This July's trading deadline will be the third for the Pirates' current management regime, and team president Frank Coonelly predicts it will be the least active yet. Coonelly told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn't expect the team to trade away veterans this summer, the way they moved players like Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, and Xavier Nady in 2008 and 2009.
One reason for such an approach is the fact that the Pirates just don't have that many appealing veteran players left on their roster. While the club probably wouldn't mind finding a taker for players like Akinori Iwamura (.178/.289/.258) or Octavio Dotel (5.40 ERA), their 2010 performances so far will make dealing them challenging, though Dotel has been more effective lately, as Tim pointed out earlier this week.
With no fire sale imminent, Coonelly even suggests it "could be the reverse" of the past two July 31st deadlines, hinting that the Pirates could be buyers rather than sellers. For a club currently sitting in the NL Central cellar, 15 games below .500 and 11.5 games out of first place, that would be a pretty shocking move.
The more likely scenario for the Pirates is letting young players like Neil Walker, Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, and eventually Pedro Alvarez continue to gain major league experience for the rest of the season. If the team makes a couple low-cost acquisitions this winter that work out a little better than Iwamura and Dotel have so far, there should be some optimism for 2011.