The Pittsburgh Pirates have emerged from the basement of the National League Central and once again established themselves as legit playoff contenders in 2014. Trying to contend in the tough National League Central, the Pirates are certainly candidates to make a trade in the next month (and beyond) to bolster their roster and their chances.
In a loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, the Pirates very well might have faced a starting pitcher whom they will look to acquire in a trade. Brandon McCarthy, the subject of multiple trade rumors and the victim of truly atrocious luck in 2014, is rumored to be on Pittsburgh’s radar. According to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
He’s a free agent after the season and he’s owed just $4.5 million the rest of the way. Yes, he has a history of shoulder issues, but I spoke with one scout at the park tonight who just marveled at his fastball command, which is evident in his excellent walk rate. In short, if you need an arm, you should be interested. But do the Pirates need an arm?
The Pirates most certainly could benefit from another starting pitcher. Francisco Liriano is still awaiting the start of a rehab assignment, and even when he returns his health is a big question mark. Vance Worley has pitched well thus far for Pittsburgh, but given his disastrous results in 2013 while pitching for the Minnesota Twins, the Pirates should certainly be wary of the small sample size.
It is in Worley’s spot in particular that Sawchik suggests McCarthy as an upgrade:
While Worley’s ERA is likely to climb, McCarthy’s is likely to sink and he’s affordable. McCarthy is an excellent bet to be a second half bargain.
The Diamondbacks might shift gears slightly and not hold a full-blown fire sale, but they will still trade at least a few players. McCarthy seems to be one among the most likely to be dealt, and the Pirates present a logical landing spot for him.