Fifth trade deadline for Huntington will be an important one

With the MLB trade deadline just 15 days away, plenty of rumors are flying around about what the Pirates will do. Starting pitching and a corner outfielder are looking like the most realistic targets at the moment. This season will mark the fifth trade deadline for Neal Huntington as general manager of the Bucs. Here’s a look at the moves from his first four trade deadlines:

2008 – Mode: Sellers

7/26/08 – Acquired Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jose Tabata from the Yankees in exchange for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte.

7/31/08 – (Three-team deal) Acquired Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris from the Los Angeles Dodgers; Acquired Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss from the Boston Red Sox; Sent Jason Bay to the Boston Red Sox.

2009 – Mode: Sellers

7/22/09 – Sent Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland.

7/29/09 – Traded Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to Seattle for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin, and Nathan Adcock.

7/30/09 – Sent Freddy Sanchez to San Francisco in exchange for Tim Alderson… Acquired Jose Ascanio, Kevin Hart, and Josh Harrison from the Chicago Cubs for John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny.

2010 – Mode: Sellers

7/31/10 – Traded Bobby Crosby, Ryan Church, and D.J. Carrasco to Arizona for Chris Snyder, Pedro Ciriaco, and cash… Acquired James McDonald and Andrew Lambo from Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Octavio Dotel… Sent Javier Lopez to the Giants for John Bowker and Joe Martinez.

2011 – Mode: Buyers

7/31/11 – Acquired Derrek Lee from Baltimore in exchange for Aaron Baker… Acquired Ryan Ludwick from San Diego for a player to be named later.

2012 – Mode: Buyers

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Huntington has done his share of selling in his time as GM, but he’s quickly transformed the team into buyers. He made some moves of fan-favorites, including Jason Bay, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, and Nate McLouth (in June of 2009). He improved the club with some trades, but few players have remained from these deadline deals. The notable players to make contributions for the 2012 team are James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, Josh Harrison, and Jose Tabata. The McDonald-for-Dotel trade has been a huge steal for the Pirates; J-Mac is enjoying a breakout season while Dotel, now with the Tigers, pitched just 18.2 innings in LA.

Last season was the first season since 1997 that the Pirates entered the deadline as buyers. Former GM Cam Bonifay acquired shortstop Shawon Dunston for a PTBNL to bolster the “Freak Show” team of ’97. The 2011 deadline didn’t help much at all for the Bucs. Derrek Lee hit .337 with seven home runs in 28 games, but had no interest in Pittsburgh and didn’t want to come back for 2012. Ryan Ludwick provided nearly nothing, as he batted just .232 with two homers in 38 games. Despite the brutal second half and 19th consecutive losing season, it was refreshing to see the Pirates buying at the deadline after selling for so many years.

There are tons of rumors out there right now and no one knows what Huntington and his staff will do. It’s clear that they aren’t willing to part with Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon, but those are the two prospects that all teams are interested in. Starling Marte is the next best prospect, and could be a piece of a deal; the Justin Upton trade rumor was centered around him. Furthermore, Marte sat out of Indy’s game on Sunday, and there was a ton of speculation that a deal was in the works.

Whether it’s a pitcher or hitter, many people are expecting a big time move that will help them push towards the postseason. It could be a crazy and stressful two weeks for Pirates fans, so buckle up.

Go Bucs

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