The Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to make a playoff run and snap a 20-year losing record streak and after dealing with an injury to closer Jason Grilli, who was an All-Star, the team may decide to make a move at the trading deadline to get someone like the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez or closer Kevin Gregg from the Cubs.
The Pirates faltered down the stretch over the past two seasons and the team is hoping not to do that again and the Grilli injury could be the catalyst to a deal, especially as the season wears on. The team was thrilled with how Grilli has performed at his age and he came out of nowhere to have 30 saves this season with a sub-3.00 ERA and less than one hit per inning. Grilli threw a pitch and came out after tightness in his forearm and if it is serious, the team could make a move.
According to ESPN.com, Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers and Kevin Gregg of the Cubs are the likely options and Chicago is a good deal partner since they already sent away Matt Garza and could make more moves, including with Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees. Grilli did not speak to reporters after the game, but manager Clint Hurdle said that they will wait and see what the injury is before making any major moves. Grilli's numbers are fantastic with 2.34 ERA and 66/10 K/BB ratio over 42 1/3 innings and the 36-year-old was a first time All-Star and an IS cover boy this season.
Mark Melancon can be the closer for a short time, but it is unclear whether the team will want him to stay there long term. His numbers have been solid this year as well with a 0.97 ERA and 47/6 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings this season. Rodriguez has a line of 1.09 ERA, 24.2 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 26 K with 10 saves this year and Gregg could also be a solid option from the Cubbies.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are having the best season in over a decade and with Andrew McCutcheon and other young players looking like stars, the team is ready to make a playoff push and that means some trade options at the deadline as they try to fill weaknesses and some names coming up include Alex Rios, Matt Garza, Lance Berkman, Tim Lincecum, Raul Ibanez and many others.
The trade deadline is a tough time to navigate for some teams, but at 56-37 and just one game back of the Cardinals in the division, the Pirates appear ready to finally break their streak of below .500 seasons this year and they may make the playoffs on top of it. The team has gotten great performances from McCutcheon, Jeff Locke, Pedro Alvarez and Jason Grilli and now they need to add some players to get depth and strength in weak areas as the summer stretch comes.