If The Pirates Become Buyers

The Pirates have never been considered buyers for any of the five trade deadlines MLBTR has covered, and in fact less than two percent of the United States population had Internet access the last time they made the playoffs.  So, I'm excited to have a new contender to discuss this year.

The Pirates are currently in third place in the NL Central, just one game back of the Brewers and Cardinals with 44% of their season remaining.  They rank tenth out of 16 NL teams with 3.93 runs scored per game.  The Bucs are tenth in OBP and 14th in SLG.  They've got position players Jose Tabata, Ryan Doumit, Ronny Cedeno, and Chris Snyder on the DL, with Snyder's return a ways off.  How can GM Neal Huntington improve this offense?

The Pirates rank fifth in the NL with a 3.62 rotation ERA, getting it done with Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia, James McDonald, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Karstens.  Four of them carry ERAs of 4.01 or below, though SIERA shows that most of the starters belong in the mid-4.00s.  While it's easy to suggest the Pirates need better starting pitching, it'd be tough for Huntington to replace guys who have gotten good results so far.  The Pirates' bullpen has been strong, so I wouldn't expect a major change there either.

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