we're sellers and that everyone is in play, so we're going to be in the middle of every rumor," Huntington said. "The reality is, we like the club that we have. We've talked very openly about players in the last year of their contract. We may be more open to trading those types of guys. At the same time, we can't say we have any untouchables. So, if there's a trade that brings us a lot of talent that we like, that's something we'd entertain."
First baseman Adam LaRoche, batting .250 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs while making $7.05 million, is not known to be receiving much interest, at least not as it compares to the kind of baseball-motivated trades Huntington would prefer. He can be a free agent after this season.
Reliever John Grabow, making $2.03 million, also can be a free agent, but there is no firm word that he will be moved, either.
The only starting pitcher being discussed with other teams is Ian Snell, now with Class AAA Indianapolis, though the Pirates might have to put up some of the $4.25 million he is due in 2010 to move him.
No other starting pitcher has been discussed seriously with another team, and no trade on this front should be expected. The same apparently is true of closer Matt Capps.