The NL Central race remains tight, but the Pirates are technically above the Cardinals and Brewers at the moment. The latest on these surprise contenders…
- We haven't read much beyond speculation linking the Pirates to Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review lists Pena, Carlos Beltran, and Hunter Pence as three bats on which GM Neal Huntington has been "stymied" so far. Huntington explained the roadblocks he's encountered so far, including no-trade clauses and finding a match in value with the other team. The GM explained that he intends to "stay disciplined and stay with teams" in hopes of the asking prices going down.
- ESPN's Buster Olney guesses the Pirates will end up acquiring a second-tier reliever and bat, he explained to Joe Giardina of Pittsburgh Sports Report. Olney has doubts that Beltran would accept a trade to Pittsburgh, and would be shocked if the Bucs meet Houston's asking price for Pence.
- In a tweet, Olney speculates that Colorado's Jason Giambi "would be perfect as a bench addition" for the Pirates.
- Alex Presley's thumb injury increases the Pirates' need for an outfielder, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.